Hungarian Goulash, a rich and hearty stew, is a cherished gem in the world of Hungarian cuisine. Known for its vibrant flavors and comforting warmth, this dish has a storied history dating back to Hungary's shepherds and cowherds. Let's dive into this step-by-step guide to help you create this delicious traditional dish at home.

Hungarian Goulash


Before we start, gather these essential ingredients:

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (900g) beef chuck or stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips, sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Salt, to taste

Optional Add-Ons:

  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • A splash of red wine for extra depth


Step 1: Prepare the Vegetables

  1. Onions: Finely chop the onions.
  2. Garlic: Mince the garlic cloves.
  3. Carrots and Parsnips: Peel and slice them into rounds.
  4. Potatoes: Peel and dice into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Bell Pepper: Remove seeds and chop them into small pieces.
  6. Tomatoes: Chop the tomatoes.

Step 2: Prepare the Meat

  1. Trim any excess fat from the beef and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Pat the meat dry with paper towels to ensure it browns nicely.

Cooking Process

Step 1: Sauté the Onions

  1. Heat the lard or vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions and cook until they become golden brown, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

Step 2: Brown the Meat

  1. Add the beef cubes to the pot and brown on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pot.
  2. Once browned, return all the meat to the pot.

Step 3: Add Spices and Garlic

  1. Stir in the minced garlic, sweet Hungarian paprika, caraway seeds, and ground black pepper.
  2. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, ensuring the spices coat the meat evenly.

Step 4: Incorporate Vegetables

  1. Add the sliced carrots, parsnips, diced potatoes, chopped bell pepper, and tomatoes to the pot.
  2. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

Step 5: Add Broth and Simmer

  1. Pour in the beef broth, ensuring all ingredients are submerged. Add bay leaves and tomato paste if using.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together.
  3. If using, add a splash of red wine halfway through for extra depth.

Step 6: Adjust Seasoning

  1. Taste the goulash and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

Serving and Enjoying

How to Serve:

  1. Traditional Accompaniments: Serve your Hungarian Goulash with a side of crusty bread or homemade dumplings.
  2. Garnishing: Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley for a touch of color and freshness.

Wine Pairing:

Pair your goulash with a robust red wine like a Hungarian Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) or a Cabernet Sauvignon to complement its rich flavors.


Congratulations! You've just crafted an authentic Hungarian Goulash, a dish that's sure to warm hearts and satisfy palates. We encourage you to share your culinary creations and experiences with us. Enjoy your goulash and happy cooking!

Feel free to leave a comment or tag us in your posts—nothing makes us happier than seeing your renditions of this classic dish. Bon appétit!

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