This traditional Hungarian Goulash recipe or Magyars Gulyásleves is authentic comfort food. A hearty beef stew mad with homemade Csipetke pinched noodles. This traditional guláš is cooked over a fire, but you can use your kitchen stove!
What is Traditional Goulash?
Traditional Beef Goulash (guláš) is cooked in a cast iron kettle pot or cauldron over a fire. Cooking Goulash Soup over a fire adds an authentic smokey flavor, it's worth the extra effort. However, of course this recipe can be easily made in a large stockpot on your stove.
This is the original dish of Hungarian herdsmen, and is usually made with beef (and all parts of beef were used). A classic shepherd's stew everyone loves.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- authentic - a traditional Hungarian Goulash recipe from my Hungarian aunt
- hearty - chunks of beef and potatoes are the ultimate comfort food
- feeds a crowd - a large soup recipe that will feed up to 10 people
Types of Goulash
There are many variations of Goulash throughout central Europe. Some are more like stews or sides, and others like soups. Made differently across the former Austro-Hungarian empire, from Italy to Poland.
- Magyars Gulyasleves - traditional Hungarian Goulash soup made with beef, potatoes and Csipetke dough balls
- Székely Gulyás - Hungarian pork and sauerkraut stew
- Croatian Gulaš - made with boar or venison, with added mushrooms
- Czech and Slovak Guláš - often served with dumplings or bread
- Italian Goulash - seasoned with marjoram and lemon zest, served with Polenta
- Partisan Golaž - Slovenian recipe using equal onions and meat, serve with mash potatoes
- Serbian гулаш - beef and onion stew, often made with lamb or pork
- beef - cubed into ½" chunks
- onion - the more the merrier
- paprika wax peppers - a white Hungarian pepper, varies from sweet to spicy heat
- hungarian paprika spice - bright red with no bitterness
- tomatoes - blanched and peeled
- carrots - add sweetness
- parsnips - a nutty root vegetable
- potatoes - for hearty substance
How to Make Traditional Hungarian Goulash
- caramelize - fry onions until golden, add ground Paprika.
- brown - add cubed beef, stir until coated. Cook until starts to brown (about 4-5 minutes). season with salt and pepper.
- add vegetables - mix in tomatoes and Paprika Peppers.
- add red wine - simmer for 30 minutes.
- simmer - Mix in carrots, parsnips, potatoes and Caraway. Fill pot with water and allow to simmer for 50 minutes.
- dough balls - add Csipetke dough balls and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- taste - add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with parsley when serving.
How to Make Csipetke
Csipetke are Hungarian pinched noodles that are usually dropped into soups or stews. Like tiny pinched pieces of pasta, between a dumpling and a noodle. These ones are rolled into pea size balls, and are easy to make.
- make dough - using your hands, mix together ½ cup flour and egg, kneading into a dough ball. Add extra flour until you make a dough.
- create - pinch small, pea size pieces from the dough, and roll them using your fingers.
- place - put the Csipetke balls on a plate sprinkled with flour so they don't stick together.
Paprika Pepper Substitutes
Sometimes it can be hard to find the traditional white Hungarian Wax Peppers that are used in this recipe. They're also used in my Hungarian Stuffed Peppers (töltött paprika). If your green grocer doesn't sell them, try a Farmer's Market. Alternatively, you can substitute with other peppers or mix and match them for heat.
- bell peppers - substitute with 2 Red or Yellow Peppers, don't use Green
- banana peppers - has a mild and tangy taste
- anaheim peppers - a mildy spicy pepper
- cubanelle peppers - a mild pepper with low heat
Types of Paprika for Goulash
There are different types of Paprika, and this traditional Hungarian Goulash recipe needs an authentic Hungarian Paprika. Trust me, there is a difference! Try to buy one from Hungary for best flavor!
- hungarian paprika - a sweet red pepper flavor, with varying degrees of heat
- sweet paprika - great for color with minimal flavor (good for devilled eggs)
- smokey paprika - Spanish style, smoked over wood fire before grinding
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- animal fat - skip vegetable oil and use lard, goose fat or duck fat
- budget tip - use ½ the amount of beef and substitute beef stock instead of water for richer flavor, which also makes it more soupy
- remove excess fat - when trimming your meat, remove the visible fat to ensure your meat is tender and not chewy.
- be generous - It might seem scary, but be generous with the amount of onions and Hungarian Paprika you use. More is ok in this recipe, Hungarian style.
- bell peppers - the easiest peppers to find, use only 2 Bell Peppers for this recipe, as they are larger than Hungarian Wax Peppers
Can I Make Hungarian Goulash Ahead of Time?
Yes, just follow the instructions and allow to cool. Keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Re-heat on the stove before serving.
Best Cut of Beef for Goulash?
Chuck Steak is often used for Goulash. It's tasty and affordable. It's easy to buy a Chuck Roast and cut the pieces into cubes. Chuck is also called a Blade Roast. Use best cut of beef you can afford.
How to Thin Goulash?
As the soup simmers on the stove, much of the broth evaporates. Add more water or beef stock to your soup to get the consistency right.
Can you Freeze Goulash?
Yes! As this is a large recipe, you will likely have leftovers! Allow to cool and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before re-heating.
Comfort Recipes You'll Love
- Creamy Chicken Stroganoff
- Aelplermagronen - Swiss Mac and Cheese
- Veal Orloff Casserole
- Meaty Chorizo Lasagna
- Golubtsi Stovetop Cabbage Rolls
This traditional Hungarian Goulash recipe with Csipetke is the ultimate Hungarian comfort food. Rich, meaty, warm and hearty, your whole family will love this recipe. Made with humble ingredients, you'll make this Guláš beef soup again and again. Jó étvágyat! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 8 Quart Pot
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 onions diced
- 4 tablespoons ground Hungarian Paprika
- 4 lbs /2 kg beef or pork cut in ½" cubes
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper de-seeded and cut into cubes
- 4 Hungarian Paprika Peppers
- 2 tomatoes peeled and diced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 2 turnips sliced
- ½ cup red wine
- 4 potatoes cut in ½" cubes (about 1½ lbs/750g)
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway
- 2 litres water
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- Using your hands, mix together ½ cup flour and egg, kneading into a dough ball. Add extra flour until you make a dough.
- Pinch small, pea size pieces from the dough, and roll them using your fingers.
- Place Csipetke on a plate sprinkled with flour so they don't stick together.
- Heat oil in a large pot and caramelize onions for about 8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and mix in ground Paprika. You don't want the Paprika to burn while on the heat.
- Add cubed beef, stir until coated. Cook beef until starts to brown (about 4-5 minutes). Add salt and pepper.
- Mix in tomatoes and Paprika peppers. Juices will release while cooking, but can add 1 cup of water if too dry.
- Add red wine and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Mix in carrots, parsnips, potatoes and Caraway. Fill pot with water and allow to simmer for 50 minutes.
- Add Csipetke dough balls and cook for 15 minutes.
- Taste, add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with parsley when serving.