Beef Goulash is a great one pot dish and a good one for feeding a crowd. Like any casserole, it's a good idea to make a batch if you can, as it freezes well and this is more efficient from an energy and time point of view. Beef Goulash has a sweet spicy flavour in a delicious thick tomato sauce. The meat cooks slowly so it is melt in your mouth tender.
What is Hungarian Beef Goulash?
A traditional Hungarian Beef Goulash is a soup or stew made with beef and sweet smoked paprika. As always, recipes develop over time and today a beef goulash has a thick tomato sauce spiced with sweet smoked paprika, peppers and chilli. The secret is long slow cooking which makes the beef very tender and allows the flavours to really develop. You can buy various different paprikas such as hot or spicy, but this recipe definitely needs a sweet smoked paprika as otherwise the flavour will be quite different.
What cut of meat is best for Goulash?
The good news, is that the best cuts of beef for using in stews, are the less expensive tougher cuts. If you use a cut that is already tender, it can dry out with slow cooking. Chuck is probably best for stewing. Other cheaper cuts including skirt and shin are also good. Your butcher may have something called 'stewing steak' or just 'diced beef' which will be from cuts such as chuck. You'll be able to tell from the price as it will be cheaper than other beef.
Do you need to brown the beef first?
Browning beef means first frying the cubes of beef in your casserole dish over a high heat, before adding the rest of the ingredients. The reason for 'browning' is that it caramelises some of the juices in the pan which adds to the flavour. You need to brown the meat in the pot you will cook in, ideally a cast-iron flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid. If you are cooking alot of meat, you will need to brown it in batches. If your beef is piled up in your pan, you will end up stewing it rather than frying it, which won't have the desired effect and could make the beef tougher. Browning should only take a couple of minutes per batch. Stir fry the beef until it is mostly browned on the outside. It doesn't need to be 100% perfectly brown as you don't want to overdo it.
What to serve with Beef Goulash
I like to serve Beef Goulash with a jacket potato which I cook in the oven with the goulash. You could serve it with mashed potato if you prefer. It's also quite common to serve it with pasta, such as tagliatelle. Soured cream goes well and you can either stir it in or serve it on the side. A sprinkling of fresh parsley not only adds some nice colour to the plate, it brings a fresh flavour too.
Try to buy locally farmed beef if possible. Local beef from grass fed cattle has a much lower carbon footprint than industrially farmed imported beef. Knowing where your meat comes from is important. You can find more information about this on my Eating Sustainably page. Try to buy vegetables loose to minimise packaging and from local sources. Sweet smoked paprika and chilli can be bought Fairtrade, which helps support some of the world's poorest farmers. Like with all stews and casseroles, cooking a batch and keeping some in the freezer, will save on energy as well as saving time.
Storing Beef Goulash
You can keep the beef goulash in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. It can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
- 4 tablespoon olive oil organic, fairtrade
- 700 g diced beef organic
- 1 onions organic, peeled and diced
- 1 red peppers organic, de-seeded and diced
- 1 yellow peppers organic, de-seeded and diced
- 1 red chillis organic, de-seeded and diced
- 1 garlic cloves organic, peeled and crushed
- 4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika organic
- 2 teaspoon mild chilli powder organic, fairtrade
- 400 g chopped tomatoes organic, tinned
- 400 ml beef stock organic
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree organic
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash black pepper organic, fairtrade, freshly ground
- 4 baking potatoes organic
- 3 tablespoon olive oil organic, fairtrade
- 100 ml soured cream organic, to serve (optional)
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley organic, leaves chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and fry the meat until browned. You may need to do this in batches if you are cooking a large quantity. Remove the meat from the pan.
- Add the olive oil to the pan and over a medium heat fry the onions and peppers for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.. Add the chopped chilli and garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes
- Add the paprika and chilli powder and stir so that everything is well coated. Fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, beef stock, tomato puree and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then add the meat back. Cover the dish and place in the oven for 90 minutes.
- Wash, dry and prick the potatoes several times with a fork and rub with a little olive oil. Place on a baking tray or on the oven rack around the casserole dish and cook in the same oven as the goulash 90 minutes.
- Serve the goulash with a dollop of soured cream on top and a sprinkling of parsley together with the jacket potato.
Nutrition per serving
The Nutritional Values are computer generated estimates based on industry standards and are provided as a helpful guide only.