Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hungarian Goulash

Every year, once I've used up all we can bear of the Old Tom Turkey and his trimmings, I get a yen for something rich, hearty and as far away from the holiday bird as possible. I usually end up going in one of two culinary directions... A big pot of "Sunday Gravy" (aka spaghetti sauce) or the dish that I'm sharing here today.

Hungarian Goulash!  I mean, what better way can there be to satiate the burning desire to have a warm hearty gobble-free supper, than a plate full of buttery egg noodles, smothered in rich, tender, beefy goodness? Nuthin', that's what!

This recipe makes enough for a small army of family and friends, but it also freezes beautifully.  I'd say it serves about 10 hungry people with enough left over for a hearty lunch or two - or maybe breakfast??? (unless you have a couple of noodle fiends in your family, who sneak down to the fridge in the middle of the night for a little carb fix - not that I'd know anything about that. 😉)

If you landed on this post because you were looking for the ground beef, tomato and macaroni style of goulash that's often called "American Chop Suey" in the Northeast, don't worry... I have a recipe for that too. Just click HERE.

Hungarian Goulash
  • 5 Lbs lean Stew Beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 5 Lbs Yellow Onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Vegetable Oil, for browning the meat
  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1/4 Cup **Sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 16 oz Cooked Egg Noodles
  • 3 Tbls Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1-2 Cups Sour Cream, for garnish

Pat the beef cubes dry with paper toweling and season liberally with salt and pepper. Put a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large dutch oven or cast iron pot over medium to medium-high heat and brown the beef on all sides in small batches, setting the already done meat aside in a large bowl. It's important not to crowd the pot or the meat won't brown well. (you definitely want those yummy browned bits that are left on the bottom. Remember... brown = flavor!)

Once all of the beef is cooked and set aside, add all of the onions to the pot with a bit more oil if needed. Cook the onions on medium heat until they're soft and lightly caramelized, scraping up the browned bits. When the onions are done, sprinkle with the paprika, stir it well and let the mixture cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add the beef back into the pot, pour in the broth and stir well to combine.

Now... At this point, you have a few options.

1) Continue to cook the goulash, uncovered, on the stove top over a low flame for about 3 to 4 hours or until the beef is fork tender, the onions have pretty much dissolved and the sauce has thickened.  OR,

2) Place the pot in a pre-heated 375°F oven with the lid slightly ajar for the first couple of hours, then take the lid off,  put the pot back on the stovetop over a low flame and simmer for the last hour, stirring occasionally. (this is the method that I use) OR,

3) I've never done it this way, but I'm sure you could finish this in your crock-pot on low all day or on high for about 3 or 4 hours. It's kind of hard to over-cook it, but if you do lose track of time and the liquid evaporates a bit too much, you can add more beef broth and let it cook a bit longer to heat through.

Serve this over hot buttered *egg noodles, rice or potatoes. It's delicious no matter what you choose. If you're cutting back or avoiding carbs, you can just have it on its own, like a stew or hearty soup. Add your favorite veggie or freshly tossed green salad on the side and you're good to go!  Enjoy!

**Sweet Hungarian Paprika (or it's sister, Hot Hungarian Paprika) can be found in most major grocery stores or specialty food stores. It's important that you use the "real deal" because the standard spice blend versions often have fillers or additives in them. It's a tiny bit more expensive, but it's worth it and it will last quite a while as long as it's closed tightly and stored in a dry place.

*Note: I like the extra wide egg noodles for this dish because they don't get lost in the overall dish. This Goulash is pretty hearty fare and you want a base that will hold up to it. The Pennsylvania Dutch Brand has always been a favorite of mine, but you can certainly go with your brand of choice. (not sponsored)



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  1. Looks wonderful, I bet the meal has a great flavor.

  2. Oh, my word, I should have known better than to come visit you when it's not yet lunch time! That goulash looks so fabulously amazing!!!

  3. oh so yummy delicious come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  4. How odd. This is the third time in as many days that I've seen Hungarian Goulash mentioned.
    I made such a pig of myself a few years back, when I ate it one day in Germany for dinner and the next day in Austria for both lunch (soup) and for dinner again. The most wonderful part was as I was dining on it in a quaint cafe in Saltzburg There was a man playing a zither. He played the 3rd Man Theme! I almost cried. I love that movie and the haunting melody is so beautiful. It was my first time in Austria. Complete magic.
    3 guesses what I'm going to have for dinner - and the first 2 don't count.

  5. Love recipes like this. I however, went the meatball route...pork and chicken meatballs with a yummy sauce (gravy!).

  6. It seems to almost be a beef stroganoff with the sour cream in there. Is the taste reminiscent of that?

  7. Aleksandra: Yes, It has a true depth of flavor and the beauty of it is that it comes from such simple ingredients.

    Mary: I always feel the same way when I visit you!

    Shopannies: Thanks for stopping by! I'll be by to visit you too!

    Priscilla: I would so love to visit Austria! Mr B and I hope to travel as often as we can, once he retires and that part of the world is tops on our list! Thanks so much for stopping by. If you do give this a try, I hope you enjoy it!

    Liza: Oh, I do love your version as well! Hmmm... Now I'm thinking maybe I'll have to do something like that for Christmas Eve. Thanks!

    George: Yes... It is a bit like Stroganoff when you add the sour cream. I feel like it's a lot more flavorful, though. BTW, I think it would make an impressive dinner for umm, let's see... maybe a special lady friend? ;~) Hope you're feeling better.

  8. Wow..mouth watering! Should definitely try this recipe !!


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