Goulash for Verileah

Haaay gurrrl!

There's definitely no secret to the goulash. I love it because it takes about 10 minutes to do all the prep, then you go do something else for 2 hours, then you come back and eat good food.

I need to issue a warning before I type this, though. When I make it, it's just throwing stuff together in quantities that seem appropriate according to some vague idea of the amount I want to make, so this recipe is just guesswork.

All right, you'll need:

  • 1 lb. beef cut into thick (about 1") cubes. The *worse* the cut from a steak standpoint, the better. Chuck / shoulder is really good for this.

  • a big ol' fat onion, chopped into thick squares

  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1" squares

  • 2 chili peppers (teehee), sliced

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed (I usually forget to do this ahead of time and just end up chopping it in the last second)

  • some beef broth (more on that later)

  • about 4 tbsp flour (I like it thick)

  • about 4 tbsp + 1 tsp oil

  • about 1 liter + some hot water

  • 2 heaping tbsp paprika (I use the hot kind, but the sweet kind works too)

  • salt

  • pepper

  • something to do for 2 hours

Get a pan nice and hot, toss a tsp oil in it, and brown the beef. You only want to get the outside, and you want it to really brown, so do it it batches if you need to, and consciously turn the pieces in the pan rather than tossing / spatulizing (keke) them. After that, remove the beef and throw the onions in let them fry for a few minutes, then throw in the bell peppers and let that go for another couple of minutes. You'll probably want to reduce the heat while doing so. Then toss in the chilies, garlic, and the beef and fry for about a minute just to get everything hot for the next step.

The way I go from here is this: I push all the stuff towards the outside of the pan, put the flour in the middle and make a crater in it as if I were making pasta, only in a hot ass pan. Then I pour the oil into the crater and start mixing it up into a roux. Gradually start pulling the vegetables in from the outside of the pan, and just keep stirring (constantly, or the flour will burn) until it looks like the roux has browned. You want to strike the balance of cooking it enough that it loses its starchy taste but can still thicken the sauce well. If it overcooks, you can correct it later with a thick flour slurry at the expense of giving your sauce a lighter color and the starchy taste.

At this point, I throw in some (about 1 heaping tbsp to start) of that powdered beef broth - the higher the beef flavor to salt ratio the better. I found some stuff made by Maggi (is that in the US, too?) that's supposed to be extra strength. It's great for this because it's not as salty as the other stuff. After quickly mixing that in, I start adding in the water (careful: lots of steam at first) until the sauce is a little thinner than I want it to be. After that, add the paprika and correct the seasoning with that broth stuff, salt, and pepper.

Now you reduce the heat to low, cover it, and let it simmer for about 2 hours while you do awesome stuff.


  • I think a lot of people use tomato paste in their goulash. I definitely don't.

  • This is really fucking hot with those chilies in it. Obviously, they can be left out or you can just remove the seeds and pith for a milder recipe.

  • I always boil a couple of potatoes and put this on them.

  • It's good when reheated in a pan the next day or two. I don't have a microwave, so no idea how that works.

Verileah 12 years ago
Wow, thank you so much Gongaa! I've never made a roux that way before, so that will be interesting to try.

I'm not familiar with powdered beef broth but I would guess bouillon cubes would work. Or I could just use a can of beef broth instead of the water, neh?
Gongaa 12 years ago
Oh, it's the bullion - I just forgot the name since it's called Rindsbrühe (beef broth) here. :'( Or wait - do the bullion cubes also have the flavors of the mirepoix in it or is it beef only?

The beef broth would work, but you'll likely need to start with a lot and reduce it way down.
Verileah 12 years ago
Some cubes do and some don't. You can get the kind with beef only.