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Hungarian Beef Goulash

Prep Time:

25 Minutes

Cook Time:

25 Minutes


5 Servings



About the Recipe

This recipe is a very old, very traditional way of making Goulash that was taught by older generations of Hungarian women and it needs no embellishments. It’s simple and simply delicious!


  • 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 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)


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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). 

Step 4

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. 

Step 5

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.

Serve with some crusty bread and, if desired, a dollop of sour cream.

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