Goulash is a rustic stew or soup made with beef and vegetables, and usually seasoned with paprika. Goulash originates in Hungary and in many variations it remains a popular recipe throughout Eastern Europe.
Goulash can also be made with veal, pork or lamb in addition to beef. But no matter what kind of meat is used, goulash is best prepared with tougher cuts of meat which become tender when cooked with slow, moist heat, a technique known as braising. These cuts of meat are also rich in collagen, which will convert to gelatin during braising and thicken the stew without adding flour or other thickeners.
Although it has many variations, goulash is a simple dish. While goulash ingredients can include parsnips, carrots or tomatoes, goulash can really be made from nothing but beef, onions, and paprika, although it's fairly typical to flavor goulash with caraway seeds and garlic.
01 of 09
This traditional one-pot meal can be made in a slow cooker. Beef chuck steak, onion, green pepper, tomato (a late addition to goulash), caraway seeds and red potatoes are braised with hot Hungarian paprika. It's served with traditional handmade Hungarian pinched noodles (csipetke).
02 of 09
This simple recipe for old-fashioned skillet goulash is delicious and quick to make. It uses shortcut ingredients like ground beef, condensed tomato soup and diced tomatoes with garlic. If you can't find diced tomatoes with garlic, add 2 cloves of minced garlic to the recipe. Cook the garlic with the ground beef and onions.
03 of 09
This goulash recipe incorporates slightly crushed caraway seeds to impart their characteristic orange peel and anise flavors. It calls for blanching and peeling fresh tomatoes, but you can substitute canned peeled whole tomatoes, which are generally an excellent substitution.
04 of 09
The secret to the popular "saftgulasch," the Viennese version of goulash made with lean beef and onions as main ingredients, is to use at least three-quarters of a pound of onions for every pound of beef. Something like beef round or sirloin, cut into thick chunks, would work well.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
This recipe for Hungarian goulash soup or gulyas leves (GOO-yahsh LEH-vesh) is hearty enough to be eaten as a main course with rye bread.
This soup benefits from a long, slow cook and is actually a goulash, which is a stew, to which more liquid has been added. Traditional gulyas leves is made with beef or veal.
06 of 09
This goulash recipe uses two types of Hungarian paprika, sweet and sharp, to achieve a mildly spicy stew. Adding sauerkraut and onions stretches the meat and tastes great. Szegediner goulash is a regular German potluck item. It's made with sauerkraut and sour cream, which is either simmered with the stew or stirred in at the last minute before serving over noodles or boiled potatoes.
07 of 09
Goulash is also quite popular and traditional in Italy's northeastern Alps region, a rustic, mountainous area that was long under Austrian rule (the town of Bolzano, in Italy's Sudtirol province, is ethnically German and was annexed by Italy only at the end of World War I). The Austrians, in turn, learned how to make this delicious stew from the Hungarians.
This hearty, comforting winter dish is delightful when served together with a steaming pot of creamy polenta.
08 of 09
This slow-cooker version of goulash is a real kitchen convenience, as well as a comfort on a cold day. This pork-based version is loaded with flavor, and the preparation is relatively easy. Quickly saute a few of your ingredients, toss in the rest, set your slow cooker, and come back to a hearty, warming meal. A little sour cream is the secret ingredient in the sauce and adds to the richness of the dish.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
This recipe uses sweet Hungarian paprika and a venison roast from the hindquarters. The cubed meat is marinated overnight, seared in oil, then braised for three hours. Carrots, mushrooms, and vegetables are added, along with cayenne pepper and black pepper for extra spice. It is served over polenta or can be served with mashed potatoes or noodles.