German Heirloom Recipe for Goulash

Mitzi’s German Goulash

This recipe  is a family heirloom that is the essence of simplicity and rusticity. You can make it with just three ingredients, stewing beef, onions and seasonings. You will never believe how just a few ingredients can turn into such a hearty flavorful dish. This Goulash is perfect comfort food on those chilly Spring nights. There are many variations of goulash and in certain areas of Europe it is considered a soup it if is served with bread. If you like you can add potatoes or celery or carrots to the goulash, but I like how intense the flavor is with fewer ingredients. That is the magic of the recipe. When Mitzi first served this goulash  to me a few years ago it was love at first bite.

This is the simplest recipe you will ever make and trust me it is delicious. No need to brown the meat or the onions in oil.  This would make a great slow cooker recipe – just increase the cooking time to 6-8 hours depending on the slow cooker.

Chef Notes:


  • Some people like to buy a whole cut of meat and break it down themselves for stewing meat. This way you are sure what you are buying. What you buy at the grocery store is usually composed of a large variety of bits and pieces from various cuts or meat scraps. Often the pieces in the “stewing meat” packages are very uneven. If you by your own you can cut it into equal sized pieces that will cook evenly.
  • Cuts of meat vary across North America. Some of the suggested cuts are Chuck, top Chuck, rump roast top round, or outside round. You are looking for lean cuts that have collagen in them that break down over slow cooking that make the meat so tender.
  • Choose well-marbled meat for the best results. For deep flavour you need the fat to break down and add moisture over a long cooking time. If the meat is too lean the goulash will be dry and tough.
  • Do not cut the pieces too small or they will dissolve in the goulash
  • Make sure your pan has a heavy bottom and a tight fitting lid because this is what causes the steam and creates the juices for the sauce.
  • I use sweet onions but you can use regular cooking onions. If you like you can cut back on the onion.
  • You do not need to add the wine if you do not want-the results is delicious just the same.
  • Make sure your paprika is fresh. Feel free to use smoked paprika if you prefer.
  • I serve this with fresh homemade bread or over egg noodles,dumplings or even spaetzle.
  • This recipe keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days and in the freezer for up to a month. Remember to label and date your leftovers.


1 Kilogram or 2.2 pounds of well-marbled stewing beef

1 Kilogram or 2.2 pounds of onions, I use the sweet variety

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Optional: 2-3 medium carrots, cut into ½ inch  pieces

1-2 teaspoons paprika added  towards the end of cooking

1 heavy -bottomed Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid

2 – 3 hours of slow cooking time


Cut the beef into even pieces for even cooking then season with salt and pepper.

Peel and slice the onions.

Place the meat and the onions in the Dutch oven and place lid on top.

Bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often to prevent scorching.

Check to see if there is enough liquid generated from the steam. If not add water or wine.

If desired you can add 2-3 medium carrots cut into 1/2 inch chunks  during the last 45 minutes of cooking.

1/2 hour before the goulash is done add 1-2 teaspoons of fresh paprika and stir into the goulash. The goulash is done when the meat is tender.Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed.

Serving Recommendations: I serve this with cayenne pepper on the side and fresh homemade bread or  serve the German Goulash over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Some people like to add sour cream as a garnish.

Beverage Recommendation:  Cabernet or Merlot or a Cold glass of German Beer such as Steigl.


Chef Elizabeth

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