Hungarian Beef Goulash

Hungarian Beef Goulash With Traditional Pasta and Pickles

As we have learned, Hungarian beef stew is all about the quality of the paprika. We bought absolutely loads of the stuff back with us from our travels to make the goulash extra authentic. We understand, that actually 'goulash' means soup in Hungarian and it is served much more liquid with a few pieces of meat as a starter. The homemade pasta is traditional, and is so much easier than preparing Italian style pasta. Of course you could always serve this with mashed or jacket potatoes. If you can, make the goulash the day before because, like all slow cooked casseroles, it will have much more depth of flavour cooked, left overnight, then re-heated the next day. The quantity for the pickles is pretty much enough for us in the chalet for the season so maybe halve the quantities. They will keep forever and improve with age and of course they'll go with cold cuts, cheese and in a sandwich.

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Ingredients Serves 6

  • For the pickles
  • 650g savoy cabbage, outer leaves and core discarded, the rest washed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1 cucumber, cut into batons
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 1 mouli, peeled and cut into batons
  • 1 bunch red radishes, washed and cut in half
  • 45g salt / 385g sugar
  • 1.2 litres white vinegar
  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • For the beef goulash
  • 1.2kg beef
  • 2 heaped tbsp flour
  • 40g lard
  • 4 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 heaped tbsp best quality paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or hot paprika
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 150ml red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley
  • For the pasta
  • 500g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400ml water
  • 30ml olive oil


  1. For the pickles
  2. It needs at least 3 days for the flavours to develop
  3. Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Cover the bowl in cling film and put in the fridge overnight
  4. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a large, heavy based saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer, without stirring for 15 minutes until reduced and slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool
  5. Pour the cooled syrup over the salted vegetables, add the soy sauce, mix thoroughly and taste
  6. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for at least 3 days before using, they will keep for ages in the fridge
  1. For the goulash
  2. If you can, cook the goulash the day before you want it and allow the flavours to develop
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C
  4. Cut the beef into quite small cubes, about 2 cm square and put in a bowl and toss with the flour, set aside until needed
  5. In a large casserole, over a medium heat, melt the lard, then add the onions, garlic and carrots and cook until softened. Add the paprika, cayenne, peppercorns and bay leaf and stir for about a minute or two, then add the beef, stock and wine, stir really well. Put the lid on and bring to just below boiling
  6. Pop in the oven for about 2 hours, take out and check to see if the meat is tender and taste how the seasoning is. If the meat needs longer, pop it back in, if it needs a little more seasoning, add some salt and pepper or if you like more spice, add some more paprika
  1. For the pasta
  2. Mix the flour and the egg in a bowl. Slowly add the water until the dough forms, soft and very sticky, you will probably use at least 400ml of water
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and prepare a large warm bowl with the olive oil
  4. Using a flat old fashioned grater with large holes (the type of useless thing you find if you ever go somewhere self-catered), press the pasta dough through this into the boiling water in batches and cook for 1 minute, then transfer to the warmed, greased bowl while you carry on cooking the rest
  5. This pasta may need some practice, but it is so worth it, it adds the extra dimension to the dish
  6. Serve the goulash in a large pasta bowl with some of the pasta stirred in or on top, sprinkle with some chopped flat leaf parsley. Arrange some of the pickles on a plate and put that on the table for people to help themselves to

Delicious Mountain Cookbook

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