Traditional Hungarian Goulash

Supplied by Monika Gyenes at


Goulash, the most famous Hungarian dish in the world, is a traditional recipe made with simple ingredients, elevated to perfection by Hungary’s most famous spice: paprika – specifically Hungarian paprika, which is quite different from its Spanish counterpart.

Preparing the dish goes hand-in-hand with drinking Bull’s Blood, Hungary’s most iconic red wine, best consumed while stood around a huge kettle of goulash slowly cooking over a wood fire. 

Ingredients (serves 10):

900g beef shoulder, cut into 1.5cm cubes

470ml low-sodium beef broth

2-3 tomatoes, diced

2 red bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into half rings

2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

250g or parsnips, cut into rounds

250g celeriac, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes

450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes

1 large onion, roughly chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped

3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley leaves, tied together

4-5 cups hot water

1 tbsp paprika seed oil

1 tbsp goulash paste

2 ½ tbsp Hungarian smoked paprika

1 ½ tsp ground caraway seeds

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 dried bay leaves

30g fresh parsley, finely chopped


 In a cast iron casserole, heat the paprika seed oil, then add the onions and cook until soft but not browned.

Stir in caraway seeds, black pepper and bay leaves, and cook for two more minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, and sprinkle paprika all over the onions. Stir often, as burnt paprika is bitter.

Add beef and garlic, stirring until each piece is coated with paprika gravy. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Mix in tomatoes, peppers and the remainder of the broth. The broth should cover the meat and vegetables by an inch or two. 

Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole, and let it simmer for 90 minutes.

Add the root vegetables and the tied parsley leaves to the pot. Add 4-5 cups of hot water to cover by an inch or two.

Season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes uncovered.

Serve goulash hot with fresh bread, garnished with chopped parsley.

Share this article