Gulasz (Polish Goulash)

William Newman
August 7, 2023

Gulasz (Polish Goulash)

Gulasz, also known as Goulash, has a long and colorful history deeply rooted in Hungarian and Central European cuisine. Originating in Hungary, Gulasz has become popular across various regions, including Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. The dish was originally prepared by Hungarian shepherds who slow-cooked seasoned meat in a cast-iron kettle over open fires. The word "gulyás" translates to "herdsman" in Hungarian, emphasizing its humble origins. Traditionally, Gulasz was made with beef or pork, onions, paprika, and other spices, cooked until the meat became tender and flavorful. Over time, different variations emerged, incorporating vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and peppers. Today, Gulasz remains a beloved comfort food, enjoyed in various ways, with each country adding its own unique twist to the recipe.

Ingredients for Gulasz:

  • 1.5 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, for a smoky flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream and chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubed beef stew meat and brown on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the minced garlic, sweet paprika, and smoked paprika (if using), and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Return the browned meat to the pot and stir to coat it with the onion and spice mixture.
  4. Add the caraway seeds, bay leaf, beef broth, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat becomes tender.
  5. Add the diced red bell pepper, sliced carrots, and diced potatoes to the pot. Continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  6. Season the Gulasz with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the Gulasz hot, garnishing with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Enjoy the heartwarming and comforting flavors of Gulasz, a traditional Hungarian stew that has become a beloved dish in Central European cuisine.