What is Classic Hungarian Goulash?

Hungarian goulash is considered a brutal, masculine dish. And that’s how it’s historically formed. It’s how shepherds cooked their food – in a cauldron, over a fire, from the beef that was always available to them.

Hungarian culinary imagination must be paid tribute to it: there is no canonical recipe for goulash. The only thing that does not change in all the ways it is prepared: the pieces of meat are fried in animal fat, then stewed and paprika is added.

The most common is bograch goulash. Beef knuckle, red onion, smoked lard for frying, bell peppers, garlic, dried paprika, cumin, potatoes, carrots, parsley root – all together create the taste of goulash. Pieces of meat fried together with onions, seasoned with spices and stewed until the meat can be cut with a spoon. Potatoes and roots add flavor, richness.Dumplings, pieces of dough, kneaded from flour and eggs and pinched with fingers – hence the name.

Small dumplings added to a thick soup are also an ingredient and attribute of classic goulash. The potato dumplings are made from flour and eggs and are pinched off with your fingers (hence the name). You can also make goulash with pork, which is tasty but less flamboyant.

What kind of meat is suitable for goulash?

The classic beef goulash is made from the simplest, not the most premium cuts which are suitable for stewing – neck, shoulder blade, boneflesh, knuckle, cheeks.

There are recipes for goulash with rabbit, turkey thigh and chicken. Szeged goulash, which is based on the same cooking principle as bogracha goulash, is flavored with sauerkraut and red wine.

What do you add to goulash to make it taste good?

Beetroot, celery, kohlrabi, beans, rice and barley can be added to a classic goulash. And it’s not a culinary crime at all! The main thing is to make it tasty, filling and spicy.  Coriander, cumin, garlic, black, white and hot red pepper, dried mint – all add individual flavor and aroma to the historical Hungarian dish.

What to cook goulash in?

Of course, if you consider the all-too-traditional way of making goulash, you have to cook it in a cauldron and over a fire. This is the way to treat yourself at the cottage, but for us city dwellers, a cookware with thick walls for slow braising on the home cooker is ideal.

Classic goulash with dumplings

Classic Hungarian goulash, if you consider its preparation in historical time, was originally cooked without tomatoes, much less potatoes. But with the introduction of these products into the national cuisine, the taste of the old dish became even richer. You can make goulash as thin as soup. Or thick, which makes it a hot main course. The potatoes add richness and make the dish “full bodied”. By the way, it is better to use potatoes with a low starch content so that they do not soften during cooking. Classic Bograch Goulash with Cheetos

To make a classic bograch goulash with dumplings, you need:

  • 600 beef (shank, shoulder)
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or pork fat
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small parsnip root
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. ground sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin seeds
  • 500-600 ml hot water
  • 100 ml of red semi-sweet wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Hot red chili on request
  • salt, ground black pepper

For the dumplings:

  • 40 g flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • Sour cream and herbs to serve
  1. Dice the meat into 3 x 3 cm cubes.
  2. Dice the onion into small cubes, carrots and parsnips into cubes with sides 1×1 cm, chop the celery, chop the garlic.
  3. Dice potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers into 2X2 cm rounds. Tip. Peel the tomatoes beforehand if you prefer.
  4. Heat ghee or pork fat in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Fry the diced meat in two batches of 3 to 4 minutes each. Remove from the pan.
  5. In the same frying pan over medium heat, fry the onion until golden, about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add carrots, parsnips, bell peppers, celery, sweet paprika, hot red pepper, garlic, cumin, bay leaf, tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Tip. The garlic can also be added at the end of cooking – this will give more garlic flavor.
  7. Return the meat for a classic goulash with chips to the pan, put the tomatoes, potatoes. Stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Pour hot water and wine. Bring to the boil, cover and cook over low heat. Cook over low heat until beef is tender.  Taste for salt when ready. Tip. For the second, thicker dish, the liquid should cover the surface of the food by 2 to 3 cm. Add water and wine if necessary.
  9. While the classic goulash bograch is cooking, prepare the dumplings. Crack the egg with a fork.
  10. Mix the flour with the salt and add the egg. Add a little (1/4 -1/2 teaspoon) water if necessary. Knead the dough, allow it to rest for about 30-40 minutes.  Knead once more.
  11. Pinch off small pieces of dough and run into the cooked classic chipotle goulash.
  12. Serve the goulash bograch with sour cream and herbs.

A housewife’s tip: To make the dumplings, you can roll the dough into a roll and cut it into pieces. The dumplings can be placed in a single layer on the table and dusted with flour instead of starting at once.

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