The Best Beef For Goulash is a type of meat that comes from cattle raised on farms. The cattle are commonly fed grains or grasses and are slaughtered when they reach anywhere from three to eight years of age.
Choosing the right beef for goulash isn’t as simple as it may seem. Goulash is a hearty Hungarian dish with a thick, beefy sauce and rich flavor. Choosing the best cut of beef for goulash is all about understanding how each cut cuts and cooks.
- Preparation and cooking time
- Prep:20 mins
- Cook:2 hrs – 2 hrs and 30 mins
- Serves 4
Make this hearty beef goulash to feed the family on chilly nights. Stir in the soured cream and parsley for an indulgent, crowd-pleasing supper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 700g stewing steak, cut into chunks
- 30g plain flour
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 75ml dry white wine
- 300ml beef stock, homemade or shop-bought
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 150ml soured cream
- STEP 1Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
- STEP 2Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish or heavy-based saucepan. Sprinkle 700g stewing steak chunks with 30g plain flour and brown well in three batches, adding an extra 1 tbsp oil for each batch. Set the browned meat aside.
- STEP 3Add in the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the casserole dish, followed by 1 large thinly sliced onion, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper, both finely sliced. Fry until softened, around 5-10 mins.
- STEP 4Return the beef to the pan with 2 tbsp tomato purée and 2 tbsp paprika. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins.
- STEP 5Add in 2 large diced tomatoes, 75ml dry white wine and 300ml beef stock. Cover and bake in the oven for 1 hr 30 mins – 2 hrs. Alternatively, cover and cook it on the hob on a gentle heat for about an hour, removing the lid after 45 mins.
- STEP 6Sprinkle over 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in 150ml soured cream and serve.
Lots of peppers and paprika make a good bit of braising steak into something special. A great foot stomping feast from Hungary to stop you feeling hungry!
PT1HServes 6Prep time 20 minutesCooking time 2 hours and 35 minutesCalories 306 per serving
- 1kg good braising steak, preferably chuck steak
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 medium onions, cut into 12 wedges
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 beef stock cube (Oxo works well here)
- 600ml cold water
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 orange pepper
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½. Trim any hard fat off the beef and cut the meat into rough 4cm chunks. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the steak and fry over a high heat until nicely browned all over, turning regularly. Tip the onions into the pan and cook with the beef for 5 minutes until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring regularly.
- Sprinkle both paprikas over the meat and crumble the beef stock cube on top. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato purée and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and transfer the dish to the oven. Cook for 1½ hours.
- While the beef is cooking, remove the core and seeds from each pepper and chuck them away. Cut each pepper into chunks of about 3cm. When the beef has cooked for 1½ hours, carefully remove the dish from the oven. Stir in the peppers, put the lid back on and put the goulash back in the oven for a further hour or until the beef is meltingly tender.
- Serve with small portions of rice (see pages 178–179) and spoonfuls of soured cream if you like, but don’t be too generous – soured cream contains less fat than double cream but still has 30 calories per tablespoon!
Beef goulash is a cozy, rustic stew filled with chunks of tender beef, savory vegetables, and fragrant spices such as paprika, ground caraway seeds and bay leaf. It is one of my family’s favorite cold weather comfort foods, and absolutely delicious served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes!
Beef Goulash, an Eastern European Family Favorite
Growing up in a household with two Slovak parents, I had the pleasure of enjoying a lot of delicious and comforting Eastern European meals.
In the cold of winter, one of my family’s favorite meals to prepare was a Hungarian-inspired beef goulash, a stew-like dish filled with tender chunks of beef and veggies, all simmered for an extended period of time in a rich sauce infused with a hint of aromatic caraway seeds, paprika and bay leaf.
My mom would most often prepare little homemade dumplings, similar to spaetzle, or even mashed potatoes, and we would ladle the beef goulash over top, allowing the copious sauce to glide over every nook and cranny.
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Talk about a super cozy and warming meal!
These days, I often prepare homemade beef goulash for my own loved ones in the style that my parents prepared it, even making the tiny homemade spaetzle from scratch if I have a bit of extra time. Or, to keep things simple, I like to use tender, extra-wide egg noodles, as I do here with this version.
Beef goulash is one of those rustic and cozy meals that we thoroughly appreciate and take lots of comfort in when the nights are chilly, and I thought I’d share this Eastern European family favorite of ours here with you, so that you too, could to find some comfort in it.
How to Make Beef Goulash That’s Rich and Flavorful
When it comes to a beef goulash recipe, it’s all about rustic simplicity with lots of rich flavor.
While there is a generous amount of onions in this recipe, along with some carrots and some diced tomato (mainly for color and for a bit a added texture), the beef is meant to be the star of the show.
The nice thing about my recipe for goulash is that it doesn’t require an expensive cut of beef. I use a slightly tougher grass-fed beef chuck roast, cut into medium-size chunks.
The reason I choose the chuck roast over traditional beef stew meat (the pre-packaged kind) is because of the collagen and marbling found in it, excellent for cooking to delicious perfection over a longer period.
That extended cooking time, needed for this goulash recipe, will allow the meat to become flavorful and tender.
As for the aromatics, there’s the onions along with lots of garlic, a good dash of ground caraway seeds, paprika (not the hot paprika, but the more sweet and mild “Hungarian” variety), a couple of bay leaves, some diced carrots, and a few roughly chopped, whole tomatoes from a can.
Here’s my beef goulash recipe at a glance: (or just jump to the full recipe further down…)
- First, I season my beef with salt and pepper, then toss it with a bit of flour to coat; I then add it to my hot pan or pot, sear it off until browned, and remove it when done.
- Next, the onions and carrots go into the same pot I used for the beef, and I saute those until they become softened and translucent; I then add in the seasonings along with the garlic and the tomato.
- At this point I return the browned beef to the pot, add in some beef stock or broth; and then, everything is gently simmered until the beef is tender and the sauce slightly thickened, about 2 to 2 ½ hours.
- I garnish the beef goulash with parsley, and serve over egg noodles, or even mashed potatoes.