By Don Douloff
Considered the national dish of the country, goulash (sometimes called paprika stew) can trace its origins back more than 300 years as an easy, hearty meal for peasants and farmers.
The name goulash comes from the word gulyás, which means “herdsman” in Hungarian.
This is because it was very popular amongst the herdsmen who wrangled cattle on the Puszta (a grassland on the Great Hungarian Plain) due to the easy availability of core ingredients like onions and caraway in the wild. So I guess you could say that goulash is kind of like cowboy stew — and if that isn’t reason enough to make you salivate, it is also rich, deliciously spiced, and high in protein.
Goulash is loved throughout Eastern Europe. Bavaria, Serbia, and the Czech Republic all have their own variants on it, from the potato mash the Serbian spin is spooned over to the breads, dumplings, and polentas that other countries serve goulash alongside. Of course, even if you aren’t a train ride away from Budapest, there are lots of other ways to get your hands on some authentic goulash — starting with our recipe below!
- 2 onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp ground caraway
- 2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 6 sweet peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- In a heavy pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
- Add onions; simmer until onions turn soft and golden. Add paprika, caraway and garlic; cook 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Season beef with 1 tsp salt and toss in flour until meat is lightly coated.
- Add remaining oil to pot. Add beef to pot and stir occasionally, until meat starts to brown on all sides.
- Add peppers.
- Add chicken brother and cover. Let the stew simmer on low heat 1-2 hours, or until meat is tender.
- Add potatoes, carrots and parsnip and let simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Top with sour cream and serve!