CategoryHungarian recipes

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Goulash (Gulyás in Hungarian, meaning cattle stockmen) is a dish from the Hungarian cuisine. Here is one very simple Goulash stew recipe, being pretty close to the idealised version. Make sure to use sweet paprika and not hot paprika. Hot paprika will make the soup too spicy and of the wrong consistency when used exclusively.

Goulash, as the term is commonly used, is a slowly-braised ragout that can be prepared in innumerable varieties with pork, beef, lamb, veal and even horse meat. Onions, garlic and paprika are further important ingredients. Paprika is the spice that adds specific taste and colour to the dish. Frequent reheating is said to improve the taste of goulash. Originally, goulash was a shepherd's stew of the Magyars, a people living in Eastern Europe, mainly in the Pannonian plains of Hungary. From there, it started its triumphal march into the world. In Hungary, the term "goulash" is used for soups containing solid ingredients such as noodles, vegetables, or meat cubes. What the rest of the world calls "goulash", in Hungary is called "paprikas" or "pörkölt".




  1. Fry half of the onions in a pot with olive oil.
  2. Put a layer of meat over the fried onions, then a layer of raw onions, peppers, tomato, whole garlic cloves, spices, and salt. Add another meat layer; continue until you have used all the ingredients except the potato.
  3. Cover the meat with water. Put on a lid, and simmer on low heat. Add water only if there is not enough while cooking. It requires almost no stirring.
  4. When the meat is cooked and tender, add potatoes. Add additional water to cover it if needed, and cook for further 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • The colour could be even nicer if you add more paprika in the last 10 minutes.
  • You can add ½ pound lean cubed pork after 20 minutes.
  • If you're not afraid of fats, add some bacon to the dish.
  • A pinch of caraway (seeds or ground) is often added.