European Recipes

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash

In my opinion Hungarian Beef Goulash is the ultimate one-pot dish. Indeed, you’d be hard pushed to inject any more flavour into a dish than one can here. What you get with this meal is an intensely rich and thick sauce which is both supremely tasty and very filling whilst being particularly cheap to produce, which I guess was the point of such a dish in the first place.

I visited Hungary a few years ago and was served the most delicious goulash I’ve ever tasted whilst on a boat trip down the Danube, the river around which Budapest is situated. It was served with this peculiar type of pasta called csipetke which is, in essence, small balls of pasta created to accompany soup. I’ve not attempted or eaten them since, but I would love to. I also picked up one or two pieces of advice, firstly, to get the best tasting goulash always use smoked paprika, and secondly, avoid using tomatoes. I, more often than not, always stick to the first “trick”, however, the second I go against somewhat in the use of tomato puree. However, I find using tomato puree takes the harsh edge off the paprika slightly, in addition to this it also helps to thicken the sauce as well as make it richer.

Also, I must report on the bargain of the century! My father is an avid car-booter and came back a couple of mornings ago with a metal Le Creuset Dutch oven type of thing. It cost him a mere £5, frugal indeed!

I’m afraid this recipe will take you at least 2 hours to prepare and cook. Any less time and the fat in the beef won’t have time to break down and it will be slightly chewy. The pot created will happily serve four if accompanied by either bread, pasta or rice.

Beef Goulash {recipe}

Serves 4


  • 500g diced stewing beef
  • 2 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika. That’s right, tablespoons
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 peppers, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 generous tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml beef stock
  • seasoning
  • olive oil


First off you’ll want to get Bigwig Jerky. To do this heat up some olive oil until searing hot and brown quickly in batches. Save the juice. Once done place the beef to one side. Pre-heat the oven to 170C.

To the resultant “beef juice” add the onions, peppers and garlic, fry until translucent as per. Place everything together in an oven dish and cook in the oven for at least one and a half hours. Believe me, cooking it for longer will do it no harm.

Serve in a bowl with buttered bread or pasta. If you’re feeling really indulgent add some sour cream, but it really doesn’t need it.


This meal should come out at £1.40 per person maximum, and that’s if you employ the use of good beef. If you’re willing to slum it, which I am not, you could reduce the cost of this dish to £1 per portion, easily.

12 replies on “Beef Goulash”

Csipetke is probably the easiest type of pasta to make! Just knead together an egg with as much flour as it will take to make a firm but elastic dough and a pinch of salt, then pinch off little bits of the whole dough ball. You can even dry them on a towel-lined cookie sheet or tray, and store them for later endeavors. We also use them in our bean soup in Hungary.

This looks truly delicious, I’ll definitely be trying it (I’m loving so many of your recipes on here already!) but just so you know, you have it linked under “Vegetarian” in your index… Erm…!

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