Hungarian Goulash Recipe

The Hungarian goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish to try when visiting Hungary. You’ll definitely like it!

The good thing about this Hungarian food is that you can also make it at home. This article presents you the best Hungarian goulash recipe.

You’ll find here, detailed, the goulash ingredients and how to make the famous Hungarian goulash.

This step-by-step Hungarian recipe is presented by Timi from The Land Loper and has everything you need to know on how to make Hungarian goulash. Discover more international recipes here.

Traditional Hungarian Goulash Recipe. How to make the Hungarian beef goulash
Traditional Hungarian Goulash

Things to know about the Hungarian goulash

This ever-popular Hungarian dish got its name from the herdsman who looked after the cattle on the fields. In Hungarian, we call them “gulyás” and this soup has been named after them. In English, it became “goulash”.

Interestingly tourists call any Hungarian dish with paprika and beef in it goulash but you should know that the original goulash, the one and only, is the hearty soup which we eat with so much joy on a cold winter day. 🙂

Its popularity started back in the second half of the 18th century in small countryside villages but by the start of the 19th century, it became a favourite on many restaurants’ menu as well.

There are many-many different versions of it depending on region and household but today I’m going to share with you the most traditional recipe which I learned from my grandma.

Get ready, this is not a 15 mins meal from Jamie Oliver, you’ll need a good 3 hours in the kitchen, but you won’t regret it if you are a lover of good things. 😉

Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Shopping list – Hungarian goulash ingredients

Traditional Hungarian Goulash ingredients - discover how to make the authentic Hungarian goulash soup
Traditional Hungarian Goulash ingredients

So, to get a traditional goulash ready you’ll need to do some shopping first.

In my recipe, I used the following things and this can feed at least 5-6 people:

  • 800g of diced beef
  • 300g of brown onion
  • 4 medium-size carrots
  • 2 medium-size parsnips
  • 400g of potatoes
  • 1 tbsp of Hungarian sweet paprika powder
  • ½ tbsp of Hungarian spicy paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • Some ground black pepper
  • A small tomato
  • A yellow wax pepper (but I couldn’t get it so I used a red bell pepper, don’t worry about that, if you can’t get your hands on it, just use a sweeter type of pepper)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of lard
  • Half a bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2.5 l of water
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For the noodles which we call “csipetke” (say: cheepatkae):

  • 1 egg
  • 80g of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of salt

Mix these ingredients together and knead it until you get a solid dough.

Hungarian goulash preparation

Once you have all the ingredients ready you can finally start cooking. 🙂 It’s time for the step-by-step Hungarian goulash soup recipe.

How to make goulash

1. Chop the brown onion, rinse the meat and chop them into 2cm cubes if they are bigger than that.

2. Heat up the lard, wither the onion in it. Then pull it off the fire (so you don’t get the paprika burnt which would make the whole thing crazy bitter), mix in the paprika powders and add 150ml of water.

Cook this until you get a nice thick mix of it, with the fat floating on top. It’s important to get this bit right as this is going to be the foundation of the dish. See photos for more details.

3. Then add the beef, sauté it until they turn lighter in colour.

Season it with salt and black pepper, add the crushed garlic, the chopped tomatoes, and the pepper in full without the seeds.

How to prepare beef goulash - Find out the traditional goulash recipe here

4. Cover it with a lid and cook this mix in its own juice for 90 mins.

5. Then put the sliced carrots, parsnips, and chopped parsley and add 2-2.5l of water.

How to make beef goulash - the best goulash recipe
How to make goulash

6. Next on the recipe for goulash is a simple step.

Cover it again and cook it on slow/medium heat for another 60 mins or until the beef is tender.

While it’s getting ready, prepare the “csipetke”. Once the soup is cooked, pinch the “csipetke” dough in small pieces and into the goulash.

Give it another 10 mins cook and voilà, your hearty, delicious goulash is ready. Serve it in a bowl, offer it with fresh white bread, sliced chili paprika and spicy paprika cream (like the Hungarian “Erös Pista” in the picture)

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Enjoy! “Jó étvágyat!”

Traditional Hungarian Goulash Recipe. How to make Hungarian beef goulash
Traditional Hungarian Goulash Recipe. How to make Hungarian beef goulash

Other variations of the Hungarian goulash

In Hungary the goulash is a little different in every household; some use pork meat or even chicken and some include in the ingredients some Hungarian sausages and/or bacon.

I would like to mention 3 of them that are the most often prepared by us;

Goulash with beans

It’s done with the same method as above. In addition, soak the dry bean the night before and put it in the goulash when it’s about halfway cooked. Then cook together for another 90 mins or until the beans are soft.

Goulash cooked with red wine

This is also a popular and kind of traditional method. Cook it the same way as I did in my recipe but add 0.5l of red wine before you add the water. It will give the soup an amazing taste and a different, darker colour.

“Bogrács” goulash

This is the most well-known type/cooking method in Hungary and it’s an unmissable part of a classic Hungarian day outdoors in the woods. “Bogrács” is basically a kettle which we hang over a bonfire and cook many traditional meals in.

Why is it so special to us? Because it means we get together with friends and family in nature and team up to find the firewood for the bonfire, women prepare the ingredients, the men get the cooking started, we all enjoy a shot of “pálinka” or glass of wine, the whole thing is a ritual really. 🙂

Not to mention the taste which is a whole different level with all the smoky flavours and something else I couldn’t even put into words, you’ve got to try it out once to understand what I mean. 😉

Whichever type of goulash you decide to go for you are in for a super tasty treat. Get together with your friends and family and enjoy a foodie afternoon with the most traditional Hungarian dish.

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About the author

Hi, I’m Timi, nice to meet you!

I’m a blogger, Londoner, self-confessed travel junkie, and lover of all good things. I help you to travel like a local so you can live the real experience and learn something new and unique everywhere around the globe. Learn more. Follow Timi on Instagram and Facebook too!

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