Beef Goulash

Beef goulash is a great alternative to a traditional beef stew. This recipe is similar to a Hungarian style beef goulash, with slow cooked tender chunks of beef and a rich and savory sauce spiced with paprika. Any leftovers would freeze well and be a great last-minute meal for busy weeknights. 

Beef Goulash
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, coarsely ground (I used a mortar and pestle)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or spicy paprika)
  • 2 tsp dried marjoram (or 1 tsp each of parsley and oregano)
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetables such as mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, potato (optional)

  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat, and add the onions and sugar. Cook until the onions are very soft and starting to caramelize. I used my shallow cast iron braiser for this, but I think a dutch oven or other large skillet would work well.

  • Next, add the garlic and caraway seed and cook for 1 minute. I coarsely ground the caraway seed in my mortar and pestle to help release its flavours

  • Add the paprika (sweet and smoked) and stir. Keep the heat at medium low so you don't burn the spices

  • Add the bay leaf, marjoram, and thyme, and give it a stir. I didn't have marjoram on hand, so I substituted some parsley and oregano 

  • Stir in the tomato paste

  • Add the stock and balsamic vinegar. This will deglaze the pan. I had some mushrooms and a few yellow peppers to use up, so I added these in*

  • Add the stewing beef and stir

  • Season mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally until the beef is very tender and sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 hours

  • Once the sauce has reduced and thickened, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper

*If I were to make this again, I would wait until the last hour of simmering to add the extra vegetables, as they were probably more cooked than they needed to be after 2 hours on the stove top! Other goulash recipes include cubed carrots, potatoes, celery or parsnips and these could also be added in the last hour of cooking if desired. 

I like goulash served over egg noodles. You can also serve this with boiled or mashed potatoes, or some crusty bread. 


Natalee, RD