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Join our friends in Chicago
Hungarian Gulyás Festival.


300g (10 1/2 oz) shank of beef
30g (1 oz) lard
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
3 or 4 black peppercorns
1 med. carrot, cut into quarters
1 med. parsnip, cut into quarters
1 or 2 whole sweet paprika peppers
500g (1 lb, 1 1/2 oz) peeled potatoes


  1. ​Cube the meat and potatoes into 2cm (3/4 inch) pieces.
  2. Stew the onion in lard over low heat until golden yellow (not brown).
  3. Remove the pot from the heat, add the paprika, meat, salt and 1 1/5 liters (1 quart, 3 oz) of water.
  4. Add the caraway seeds and peppercorns in a tea ball or small bag (for easy removal before serving)
  5. Return to low heat and simmer.
  6. After 30 minutes, add the carrots, parsnips and paprika peppers. 
  7. When the meat is nearly tender (around another 30 minutes), add the potatoes.
  8. When every ingredient is tender, you're ready! You can serve it immediately, or reheat later.​


A lot of Hungarians might argue with you about what counts as "real goulash," but here's a few popular varieties. 

  • Bean Gulyás. Omit the potatoes and the caraway seeds. Use kidney beans instead.
  • Betyár Gulyás. Use smoked beef or smoked pork for meat.
  • Csángó Gulyás. Add sauerkraut instead of pasta and potatoes.
  • Gulyás à la Székely. Reduce the potatoes and add sauerkraut and sour cream.
  • Gulyás Hungarian Plain Style. Skip the homemade soup pasta (csipetke) and add vegetables.
  • Likócsi Pork Gulyás. Use pork and thin vermicelli in the goulash instead of potato and soup pasta. Flavor with lemon juice.
  • Mock Gulyás. Substitute beef bones for the meat and add vegetables. Also called Hamisgulyás, (Fake Goulash)
  • Mutton Gulyás or Birkagulyás. Made with mutton. Add red wine for flavor.

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Hungarian Goulash Recipe

So what makes it a Hungarian goulash (gulyás, pronounced gooi'yash)? This traditional stew of Hungary can be traced back to the Ninth Century Magyar shepherds. Made of chunks of meat and onions, it was cooked slowly in a bogrács (like a cauldron) until the liquid was boiled off. It would then be dried in the sun. This allowed the meat to be used to prepare a stew by boiling it in water. Delicious!

FYI: Did you know paprika wasn't added to the recipe for goulash until the 18th-century?