Hungarian Beef Goulash




Every once in awhile, we all need comfort food.  When I think about comfort food, I think about a nice warm bowl of stew or soup.

I came across a recipe for Hungarian beef goulash awhile back that really fits the definition of comforting. It’s easy to make too-right in your crockpot.  You don’t have to brown the meat, which saves time and effort.  The paprika gives it a rich flavor.

Here is the original recipe along with the changes I made:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, (such as chuck), trimmed and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet or hot paprika, (or a mixture of the two), preferably Hungarian (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Place beef in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Crush caraway seeds with the bottom of a saucepan. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the beef with the spice mixture and toss to coat well. Top with onion and bell pepper.
Combine tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Pour over the beef and vegetables. Place bay leaves on top. Cover and cook until the beef is very tender, 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high or 7 to 7 1/2 hours on low.
Discard the bay leaves; skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew. Add the cornstarch mixture to the stew and cook on high, stirring 2 or 3 times, until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.


Here is the way I did it:

  • Put 2 tablespoons rice flour and the paprika into a large zip lock bag.  I did not use additional pepper
  • Working in batches, shake the stew meat with the flour mixture until coated, then put into the crockpot-flouring the meat will thicken the broth slightly
  • I believe there is way too much liquid in this recipe.  You do not need all of this liquid, especially in crockpot cooking.  Use one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, and add broth until beef is just covered.  I would use about half to three quarters of the broth, but it depends on how much broth you want.
  • Add bell pepper, worcestershire  and garlic, along with bay leaves.
  • Do not add cornstarch at the end.  A crockpot does not get hot enough to thicken this much broth.

I cooked this about 7 hours until the meat fell apart.  An easy way to test if the meat is cooked is to remove a piece of meat onto a plate, and smush it with a fork.  The meat should be easy to smush.

This is more like a soup than a stew.   If you use less broth, the gravy will not be as thin. This gets better after it sits for a day.

Serve with gluten free noodles, pasta or corn bread.

This goulash has a nice, hearty, beefy flavor.  Even though the weather is warm, there’s always room for comfort food!





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