Traditional Hungarian goulash is a prime example of how a few simple ingredients, cooked properly, can yield an incredible flavor. Though many variations of Hungarian goulash exist, and every cook makes it just a bit differently, this is a traditional, authentic recipe from the heart of Hungary. You already know how much I love Hungary from previous Hungarian recipes I’ve posted so I’ll spare you some of the sentimentality this time. When I visited Budapest I immediately fell in love with it. It has become one of my most favorite European cities. Its name comes from the two sides of the city (Buda and Pest) separated by the Danube River running through it. I don’t know that any city has a more breathtaking site than Budapest’s famous chain bridge, its parliament building, and the incredible Buda Castle. And the food….well the food is delicious; there’s much more than just goulash but this is probably (surely) their most famous recipe.
3 tablespoons lard or butter
1½ pounds yellow onions, chopped
¼ cup good quality sweet Hungarian paprika
1½ pounds beef, cut into ½ inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, seeded/membranes removed, cut into ½ inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded/membranes removed, cut into ½ inch chunks
2 tomatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 medium potatoes, cut into ½ inch chunks
5 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and cook the onions until beginning to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the paprika. Add the beef and garlic, return to the heat, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the beef is no longer pink.
Add the bell peppers and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Add the carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, beef broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 40 minutes (see note). Add salt to taste. Serve goulash with a dollop of sour cream, some crusty bread, and a cool cucumber salad.