How to Make Goulash

Wondering how to make goulash ("Gulasch") that tastes like one of the most traditional German foods there is? 

frying goulash meat

Here's my easy way to make this favourite, one of my best beef recipes. It's similar to a Hungarian goulash recipe and for a very good reason (and that has to do with history.)

The main difference between most Hungarian and German goulashes are that the Hungarian ones usually have potatoes added and the German ones don't. 

The secret to a delicious goulash? Brown the meat well. Then the onions and garlic, too. 

How to make Goulash - my way!


  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp butter or oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 - 4 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 - 2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 cup red wine (or water)
  • 2 cups beef broth (or bouillon cubes & water)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • In a large pan, brown the beef cubes in two batches in the butter or oil over high heat, removing browned meat to a bowl.
  • Add onions and garlic (if using) and fry until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and the browned beef cubes.
  • Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover.
  • Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • If you wish to make the gravy thicker, mix about 1 -2 tbsp cornstarch with a bit of cold water and stir in as needed to thicken.
  • Serves 4 - 6.


  • Add 1 lb green beans.
  • You can add the carrots after the goulash has simmered 45 minutes if you like it to have a bit more "texture".
  • 1 tsp thyme is a nice addition.
  • You can add about 4 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes if you wish. Add it when you add the carrots.
  • Adding cayenne pepper gives a bit of spice. Or, try adding Montreal Steak Spice, like I do.

A northern German tradition is to serve the goulash over boiled potatoes. In southern German, it needs to be served with spätzle, a homemade noodle.

This is a cold weather favourite throughout German as well as at our house. Use this method of how to make goulash and then alter it according to your likes.

Here's a German goulash sent in by one of our readers, Anna Hanssen.

She uses a slow cooker to make this. Doesn't it look fantastic!?! 

Anna's Goulash

I sometimes add a bit of Montreal Steak Spice to my goulash.

Not very German I know, but Opa and I seem to like it with a bit of an extra kick!

Are you curious about the history of goulash? If you are, then check this out.

Serve the goulash with ...

red cabbage

Want nutritional information for a recipe? Copy and paste the ingredient list and the number of servings into Calorie Count. It will give you an approximate calculation.

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Here's what some of my fans say:

Joy B: Our family always used white vinegar instead of lemon juice, and added paprika ... but I think I'd like this version better!   


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