14: Recipe | German Goulash

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I mentioned last week that I had cooked German Goulash. It’s nothing like the Amerian Goulash (which I think is most commonly made with ground beef) but more like a beef stew that is slow-simmered in broth with onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, and paprika. The meat needs to be cooked for a couple of hours so that it’s buttery-soft at the end. Technically, you can buy stew meat for this meal, but my experience is that stew meat can be a mix of “leftover” beef pieces and these don’t cook evenly. I prefer buying a piece of chuck roast and cutting it up in cubes myself. The broth and simmered vegetables are then made into a rich gravy.

In my family, goulash is usually served with either boiled or mashed potatoes and sauerkraut or some other type of vegetable. I also know that lots of people make goulash with Spätzle or egg noodles. You can’t really go wrong with any of these variations, IMHO.

You need a little time for this dish (so I usually cook it on weekends), but it’s not very labor-intensive and pretty easy over all.


  • 1.5 lbs chuck roast
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • pepper, salt
  • paprika
  • 32 oz beef (or vegetable) broth
  • Browning Sauce ( or Worcestershire Sauce, if you don’t have Browning Sauce)
  • 1 tbsps flour / 2 tbsps water


  1. Chop the onion, carrot, and celery and quickly process in a food blender, so that the pieces are fairly small.
  2. Sear the meat in a big pot until it’s browned from all sides. (I use a Dutch Oven.)
  3. Add 1 tbsps of tomato paste. Season with pepper, salt, and paprika.
  4.  Pour in the beef broth. (You can add another 16 oz of water, if needed. The meat should be covered.)
  5. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1.5-2 hours on low heat with a closed lid.
  6. When the meat is done (it should be buttery soft), add a little bit of browning sauce (1 tbsp) and thicken the broth with a mixture of flour and water (I mix it separately in a mug and then slowly pour it into the simmering broth. It will slowly thicken into a rich gravy.)
  7. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles, and a side of your favorite vegetables. Or, I recommed trying it with Sauerkraut. It’s goes quite well together.

I hope you make this sometime this winter. It’s comfort food at its best.

  1. It’s been a while since I had some goulash but it sounds really like the perfect comfort food. Maybe I need to make it some time this season. I am not very good at cooking meat though it’s never as soft as I want it be.

    1. You gotta get the right piece of meat. Like I mentioned, stew meat will sometimes stay tough, no matter how long you cook it.

  2. This sort was of meal is just my favourite. Slow-cooking, fill-the-house-with-delicious-smells food.

    We’ve got a birthday week coming up so the menu gets taken over for that…but once the festivities settle down, I’ve got to try this. Perfect for the cooler temperatures. This would be delicious by candlelight on a dark evening!!

    1. Yes, slow-cooked meals have the benefit of also making the whole house smell nice :)

  3. This does sound really similar to our beef stew recipes, except we keep our vegetables chunkier and cook potatoes in it as well. I haven’t made beef stew in such a long time, though. I’ll have to make it this winter. It’s such a cozy, hearty meal! I did have a goulash similar to this when I was in Prague in 2006. We saw it on menus all the time!

    1. Yes, I do know a recipe for beef stew where the vegetables are chunkier and the potatoes are cubed and added to the pot. Great variation! I should make beef stew sometime this winter.

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