Hungarian Goulash

Goulash is a traditional dish from Hungry.  It’s named after their herdsmen known as gulyas.  This was an easy meal for them to make because they had access to meat and it cooks slowly over the fire all day with little attendance from them and then be enjoyed at the end of their day.  I think it originally was more of a peasant type meal, but became known as a traditional Hungarian meal and after time was even served at the tables of noblemen.  Now, goulash is one of the most famous Hungarian dishes and every housewife and chef has their own little spin on it.  It’s sort of in between a soup and a stew spiced with paprika.  My family roots are Polish and the Polish traditionally served this dish over over egg noodles (that’s the way my Mom always served it) but it doesn’t have to be.  My recipe is based from an old family recipe from my Grandma Cichowlas whom I never had the pleasure to know.  She was rumored to be the best cook who could throw anything together at the drop of a hat.  This is one of her recipes that my mother grew up eating and I recall my Mom cooking it for us when I was a child as well.  Tonight, I added to and tweaked it a little after finding an article online about traditional Hungarian Goulash.



  • 2 lbs chuck or other beef roast, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground caraway seed (traditional in Hungarian dish I didn’t have this in my stash of spices so I used 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds instead)
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp cider vinegar
  • 6 T katchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 C of water, plus 1/2 C later
  • 2-3 carrots sliced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • (1-2 potatoes, chopped)- I didn’t have any potatoes tonight so I didn’t put them in but it’s often added in the Hungarian dish
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • egg noodles- 1 package or homemade


  1. Brown the meat on all sides
  2. Add the onion
  3. Combine dry mustard, paprika, brown sugar, salt, caraway seeds (or fennel), and pepper .
  4. Combine Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and ketchup, add to the mustard mixture.
  5. Add it to the meat with 1 C of water, 1 bay leaf, and garlic.
  6. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  7. Add in the carrots (and potatoes if desired)
  8. Once carrots and meat are tender toss in the green peppers and perhaps some peeled and diced fresh tomatoes.
  9. Blend the flour and the last 1/2 cup of water.  Add to the meat mixture and stir until thickened (Traditional Hungarian versions seem to skip this step and boast no roux necessary).
  10. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

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