Cold outside? Warm up with some goulash

Ah goulash. I discovered it on an insanely cold November night in Budapest. Basically, it’s the Hungarian version of beef stew, seasoned with a whole bunch of paprika. Recently, a friend of mine and I were feeling nostalgic while watching the Budapest episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” and decided that goulash was in order before winter ended. When it’s cold and blustery outside, it’s the perfect dish to warm up with inside. Since it makes several servings (depending on how large your serving is), it’s great to make and enjoy with a few friends as well.

Now, goulash isn’t something you can just whip up quickly for dinner. It has to stew (lol, get it?) for a few hours on the stove. So I suggest preparing it in the afternoon and then enjoying later. Then pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and relax.

Note: There are a bunch of different recipes for goulash online – some more soup-like, some more dry. I prefer a bit of liquid so that you can mop it up with some good sourdough bread. This is a recipe I’ve used a few times and have modified a bit each time. Serve with sourdough bread (or over egg noodles) and a dollop of sour cream.


Hungarian Goulash (serves 8)

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours


  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions in oil until soft, stirring frequently. Remove onions and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
  3. Coat beef cubes in spice mixture, and cook in onion pot until brown on all sides.
  4. Return the onions to the pot, and pour in tomato paste, water, garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender.



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