Friday, April 7, 2017

Hybridized Slovenian Style Goulash

Back when I was first learning to cook on my own, I conflated two recipes my grandmother made when trying to replicate her goulash.  It wasn't "right", but as often happens, I decided I actually liked this new hybrid recipe even better, and so it is how I have made it ever since.  It has the basis of goulash - a sauce primarily made of cooked down onion and paprika with beef - but then has the addition of some tomato, mushrooms, and peas, making it a bit more interesting to eat.

This recipe is for a large batch; we usually get several 'fresh' meals, as well as several portions to freeze, which it holds up to quite well.  

Hybridized Slovenian Style Goulash


  • 2 lbs (approx.) stew beef cut to bite-sized pieces
  • 3-5 lg onions (the mass should be roughly equal to the meat)
  • 1 Tbs (approx.) grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • ¼ - ½ c. Hungarian paprika
  • 1-2 Tbs. Vegeta seasoning
  • 2-3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp. parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½-1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional; or add separately oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary to taste)
  • 2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (or 2 small cans) early peas, drained
  • 2 cans (or 4 small cans) mushrooms, drained
  • medium or wide egg noodles
  • sour cream


  1. Dice onions.  One onion should be roughly cut about a half inch square, one should be half that size, and the remainder should be as finely minced as you can manage.
  2. Heat large pot on medium heat (4-5 on most stoves).  Once heated (a drop of water should sizzle off within a second or two), add just enough oil to cover bottom of pan.  Allow oil to heat up for about a minute or two, but do not allow it to begin to smoke.
  3. Add onions.  Stir regularly, past translucent stage until they begin to brown on the edges, being careful not to let them burn or stick (add a little more oil if necessary.)
  4. Turn heat up to med-high (about 7 on most stoves) and add beef.  Stir intermittently, allowing beef to brown but keeping onions from burning or sticking.  Add pepper and garlic about halfway through browning.
  5. Once all red is gone, add paprika.  If needed, add a few tablespoons of water (not usually necessary.)  Turn heat back down to medium, and allow to cook, stirring intermittently, for 3-5 minutes.  (This is a good time to open cans of tomatoes and mushrooms.)
  6. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, Vegeta, parsley, and Italian seasoning.  Cover and allow to cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally but well; be sure not to let anything stick to the bottom and/or burn.  Once the sauce begins to bubble well, you can turn the heat down to medium-low (about 3 on most stoves); if you do, add about another 15 minutes to this step, but you can stir a little less frequently.  (You can also allow it to cook quite a bit longer at this point if you want; the longer you let it cook, the more the flavors meld, and the softer the beef will be.)
  7. Put on water for noodles, and cook following directions on package.  Once you add the noodles to the water, also add the peas to the goulash.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  8. Serve goulash over noodles, and top with a generous dollop of sour cream.

Pro tip: The sauce is primarily flavored by the paprika.  Most American paprika is little more than red food coloring.  Be sure to use a high quality Hungarian style paprika.  A half teaspoon or so of smoked paprika as well is an optional but tasty addition.

Print this post

No comments: