Soups And Stews

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Growing up my grandmother always had me in the kitchen. I watched her cook many many meals on her cast iron stove. Yes, she was very old school. The stove that she cooked on was her mothers stove. Let me just give you an age preference to go by here. My grandmother was born in 1912 and passed in 1995. She was 83(ish) when she passed. Her cast iron stove always fascinated me. I know that stove cooked many good meals on it. I have no idea what happened to that stove over the years but, I have tried to find one kind of like it. it never panned out that way though. Cast Iron stoves are so stinking expensive.

Any way, this dish was something that my grandmother cooked often during the fall and winter months. I can still smell the lovely fragrances in her kitchen. This dish is something that you can certainly throw in the slow cooker or instant pot and call it a day however, there is just something about slow cooking it in a pot on the stove that just gives it that loving home cooked flavor pizzaz. I have never made this in a regular pot (such as a non stick or stainless steal) But I am sure it will work just as well as cast iron. I am so use to cooking on cast iron that I don’t really think about other pans or pots.

I will have the time for the crock pot and instant pot listed below the recipe just in case you want to throw it in one of them and call it a day so don’t forget to check the bottom. I hope you enjoy this lovely dish. Let’s get started.


2 lbs beef roast – cubed into 2 inch pieces
2 onions – diced medium/small cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Hungarian paprika – if you have regular paprika that will work just fine
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 (14 oz) can of diced stewed tomatoes with juice
1 (14 oz) can of tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up your pot over medium heat. Season your beef cubes well with salt and pepper. Add your oil to your hot pan and add in your beef cubes. Cook just a minute or two.
  2. Add in your onion ( and other vegetables you are adding to the dish except potatoes- will explain at bottom) and about 4 cups of water. Give this a stir and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. When the 15 minutes are up add in your spices, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Give this a stir to combine. Bring back to a boil and turn heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. This usually takes no longer than 2 hours. Add more water only if needed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
  4. Remove from heat and check your seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 to 3/4 c warm water


  1. In a large bowl add the flour and slowly stir in the water. Your mixture should be thick, sticky and slightly runny. Set aside for 10 minutes. You can do this a few minutes before your goulash is done or you can do this while waiting for it to cool slightly.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a bit of salt. This will help flavor the dumplings. Take a spoon and drop 1/2 spoon full into the water or you can add a bit of dough to a slotted spoon and push the dough through with a spatula. This makes a spatzle type dough. When the Dough floats to the top let them cook 1 to 2 minutes to ensure the middle is cooked through. Remove to a plate to cool.

At this point you can add a bit of butter to a pan and add in your dough. Cook about 5 minutes or until golden.

Add some dough a bowl and top with the goulash and enjoy!

*Add ins*
2 stalks celery – diced
2 carrots – diced or sliced into 1/4 inch circles
2 parsnips – diced or sliced into 1/4 inch circles
2 or 3 large potatoes – peeled and diced into 2 inch cubes

If you are adding in the celery, carrots, or parsnips you can add them when you add your onions. If you are adding potatoes add them about 30 minutes or so before the goulash is done. This will ensure the potatoes are not over cooked or mushy. I added celery and carrots to my goulash but the original recipe does not have vegetables in it. So you can definitely omit the vegetables in this dish and add more beef. You can also omit the dumplings and serve with mashed potatoes, however, Hungarian style goulash is served with potato dumplings or plain dumplings. However you serve it, it will be delicious.

*Do not add to much water because you want the goulash to be slightly on the thicker side instead of the soupy side. Also, I would try to get Hungarian paprika as it has it’s own flavor profile. It also gives a bit of a subtle kick. If you can not find Hungarian paprika then using regular or smoked paprika will be just fine. Remember that smoked paprika will give a more smokey flavor to the dish and will alter the flavor a bit. You can certainly use what you have on hand.

*If you are cooking this in a crock pot- just throw every thing in the crock pot except the potatoes and dumplings. Cook for 6 hours on low. 1 hour before the serving throw in the potatoes and cook on low for another hour or until the potatoes are tender. It should take no longer than 1 to 2 hours for the potatoes to get tender. Remove and check seasoning and serve. Cook the dumplings separate and either add to the the goulash or serve on the side.

*If you are cooking in a instant pot – Add all of your ingredients including the potatoes (not the dumplings) into the instant pot and attach the lid. Set to seal and cook for 90 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and check the seasoning. Add more if needed. Cook the dumplings separate and add to the dish later. You can add them to the dish after cooking or on the side.

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