Stews are the perfect comfort food. The taste of slowly simmered beef with veggies and spices can’t be beaten. Summer is ending, and cooler weather is ahead the perfect season for stews. You might like this Texas Cowboy Stew!
There is nothing like coming home to a house filled with the delicious smell of something wonderful cooking in the kitchen.
Quick recipes are great. They make our life easier, and who has time to spend all day in the kitchen, right? But we have to admit that slow-cooked meals taste so much better.
I love my slow cooker because it gives me that slow-simmered taste, but without having to keep an eye on the food.
I am sure you will love this Hungarian Goulash recipe as much as I do. Paprika (Hungarian Paprika if you can find it) is the star spice in this dish. Its flavor really comes through making a rich-tasting sauce.
What Is Hungarian Goulash
Hungarian goulash is a beef stew/soup that originated in the Hungarian Plains, where the classic red chilies used to make Paprika were harvested way back in the 9th century.
Hungarian cowherds spent months on the plains tending to their cattle, feeding on soups made with millet, lard, bacon, onions, and beef.
Eventually, they started adding paprika to their stews or soups as well as more vegetables. Thus creating the famous Hungarian Goulash.
This classic dish made its way out to the world as travel became more common.
To this day, paprika continues to be the star ingredient in this delicious stew. Carrots and potatoes are usually added as well as onions and garlic.
How To Make Hungarian Goulash
- In the pot of your slow cooker, place the chopped onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Add salt and pepper to the meat.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the meat pieces on all sides. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, and deglaze the pan with 1 ½ cups of beef broth.
- Combine flour, paprika, minced garlic, tomato paste, one teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Combine this paste with the beef broth in the pan and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes until thick using a whisk. Add this mixture to the slow cooker as well, plus ½ cup of the remaining beef broth.
- Mix everything up and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Cook the egg noodles following the instructions in the package and serve with the meat.
What Is Hungarian Paprika
Paprika is the Hungarian word for pepper. It comes from the capsicum plant, which produces red chilies that are dried and ground.
Hungarian paprika usually comes in eight different flavors, ranging from sweet to spicy and pungent and in colors that range from bright red to deep orange.
There are several varieties, but one of the most commonly found outside of Hungary is “sweet Hungarian paprika.” Paprika is to Hungary as Jalapenos are to Mexico. It is the spice that defines their cuisine.
What Side Dish Goes Well With Hungarian Goulash?
This is totally up to you. It is traditionally eaten with veggies that are already inside the stew and bread.
I love to serve it with Homemade Bakery French Bread, or if I don’t have much time to dedicate to bread, I love the crusty, delicious Easy Dutch Oven no-knead Bread. Also, as it is a fairly heavy stew, egg noodles are perfect because the curly texture helps the sauce cling to them.
A salad is always a perfect way to clean the palate when having heavy foods like this one, and my favorite to serve along with it is Cucumber Tomato Salad.
- Do not skip browning the beef. This step is crucial in developing flavor for this stew. It is not the same to boil the beef in the sauce.
- Use sweet Hungarian paprika if you can to make this dish more authentic.
- Traditional Hungarian Goulash has potatoes in it. I didn’t add them because I already used egg noodles and didn’t want to add extra carbs, but you can certainly add them if you have it just with bread and skipping the noodles.
- Whether you want your stew to be more heavy or saucy, use the amount of beef broth accordingly. More broth, more sauce.
- When incorporating the flour/paprika mixture into the broth, use a whisk to prevent the formation of lumps.
More Stew Recipes You’ll Love
Easy Hungarian Goulash Recipe
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 lbs beef stew meat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups beef broth, divided
- 1 ½ tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups uncooked egg noodles
- Cut all your veggies and add them to the pot of the slow cooker. I always mix them when I have them inside the pot.
- Cut the meat into two-inch cubes and cut them all the same size so that they cook evenly. If you like smaller dice, one-and-a-half-inch cubes are perfect too.
- Add salt and pepper to the meat. While we don’t want to eat excess salt, add a good amount, or the meat will be flavorless. Add the salt and pepper before browning the meat.
- Brown the meat in batches. If you overcrowd the skillet, the juices from the meat will be so much that they will boil. Have your skillet hot before adding the oil, and wait for the oil to be hot before adding the meat. This ensures the meat will brown properly.
- Add the beef to the slow cooker and deglaze the pan with one and a half cups of beef broth. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to get all the brown bits that stick to it. This is where most of the flavor is.
- Mix the flour, paprika, minced garlic, tomato paste, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl to form a paste.
- Using a whisk, combine this paste with the beef broth in the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until the broth thickens.
- Add the thickened broth to the slow cooker and give it all a good mix. Pour in the remaining ½ cup of beef broth and cook on low for 7 hours.
- A few minutes before the goulash is done cooking, prepare the egg noodles according to package directions.
- Serve the hot goulash over the egg noodles.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What cut of beef is best for Hungarian goulash?
Beef chuck roast is, to me, the best cut for this dish. I trim the excess fat and cut it into bite-size pieces.
- Can you freeze Hungarian goulash?
Yes, you definitely can. Just let it cool completely before storing it in a freezer bag and label it with the date. No more than 3 months in the freezer is the recommended time.