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Austrian Goulash

Bernhard's Austrian Cooking

Serves: 4


A Goulash recipe always contains paprika.  Goulash hails from Hungary and so it is best to use real Hungarian paprika.  I have heard of an Austrian spices company which grow their own red peppers in Hungary, for a better Austrian Goulash.  A recipe for Goulash also varies from kitchen to kitchen.  At the end it is the same, just a beef stew with paprika based sauce.

GOULASH (Wiener Saftgulasch) makes you want to eat more than you can.  This Hungarian dish (spelled Gulyas in Hungarian) found its way into Austrian cookbooks during the time of the monarchy.  It is a stew, best made with beef.  But by using the initial Goulash preparation I will describe below, you can turn many different ingredients into a Goulash, as you will see.

What makes the Goulash a Goulash is the red paprika sauce.  The dish I will show you is the beefy Goulash, the one that you get in every typical Austrian pub or authentic Viennese coffee house.  The best Goulash I have ever eaten I got in a no-name coffeehouse in Vienna’s third district.

Beef goulash, properly prepared and stored in the refrigerator, keeps well.  The flavors blend with cold storage.  It is a perfect recipe to cook for guests a day or two before you entertain.  And it is also delicious the day you cook it.

Did you know? Bernhard has written a cookbook. Release date February 15, 2008. The book contains 160+ recipes and 56 pictures and is available for pre-order now. Pre-ordering the book saves you 15% on the price + FREE shipping



The Foundation of any Goulash

  1. 2 lb onions

  2. ˝ cup oil or lard

  3. red paprika powder (around 5 ounces)

  4. 2 qt. cold water

  5. 1 teaspoon marjoram,

  6. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  7. 1 bud garlic finely chopped

  8. 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  9. grated rind of ˝ lemon

For the beefy Goulash

  1. 2 lb stewing beef (best is the stringy meat from the muscular back part of the shank of the beef leg, or cut up a chuck roast.)

  2. 1 teaspoon salt, and flour or cornstarch to thicken sauce

Cooking Method

How To Cook Goulash

1. The Foundation

Chop onions coarsely and sauté on moderate heat 20 minutes until they are a golden color.

Remove pan from heat and add the paprika.  Do not fry the paprika, just mix it with the onions.  Then add the water and bring to boil, adding the seasoning.  Maintain a low boil for an hour, stirring from time to time.  You have created a goulash foundation.

Anything you add now becomes a goulash—potato, chicken, beans, lobster(kidding), or as here beef Goulash.  The major difference between them is the time you have to cook, for the beef takes much longer than green beans.

onions  onions 

2. The meat

Now it is time to add the meat. Cut the meat into cubes, 1˝ inches square, and leave on any stringy, fatty parts because they add real flavor. Add the meat to the basic Gulyas and cook it at medium heat for as long as it takes to make the meat tender. You can do this stovetop or in a slow cooker (Crockpot) on the high setting.

onions onions

3. Adjust Seasoning

Sample a spoonful of the sauce. Do you like it? Then it’s fine. If you are not satisfied, add whichever seasoning you think it lacks.

4. To finish

The consistency of your sauce may be thin. I prefer the sauce to be thicker, and I thicken it with cornstarch. To prevent lumping, add a tablespoon flour or cornstarch to half a cup of water in a jar, shake vigorously and add to goulash as you stir it.

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