Croatian Venison Goulash (Gulaš) Recipe

Venison goulash
Lis Parsons / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 4 hrs 30 mins
Venison is marinated overnight: 12 hrs
Total: 16 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
614 Calories
14g Fat
113g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 614
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 476mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 113g 41%
Dietary Fiber 16g 59%
Protein 16g
Calcium 226mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Croatian venison goulash recipe or gulaš is from chef Julia Jaksic, a New York City chef of Croatian-American descent. Read more about Jaksic, below, after the directions to this recipe.

She likes to serve this stew over a bed of polenta or palenta in Croatian (Romanian mamaliga would be great, too), but mashed potatoes or egg noodles work just as well. Compare this recipe with Romanian Veal Stew with Polenta Recipe.

This dessert recipe for Bosnian Poached Apples (Tufahije) from Jaksic would be a perfect ending for this meal.


  • 5 pounds venison roast from the hindquarters, cubed into 1-inch squares
  • 2 large chopped white onions
  • 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 4 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Vegeta
  • 1/4 cup peeled and sliced carrots (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Place venison cubes in a nonmetallic container and rub them with onions, garlic, olive oil, and bay leaf, cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.

  2. Remove bay leaf and sear meat on medium-high heat in batches using a large earthenware pot or large stock pot. There should be enough oil from marinating so meat doesn't stick.

  3. Return all seared meat and any exuded juices to the pot, and add stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low, covered, for approximately 3 hours, stirring frequently, adding more stock or water, if necessary.

  4. Add paprika and salt. Continue to cook for another hour or until the meat is tender and falling apart. Add the Vegeta, carrots and mushrooms, if using, and black and cayenne peppers.

  5. Continue cooking until meat and vegetables are very tender. Serve over polenta, mamaliga, mashed potatoes or noodles.

More about Chef Julia Jaksic

Jaksic grew up working in her father's Milwaukee butcher shop making sausage, dressing deer and learning the craft before going on to culinary school.

Chef Jaksic is an interesting sort. She was born in Milwaukee to Mico Jaksic, originally from a town near Karlovac in Croatia, and Debra Widmer Jaksic, a Croatian-American.

Her father brought his butchering and spit-roasting know-how to the States and opened Domines a deer-processing and spit-roasting business specializing in pig and lamb roasts, which he still owns and operates.

Her first job working for her father was to wrap butchered deer meat and make deer hamburger. By the age of 12, she was sewing pigs' bellies to steel rods for pig roasts, and making sausages of all kinds, including blood sausage.

She also helped smoke sausages and pork loins (pecinica), and pork belly similar to Italian lardo (cured strips of pig fat).

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College in Chicago in 1999, she began her professional career cooking for gourmet restaurants throughout the States.