Hungarian Goulash

Back in the day, when we worked in high tech, Laura and I were invited to a user group meeting in Wroclaw Poland. The night before the formal event there was a party that took place in a renovated slaughter-house. I know this sounds creepy, but it wasn’t at all. The walls were all white tile and it was very nice. They had installed  some bowling alleys, had video games and pinball and lots of great food. Yesterday we were reminiscing in particular about the Goulash that they served. It was delicious. Laura and I kept going back for seconds and thirds. So last night we committed to cooking some Hungarian Goulash. I found a recipe online that had comments saying it was very authentic and very good.

I made a few alterations and additions but not too many. The author highly recommended using Hungarian Paprika. We tried to find some but were unsuccessful. We just made sure what we used was fresh. The recipe called for 1/4 cup, which seems like a lot, but it wasn’t. It is important not to burn the paprika when you add it, so take it off the heat. Parsnips are traditional too, but you can leave them out. I added some beef base because I did not want to add more stock, but still felt like it needed more beefy flavor. We thought it turned out very well. I ordered some Hungarian Paprika online so we will make this again. See how you like it.

Hungarian Goulash


  • 3 tablespoons pork lard, or butter (pork fat is traditionally used and highly recommended for the best flavor, however we used butter)
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup good quality sweet imported Hungarian paprika (we used what we could get but made sure it was fresh)
  • 1 pound beef, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (we just used stew meat)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded/membranes removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded/membranes removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Melt the lard or butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and cook the onions until beginning to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the paprika. Add the beef and garlic, return to the heat, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the beef is no longer pink.

2. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, potatoes, beef broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 40 minutes. Add salt to taste.

3. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, some crusty bread, and a cool cucumber salad.

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