Authentic Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas) is the ULTIMATE comfort food. What’s not to love about slow-simmered beef and potatoes infused with spicy paprika and homemade csipetke egg noodles? Perfect for a hungry winter’s dinner, or freeze ahead for a satisfyingly lazy lunch.
Okay, forget the famous Budapest Chain Bridge, or the ancient Fisherman’s Bastion. This Traditional Hungarian Goulash always brings us back to the incredible night when we first learned this recipe.
You see, calling it just ‘thunder’ seems a bit underwhelming, because the storm we experienced that night was INSANE.
In a scary, exciting… not-sure-if-we’re-gonna-die kind of way.
A split-second flash of lightning turned night into day before – BOOOOOOOM – the night exploded right above our heads.
Car alarms shrieked, dogs barked, while we huddled, rugged up as we were in our
tiny cosy tent outside on the balcony.
Because who wouldn’t want front-row seats to one of Mother Nature’s angriest performances?
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We’d been staying with our host Balazs and his father, talking all things Hungarian cuisine, when the topic of Authentic Hungarian Goulash came into conversation.
Immediately we decided we’d cook it together that night, with Balazs and his father sharing the secrets of their favourite recipe.
So what’s the biggest thing that blew our minds?
Well, most of the world thinks that Hungarian goulash is a stew. But as it turns out, most of the world is wrong… 😛
This dish just screams winter comfort, doesn’t it? But if it isn’t a stew, what is it?
Authentic Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas)
In Hungary, Authentic Hungarian Goulash isn’t a stew at all, it’s actually more like a chunky soup.
For one thing, it’s got a much thinner consistency than stew, but is still packed with that rich, warming flavour that we all know and love.
The key to that flavour is paprika – it is 100% essential for this dish.
The remaining ingredients – Hungarian sausage (csabai), chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, celeriac and onions – are slow simmered in a pressure cooker until soft and tender.
Next up flicks of homemade egg noodles called csipetke (pronounced chip-ET-keh, they’re really similar to German Spaetzle) are added to the soup before being served with thick slices of crusty bread.
Now, before you freak out, csipetke are SUUUUPER SIMPLE to make, and you definitely WON’T need to crack out that pasta machine.
All you need is a mixing bowl, your egg-based batter, a flat paddle like this (or a chopping board) and a knife to ‘flick’ small slivers of the dough into the soup while it’s bubbling away on the stove.
Before you ask, yep, you can omit this step if that’s more convenient for you. But when it’s this fun why would you? 😀
Authentic Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas)
- 1 kg beef cut into cubes
- 1 Hungarian sausage sliced
- 700 g potatoes diced
- 2 brown onions chopped
- 3 carrots sliced
- 2 parsnips sliced
- ½ celeriac chopped into 1 cm cubes
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp copha fat or vegetable oil for cooking
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 heaped tbsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 ½ cups beef stock
- hot water
For the Noodles
- ½ cup white flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- Pinch salt & pepper to taste
First step is to slow cook the beef. Just pop it in a pressure cooker or pot and cover completely with water. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer (You'll need to cook it for for an hour in a pressure cooker, or 2 hours if you're using a normal pot on the stove). Reserve as much jus from the beef as possible - we’ll be using this later.
While the beef is cooking, heat your copha, fat or vegetable oil in a fry pan and add your onions and garlic. Cook carefully until soft and translucent. Whatever you do, don’t burn the onions, because this will totally change the flavour and you don’t want that.
Once the beef has cooked, add all that lovely cooked onion and garlic along with the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, dry spices, Hungarian sausage and beef stock to the pan.
Bring it all to a boil, then let that baby simmer (uncovered) for one more hour, topping up with extra hot water as required to keep everything covered and maintain a soft, soupy consistency.
Now, while the soup is simmering, it’s time to create your csipetke noodles. Add the white flour, egg, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl, mix until smooth and well combined, then allow to rest. In the last 10 mins of cooking, pop a dab of dough onto a paddle and flick small slivers at a time into the soup using a knife. Dip the knife into the soup after every flick to stop the dough from sticking.
Serve immediately with hot crusty bread and butter. YUMMMM.