Spicy Hungarian Goulash

Spicy Hungarian Goulash

Jeremy E. Nolen


  • 1 tablespoon  canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup  butter
  • 1 pound  beef stew meat or chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon  kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, diced
  • small onion, diced
  • clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup  sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon  hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon  dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups  red wine
  • 2 cups  water
  • 1 tablespoon  Maggi seasoning*
  • small Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and diced

I love this dish in late fall and winter. It is a great warming dish that is perfect for cold nights. I’ve been eating this for as long as I can remember. The best I’ve ever had was at a German restaurant near where I grew up called the Alpenhof. The restaurant has since closed, but the memory of this soup will remain with me forever. Whenever we ate there my family always started with the goulash.

This is my version of this spicy beef stew. Serve it over some buckwheat spätzle for an entrée sized portion. If you’re having more people, then simply double the recipe.


Heat a medium-sized Dutch oven over medium-high heat and let the pan become hot. Add the oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the beef cubes.  Season with the salt and pepper. Brown the beef cubes all over, making sure you get a nice even brown. (Don’t worry if the bottom of the pan is getting brown. You want that! It will only add flavor to the goulash.)

Once all of the meat has browned add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Continue to cook until the peppers and onions are softened. Next, add the flour, both types of paprika, and marjoram and stir well, incorporating all of the ingredients. (It will look somewhat dry and pasty.) Now add the red wine, water, and Maggi. Mix well so that everything is incorporated and there are no lumps. 

Once everything is mixed well, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Let cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. After 1 hour, check for tenderness by removing a piece of meat and cutting it with a fork; if it comes apart easily, add the potatoes.   

If not, let cook for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. (If you add the potatoes too early they will just fall apart.) Add the potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

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