Hungarian beef goulash soup recipe

For being the first time with a new recipe, this was a raving success. I will write it down as I cooked it, with comments and things i want to try next time in parentheses. This is a good winter meal, and a good dish to cook on a quiet Sunday and have once or twice during the week. It would be very easy to multiply into a bigger batch, if you have a large enough pot.

~3 T vegetable oil
1 lb stew beef, diced into 3/4″ cubes (This being the Netherlands, I used ‘succade’. Any cheap, not too lean beef ought to work. I did trim off some of the excessive hard fat. If you live with a meat-lover, as I do, 1 1/2 pound might be better.)
1 t Hungarian paprika (I bought spicy paprika – not sweet – in Budapest. Normal AMerican varieties ought to work, but the spicy ones are probably better. You could also try mixing in a bit of smoked paprika, if you have any.)
6 cups beef or chicken broth (I confess I used bouillon cubes in water, 2/3 beef and 1/3 chicken
red wine vinegar (or red wine)
(1 small can tomato paste)
2 med onions, chopped
3 carrots, sliced into discs
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 large tomato, roughly diced
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/2 t caraway seeds (not having any, I skipped this. Tastes fine without, more authentic with.)
1 bay leaf
dile, thyme, oregano, salt & pepper to taste

1 eggs
1 c flour
~ 1/3 water
(this made an extremely sticky, elastic dough – perfect texture, but more and smaller dumplings would have been better. Next time I might try 2 eggs, more water and only slightly more flour)

Heat the oil in a 5 quart/liter stock pot or Dutch oven over medium Heat. Brown beef cubes on all sides, then remove onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle the beef with lots of paprika. Saute the onion in the remaining oil/beef fat until soft but not brown. Remove on top of the beef, season with more paprika. (By the time the onions were done, most of the beef fat was gone or dried. Next time I may deglaze the pot with red wine (dd a little wine, scrape beef bits from bottom of pot) instead of adding vinegar in next step.) Add broth to pot, bring to simmer, add seasoned beef and onions plus a slosh of vinegar or wine (stir in tomato paste now if you’re using it). Simmer over low heat for two hours until the beef is tender. Add in vegetables and herbs about 30 minutes before serving.

As soon as they’re in, beat egg, add flour, salt and water and add bits of dough into the soup by teaspoonfuls (or preferably smaller). Simmer about 20 minutes more, until potatoes are soft and dumplings are done.


Further comments:
This was probably the most successful soup / stew I’ve made with Dutch beef. I finally got it tender – I had two friend-tested recipes for goulash that resulted in chunks of beef instead of soup, but based on previous experience I was pretty sure the beef they sell here wouldn’t soften unless it was submerged in liquid. The recipe I began with (same basic quantities except that I added a few things and got the dumplings from a different recipe) said this serves 6; it made about 2 meals for the two of us. Ted eats a lot but not *that* much, so four dinners or 6-8 first courses seems about right – he did comment that having the dumplings in made it the soup filling enough to be a meal for him. Ours wasn’t too far off the kind we had in Budapest; theirs was redder and more oily – possibly due to using paprika paste instead of powder. Next time I’d use more paprika (mine sifted out fairly slowly from the container) and maybe add some tomato paste as noted above. Of course homemade beef broth would be better than instantAlso, if I’d been smarter I’d have bought some crusty bread when I went shopping yesterday (one problem with Dutch stores being closed on Sundays is not having fresh bread with Sunday meals, which is when I tend to do my more serious cooking).

Another possibility instead of dumplings: they sell this stuff here called “tarly“, which is basically grains of wheat, cooked up like rice; that would be a good substitute for the dumplings.

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