Easy Goulash

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My friend Gloria from TravelWithG invited me over a few weeks ago to have lunch and catch up. She cooked us this amazing Hungarian Goulash that was rich, but light and had depths of flavor. 

We sat at her kitchen table and caught up on our travels and busy lives and spent a delightful afternoon just talking. 

Yesterday, I started craving that Hungarian Goulash. On a whim, I made one. I looked over a few recipes online and decided to give it a try, but also make it my own, because when I cook, I mostly do it by taste. That is why it’s so hard to re-create the “good” dishes I just happen to come up with. 

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I get that from my grandfather. I grew up watching him from the kitchen table making lunch for us and eating his delicious food.

The man is a fantastic cook! However, every time I ask him for a recipe, he cuts some up from newspapers or magazines and sends it to me. He doesn’t have any of his recipes written down and I am vowing to change that next time I visit him.

I am not sure if this Goulash I made is authentic Hungarian. Since I’ve never been to Hungary or eaten it before my friend Gloria cooked it for me; I can’t claim accuracy.

The thing is this Goulash turned so delicious, I just had to share this recipe with you.

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Of course, I used a Hungarian Paprika which is different than a smoked paprika that we use in stew recipes. If there is one ingredient you should not switch in this recipe is that- Hungarian paprika – because it’s the foundation of this dish.

I make good stews, but they are usually tomato based and therefore more acidic. This Goulash however, is sweet paprika based, which means rich, but without the bite of tomatoes. 

This time I used potatoes and carrots I already had in my pantry, but if you want a low carb dish, leave them out or substitute the veggies. You can also serve it over noodles or rice.

This recipe would be great in the slow cooker or in the instant pot, I just happened to make it on the stove this time. If you would like other easy freezer meal or slow cooker recipes, here is a list of the most recent posts:

I hope you give this Easy Goulash recipe a try and come up with even better versions!

Bon appetit!

Jana

Easy Goulash

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Hungarian
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs Beef Stew Meat
  • 1/2 onion diced small
  • 5-7 cloves garlic diced small
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can beer dark or lager, however any non-flavored beer would work
  • 3-5 potatoes diced small optional
  • 2-3 carrots diced small optional
  • 4-6 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat up the oil in a deep pan at medium to high heat.
  • Brown the meat in batches to avoid overcrowding. Once one batch is browned, set it aside and continue browning the meat until it's all done.
  • Clean the pan if you got burnt bits on the bottom. Brown bits are ok, so you can continue cooking in the same pan.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
  • Add back the meat. Add salt and pepper and the paprika. You should coat the meat with the paprika. The liquid will be brownish, but not thick. It will thicken up later, but not like a stew.
  • Add the beer and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir.
  • Add 2 cups of water - enough to cover the meat. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to medium.
  • Let it cook until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding water to keep it from burning. It's a stew, but it will look more like soup.
  • Once the meat is tender. Taste the Goulash to see if you have enough salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Add the veggies of your choice and cook it until the vegetables are done.

Notes

  • If you prefer to serve it over pasta, you can add a little flour while browning the onions to make a roux and thicken the Goulash.
  • I used good old Bud Light for this recipe because that is what I had in my fridge, but I think any dark or lager beer will be great with this recipe. I would avoid any beer with fruit or citrus notes.
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