Hungarian Beef Goulash

Hungarian Beef Goulash

by Diane Clark

Goulash is a dish that originated around the ninth century in Hungary. It is attributed to herdsmen who prepared a stew from cubed beef. The dish’s name in Hungarian is ‘gulyas,’ which is derived from the Hungarian word for herdsman. It is rich, comforting, delicious and just right for this time of year – yum!

  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours 35 minutes


  • 1kg good braising steak, chuck steak is preferable
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 medium onions, cut into 12 wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 600ml cold water
  • 200ml red wine
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pint of soured cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas 3½. Trim any hard fat off the beef and cut the meat into rough 4cm chunks. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the steak and fry over a high heat until nicely browned all over, turning regularly. Tip the onions into the pan and cook with the beef for 5 minutes until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring regularly.
  3. Sprinkle both paprikas over the meat and crumble the beef stock cube on top. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato puree and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and transfer the dish to the oven. Cook for 1ó hours.
  4. While the beef is cooking, remove the core and seeds from each pepper and throw them away. Cut each pepper into chunks of about 3cm. When the beef has cooked for 1½ hours, carefully remove the dish from the oven. Stir in the peppers, put the lid back on and put the goulash back in the oven for a further hour or until the beef is meltingly tender.
  5. Serve with rice, but mashed potatoes or crusty bread are equally good. Drizzle some soured cream over the top.