coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, November 7, 2022

Hungarian Goulash!

My brother, Big D, came for dinner last night.  He was on a business trip and stopped over to visit. We grew up in a super ethnic enclave in South Bend, Indiana, with a Hungarian bakery, businesses, etc. Our church was Our Lady of Hungary, which offered the early morning mass in Hungarian. My four younger siblings went to Our Lady's parochial school. Although we are not that ethnicity, growing up there introduced us to an amazing Eastern European cuisine. Of course I made Hungarian Goulash for dinner. It was fabulous.  Here's the recipe:


3 pounds beef, I use thick cut of lean beef, like round

1 onion, sliced

2 – 3 cloves of garlic, split in two

3 Tablespoons paprika (Hungarian sweet style - see photo)

1 small can of tomato paste (6 oz equals 170 g)

4 - 5 potatoes, peeled. Cut into 1 ½ - 2 inch chunks

5 carrots, scraped and cut about an inch thick

bay leaf

hot water - almost to a boil

salt, pepper


Cut excessive fat off meat and cut meat into 1 ½  to 2 inches cubes.*  

Roll meat cubes in mix of flour, salt, and pepper to coat. Brown meat in skillet. Transfer browned meat to slow cooker.  

While browning, put a  3 qt. (2.8 liter) pot of water on stove to heat. 

After removing meat, pour some heated water to the skillet, and stir in a bit of salt/pepper/paprika to flavor the juice in the pan.  

Add 2/3 can of tomato paste to the rest of the water left in the heated pot, and stir. Add salt/pepper/paprika.

Add both skillet juice and tomato paste/hot water over the meat in the slow cooker - enough to fully cover the meat and make it soupy.  

Add sliced onion, bay leaf, and split garlic pieces. Add another tablespoon of Hungarian paprika. Then cover and simmer on low for 6 hours in slow cooker.  

Add carrot pieces about an hour after you put the meat in the cooker.  

Add potatoes about an hour after you add the carrots. 

Salt and pepper to taste.

I confess I probably use more than 3 TBS


  1. I also lived in an area where there were a lot of Hungarians. What I miss are the kolaches.

    1. I still occasionally make kolach or kiflis at Christmas. I use the walnut filling. I like poppy seed as well, but I've never made that version.

  2. My mother grew up in the Hungarian section of Cleveland. Her step grandfather was a butcher there. That's Hungarian goulash, no picture required.

    1. I can imagine the Hungarian section of Cleveland is very like the Hungarian section of South Bend.

  3. Goulash was one of my Ukrainian Mother-in-law's go-to recipes and it was always delicious. For some of her growing-up years, Ukraine was under Hungarian rule and when they (the in-laws0 retired to Florida it didn't take long for f-i-l to locate an authentic Hungarian bakery. The pastries were to die for! It is now unfortunately no longer there so we just feast on the memories.

    1. We entertain a couple once, and the man was from the Republic of Georgia (not the U.S. one). I served Hungarian goulash. He said it was very like what his mother would make in Georgia. Did you find any of your Mother-in-law's recipes?

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I love cooking in the Crock Pot so the house smells yummy all day! This is perfect for our chilly weather coming now.

  5. I know this sounds smartyboots picky but if you spell it goulasch you don't need the adjective Hungarian

    1. Interesting. But then "I" would be seen as smartyboots picky! It's not easy being an American. Say the wrong thing and you might get shot. Just kidding. Kinda.


So, whadayathink?