Authentic Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás)

How to make Authentic Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás)


3 tablespoons pork lard , or butter or bacon grease (pork lard is traditionally used and imparts a great flavor)

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions chopped

1/4 cup quality genuine imported Hungarian sweet paprika

1 1/2 pounds stewing beef , cut into 1/2 inch pieces

5 cloves garlic ,minced

2 red bell peppers ,seeded/membranes removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 yellow bell pepper ,seeded/membranes removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2 tomatoes ,diced

2 carrots ,diced

2 medium potatoes ,cut into 1/2 inch chunks

5 cups beef broth (traditionally just water is used but beef broth adds so much more flavor)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds (optional, not traditional in all regions)


Melt the pork lard or butter/oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy soup pot over medium high heat and cook the onions until beginning to brown, about 7-10 minutes.

Add the beef and cook until the beef is just starting to brown, 7-10 minutes.

Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic and cook for another 6-8 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the paprika, salt, pepper and caraway (if using) (note: paprika becomes bitter if at all scorched).

Add the beef broth, bay leaf, return to the stove and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes.

Return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the beef is nice and tender.

Add salt to taste. Remove the bay leaf.


Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 1708mg | Potassium: 1474mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 10861IU | Vitamin C: 155mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 6mg

Frequently Asked Questions:

What type of paprika should I use for authentic Hungarian goulash?

To make authentic Hungarian goulash, it’s essential to use genuine imported Hungarian sweet paprika. It imparts a unique flavor and is a hallmark of the dish.

Avoid using smoked paprika or other varieties for an authentic taste.

Can I substitute the pork lard with another fat or oil?

While traditional Hungarian goulash uses pork lard for added flavor, you can substitute it with butter or bacon grease if needed.

These fats will provide a similar richness to the dish.

What’s the best cut of beef to use for goulash?

Stewing beef, such as chuck or shoulder, is ideal for goulash.

These cuts become tender and flavorful when slow-cooked, making them perfect for this dish.

Is crushed caraway seeds necessary for the recipe?

Crushed caraway seeds are optional and not used in all regional variations of Hungarian goulash.

They add a distinct earthy flavor, so include them if you enjoy the taste.

You can adjust the amount based on your preference.

What side dishes go well with Hungarian goulash?

Hungarian goulash pairs wonderfully with various side dishes such as crusty bread, egg noodles (nokedli or spaetzle), or even plain rice.

Sour cream is a common garnish for added creaminess.

What is the origin of Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás)?

Hungarian Goulash, or “Gulyás,” is a traditional Hungarian stew that dates back centuries.

It was originally prepared by Hungarian herdsmen (gulyás) and has since become a beloved national dish with regional variations.

Can I use regular paprika instead of Hungarian sweet paprika?

While genuine imported Hungarian sweet paprika is preferred for an authentic flavor, you can use regular paprika in a pinch.

Just keep in mind that the distinctive taste of Hungarian sweet paprika adds a lot to the dish.

What is the significance of using lard in the recipe?

Using pork lard in Hungarian goulash is traditional and imparts a rich, savory flavor to the dish.

It’s a nod to the hearty, rustic origins of the recipe.

However, you can substitute it with butter or bacon grease if needed.

Are there any regional variations of Hungarian goulash?

Yes, there are regional variations of Hungarian goulash.

Some regions may add different vegetables or seasonings to their goulash.

The basic elements of beef, paprika, and slow cooking are common, but the specific ingredients can vary.

What are some common garnishes for Hungarian goulash?

Traditional garnishes for Hungarian goulash include sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.

A dollop of sour cream adds creaminess and a cooling contrast to the rich stew.

Chopped parsley provides a fresh, herbal note.

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