a recipe for goulash

a recipe for goulash

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish that has become popular all over the world. It is a hearty stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices, and is often served with noodles or potatoes. The origins of goulash can be traced back to the 9th century when Hungarian shepherds would cook meat in a cauldron over an open fire. Over the years, goulash has evolved and adapted to different cultures and tastes, but its rich history and delicious flavors remain the same. In this article, we will explore the history of goulash and provide a recipe for you to try at home.

The Origins of Goulash

The word “goulash” comes from the Hungarian word “gulyás,” which means “herdsman.” This is because goulash was originally a dish made by Hungarian shepherds who spent long days tending to their herds. They needed a hearty and filling meal that could be cooked over an open fire, and goulash was the perfect solution.

The first written recipe for goulash can be found in a Hungarian cookbook from the 18th century. However, it is believed that goulash was being cooked long before that. The original recipe consisted of meat, onions, and paprika, which were cooked in a cauldron over an open fire. The meat used was usually beef or pork, but sometimes other meats such as lamb or venison were used.

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As goulash became more popular, different variations of the dish started to emerge. In the 19th century, the dish was introduced to the rest of Europe, and it quickly became a favorite among the aristocracy. They added their own twist to the dish, using more expensive cuts of meat and adding vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.

Goulash in Modern Times

Today, goulash is a staple in Hungarian cuisine and is enjoyed all over the world. It has become a comfort food for many, and its popularity continues to grow. In Hungary, goulash is often served at special occasions and celebrations, such as weddings and festivals.

As goulash has spread to different countries, it has been adapted to suit different tastes and cultures. In the United States, for example, goulash is often made with ground beef and macaroni, giving it a more American twist. In Germany, goulash is served with spaetzle, a type of egg noodle, instead of potatoes or noodles.

Despite these variations, the core ingredients of goulash remain the same – meat, vegetables, and paprika. This is what gives goulash its distinct flavor and makes it a beloved dish all over the world.

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The Recipe for Goulash

Now that we have explored the history of goulash, it’s time to try making it at home. This recipe is for a traditional Hungarian goulash, but feel free to add your own twist to it.


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream and chopped parsley for serving (optional)


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the paprika, caraway seeds, thyme, and bay leaf to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. Return the beef to the pot and add the beef broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Add the potatoes to the pot and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the beef and potatoes are tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley on top, if desired.

And there you have it – a delicious and authentic goulash recipe that you can make at home. This dish is perfect for a cozy night in or for impressing your friends and family at a dinner party.

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The Health Benefits of Goulash

Goulash is not only delicious, but it also has some health benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should add goulash to your regular meal rotation:

High in Protein

The main ingredient in goulash is meat, which is a great source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and it also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after a meal.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Goulash is also packed with vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and tomatoes, which are all rich in vitamins and minerals. Onions, in particular, are a good source of vitamin C, which is important for a healthy immune system.

Contains Antioxidants

The paprika used in goulash is not just for flavor – it also contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage. Antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.


Goulash is more than just a delicious stew – it is a dish with a rich history and cultural significance. Its versatility and adaptability have made it a favorite all over the world, and its health benefits make it a great addition to any diet. So why not give this recipe a try and experience the flavors of Hungary in your own home?

Remember to experiment with different ingredients and make this recipe your own. And don’t forget to share your goulash creations with your friends and family – they will thank you for it!

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