How to Make Goulash

making traditional German goulashI prefer to use a garlic press instead of chopping the garlic. So quick and easy!

Learn how to make goulash, aka Gulasch, the way Oma (that's me) makes it! It's one of my best beef recipes and it's similar to a Hungarian goulash recipe. The main difference is that the Hungarian ones usually have potatoes added and the German ones don't. But, now-a-days, even that difference doesn't always exist. :) yet some argue of this!!!

Instead of arguing over where goulash comes from, let's just enjoy it! And, it's so easy to make! REALLY!

How to make Goulash - Oma's way!


  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp butter or oil
  • 1 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 (totally non-German, but Opa and I like the 'kick' it gives!)

What to serve with your goulash ...

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 favorite throughout Germany as well as at our house. Use this method of how to make goulash and then alter it according to your likes.

A Slow Cooker Goulash ...

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 wunderbar!?! 

Anna's Goulash

If you're still curious about the history of goulash, then check out the "Oma says" below.

I love using my new Cuisinart Slow Cooker!

Not only is it a slow cooker, but it's a Multicooker!

That means it can be used to quickly brown or sauté the meat  (up to 400 °F) before setting it to slow cook (at various temps) ... and there's a 'steam' option!

With a 24-hour timer and an automatic Keep Warm feature, I LOVE this!

In the meantime, here's my secret to a delicious goulash: brown the meat well. It's that simple. That's where the flavor starts. And then the onions, too. The darker, without getting black, the more flavor there is. Wunderbar! Lecker!

Are you curious about the history of Goulash?

Hungarian or German? What's the connection between the two?

If you are, then check this out.

Some more German Beef Recipes ...

More German recipes ...

German meat recipes
German dumpling recipes

Take a look at Oma's eCookbooks ...

Quick Fix Soup ECookbook
Top 10 Oktoberfest Recipes eCookbook
Top 10 German Recipes eCookbook
Just Like Oma's Christmas Baking eCookbook

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