Hungarian Beef Goulash

Chunks of beef cooked in a thick tomato and paprika based broth. This stew has a rustic character and dates back to centuries.

I first got introduced to Goulash while visiting Hungary in 2014. It was a popular item offered on most Hungarian restaurant menus. It looked and smelled very tempting. Unfortunately, we were not able to have it there as we could not find a restaurant that used halal meat to make it.

So when I came back home, I was adamant on trying it myself. I tried a few different recipes, made some tweaks and modifications and found one which I didn’t change any further. I make mine a bit piquant and like to add potatoes and carrots, which many traditional recipes also have.

What to serve along?

I like having it with some rustic (artisan) kind of bread to soak up that tomato-ey gravy. Sourdough walnut bread is my personal favorite. Baguette, buns or rice would also pair well with goulash.

For a healthier option serve with brown rice, cauliflower rice or a mixed salad.

Ingredients at a glance


  • It’s best to use boneless beef cut into cubes for this recipe. You can however also use lamb and veal as well.
  • If you do not have caraway seeds, you can use black cumin (shahi/kala zeera) instead.
  • I used spicy paprika powder for my recipe as I like my goulash somewhat spicy. You can find it at grocery stores in Germany by the name Paprika-rosenscharf.
  • If you do not have smoked paprika, skip it and increase the quantity of normal paprika powder.

Hungarian Beef Goulash

A tomato based, thick beef stew flavored with paprika, containing chunks of carrots and potatoes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 4 persons


  • Instant pot


  • 1 big onion
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 big potatoes
  • 1 big red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 500 grams/ 2 cups Beef (boneless-cut into cubes)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (substitute: kala/shahi zeera)
  • 1 tsp spicy paprika powder
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika powder (substitute: paprika powder)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste (substitute: ½ cup tomato puree)
  • 400 grams/ 1½cup canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup water


  • Peel and finely dice the onion. Dice the paprika. Split cut the carrots in half and cut into chunks. Cut the potatoes into quarters (do not cut too small to keep them intact while cooking).
  • Set the Instant pot on saute mode (high) and add the olive oil. Once hot add the beef cubes and fry until they are brown from all sides. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Once the beef cubes have turned brown from all sides, take them out and keep aside. (Move on to the next step without washing the pot).
  • Keep the Instant pot on saute mode (high) and add onion. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Add all the spices, salt and tomato paste and saute for another minute.
  • Now add the beef, diced paprika, carrots and potatoes. Give a quick mix.
  • Add the canned chopped tomatoes and water. Mix everything well.
  • Put the lid on (sealing position) and set to cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  • After the set time is complete, quick release the pressure and open the lid. Give a quick stir and serve.


  • I like to keep the skin of the potatoes on. In addition to the added nutrients the skin slows down the cooking of the potatoes so they aren’t mushy while the beef cooks.
  • If cooking in a regular pot, add ½ more cup of water and cook for 1 hour on low heat.
  • You can replace the beef with veal or lamb meat.
Keyword beef recipe, Beef stew, Eid meat recipe, Eid speciality, rind rezept

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