Hungry for Hungary

12 Jan

Hungarian Goulash

So I’m sitting here thinking back on my culinary school days, listening to “Baby its Cold Outside” by Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton, and thinking about one of my favorite things that I made, Hungarian Goulash.  The first time that I had ever made it was in school, and I have to tell you that I was in love.  You would have to wonder how in love I was if I have not made it since, but trust me, it was AMAZING.  A rich stew of beef, carrots, potatoes, tomato, garlic, onion, caraway seeds and of course the main event…Hungarian paprika, slow cooked to the perfect tenderness, and served over a bed of spätzle  topped with creamy sour cream.

Now I know that there are quite a few ways to make Hungarian Goulash, and just like any kind of traditional meal, a recipe can be debatable.  But here is a hearty recipe that is sure to melt away all the worries of these brisk winter nights.

  • 2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups onions , thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 Tbl caraway seeds , toasted and ground
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef shank cut into 2-inch cubes
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbl all-purpose flour
  • 2 roasted red peppers , peeled and sliced
  • 3 Tbl sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp of minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2-1 tsp minced fresh marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole canned tomatoes , hand crushed
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (Optional)


Sauté the onions and sugar until caramelized. Add the garlic and caraway seed. Cook for one minute. Add the sweet paprika, thyme marjoram, and bay leaf, sauté another minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, red peppers, and 3 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. In a Dutch oven, add the oil and sauté the beef and brown evenly on all sides, turning with tongs; season generously with salt and pepper. While beef is searing, sprinkle the flour evenly in the pot and continue to stir to dissolve any clumps. Deglaze with vinegar and the remaining broth. Pour the contents of the other pan into Dutch oven and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook about 1-1/2 hours until very tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from heat and stir the sour cream into the goulash just before serving.

Serve over a bed of freshly made spätzle.


Here is a bonus video on how to make spätzle from scratch.


Mmm take a bite out of that!


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