Traditional Hungarian goulash - stew of meat and vegetables with onions and herbs


Put a big saucepan on the hob and add a splash of oil.  Throw in the bacon and cook over a medium hear for 4-5 minutes until it has released its fat and started to brown.  Mix in the onions and peppers and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often until the vegetables are soft and sweet.

Toss the beef with the flour and some salt and pepper.  Add the garlic, cloves, juniper, thyme and bay to the vegetables, tip in the meat and stir over the heat for another 5-10 minutes.  Mix in the tomato puree, paprika, cayenne and caraway seeds and stir for 2-3 minutes more.  Tip in the red wine, vinegar and stock.  Season well and cover the surface with a circle of greaseproof paper.  Bring to a simmer then cover the pan with a lid and simmer over the lowest heat for 1¾ - 2 hours, until the meat is tender.  Leave to cool.

Next day, bring it back to a simmer and bubble gently with the lid on for 30-45 minutes.  Season well to bring the flavours together.  Stir in 3 tbsp sour cream.

Ladle the goulash into deep bowls and top with a blob of cream and a light dusting of paprika.  Serve with slices of rye bread.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 180 mins


Olive oil
200g smoked back bacon
4 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2½ red peppers, seeded deribbed and sliced
1.3kg trimmed of fat and cut into 30mm chunks Shin of Beef
2 tbsp flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 plump cloves of garlic chopped
2 whole cloves
6 Juniper berries, flattened
Leaves from 4 bushy sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp sweet (mild) paprika, plus extra to serve
2 pinches cayenne pepper
2 tsp caraway seeds
400ml dry red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
200ml beef stock
Soured cream and a loaf of rye bread to serve.

One Comment

  1. ivanpegg

    Cooked this recipe, following it carefully. Brilliant – tasty, satisfying and a lovely change. Added to my repertoire and will certainly be cooking it again….

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