classic goulash




Prep Time


Cook Time

Serve this rich Hungarian beef casserole with pasta or my Caramelised Shallot Mash.



For the classic goulash

  • 60g butter
  • 6 onions — finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1kg diced beef
  • A little flour
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed


For the classic goulash

  • Heat the butter in a large casserole dish over a low heat. Add the onions and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  • Crush the garlic and caraway seeds together with a knife.
  • Add to the onions, along with the tomato paste, smoked paprika and marjoram. Stir well then mix in the stock, vinegar, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer for 6 minutes. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan bake) or turn your slow cooker to low.
  • To prepare the beef, combine the flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Add the beef a little at a time and turn to coat.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat and sear the beef in batches until browned all over, adding more olive oil between batches if needed. Add the browned beef to the casserole with the onion mixture as you go.
  • If cooking in the oven, cover the casserole and bake for 2 hours. If using the slow cooker, transfer the beef and onion mixture to the slow cooker, cover and cook for 6 hours.
  • Remove the bay leaves before serving.