Hungarian Beef Goulash

The authentic way of cooking Goulash is by frying the meat in lard and this is an occasion where it's best to stick with the original recipe. Only use oil if you really need to. 

Hungarian Beef Goulash


85g (3 oz) lard or sunflower oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

40g (1.5 oz) plain flour

900g (2 lb) chuck steak of shin, cut into 55g (2 oz) pieces

400g (14 oz) onions, cut into rough chunks

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp paprika

1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 litre ( 1 & 3/4 pints) beef stock

150ml (1/4 pint) sour cream

2 tbsp milk


1. Heat the lard or oil in a cast-iron casserole on the simmering end of the hotplate. Season the flour and use to coat the meat, shaking in a polythene bag is the easiest way of doing this.

2. Shake off the excess flour and add the meat to the casserole and move to the boiling end of the hotplate to brown. Avoid crowding the base of the casserole as this will steam the meat rather than brown it.

3. Remove the meat from the casserole and add the onions, cooking until they just start to brown, adding a little more fat if necessary. As they start to brown, add in the garlic and paprika, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Return the meat to sit on top of the onions and pour over the tomatoes, puree and stock.

4. Bring to the boil, then cover and transfer to the middle of the main oven (160oc, 325F, Gas Mark 3) and cook for about 1 & 1/4 - 1/2 hours, until tender but not falling apart. Mix the sour cream with the milk and swirl into the goulash just before serving.

Note - the remains of the dish can be extended to make a delicious soup with the addition of more tinned tomatoes and stock. 

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