This is the most versatile recipe that you could possibly wish for. Quick mid week dinner or a posh Sunday meal, depending on what you use and how you serve this traditional goulash recipe.
O.K, so first things first! Like many other Czech recipes, this goulash recipe is not strictly speaking traditional Czech recipe. It’s probably a take on Hungarian version, but over the centuries this beef goulash recipe become a staple dinner recipe in many Czech pubs, restaurants and of course at home.
There is really no right or wrong with this recipe. You can make this recipe with any type of beef meat, but traditionally you would use cheaper cuts of beef. For Sunday or a special treat, you can easily elevate this recipe by using game meat.
There are so many versions of this recipe and every family has their favourite, using secret proportions of various ingredients and flavouring. Apparently, you meant to have the same amount of volume of cut up onion as you have meat (not by weight, but volume), but I think that’s way too much onion for my liking.
If you like your beef goulash bit spicier, add chilli or smoked paprika. You can use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato puree, if you like.
To achieve nice thick sauce, don’t skip the first step with coating the meat with flour and frying it to a golden colour. The flour will help to thicken the sauce.
To make sure that your goulash is nice and tender, fry the meat on medium heat and don’t overload the frying pan, leaving gaps between the meat cubes. This is very important, as if you pile the meat too close together the temperature of the frying pan drops too quickly and instead of sealing the meat in with the flour and the heat of the frying pan, you’ll end up with all the meat juices running out, leaving the meat really tough.
Like with other types of goulash, second day the flavour is even better, so make a whole pot and save some for later! This beef goulash freezes really well too, so it’s worth buying more meat at your local farmers market when you see a good deal and make it up few batches for later.
Traditionally you would serve beef goulash with large dumplings or with chunks of fresh bread with caraway seeds.
Either way, I hope you enjoy making this recipe!
Traditional Czech Beef Goulash
- 800 g beef cheaper cuts
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 cube beef stock
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp caraway seeds/marjoram/chilli
- 1/4 tsp salt & black pepper mixed
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Cut up the beef in to bigger chunks
- Mix together the plain flour, pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and put it in a deeper plate or bowl
- Coat the beef pieces in the flour mix
- Heat a large frying pan with some oil and leave until it's medium hot
- Fry the beef from both sides until it's golden brown and the meat is 'sealed' and place on a new plate. Do this in several batches if your pan is small.
- Next fry the onions until see through and flavour them with carraway seeds, pinch of chilli, some marjoram and also add the garlic.
- Put the beef back to the frying pan (or swap it for a large stock pan or soup pot).
- Add the beef stock cube and about 500 ml hot water
- Add the tomatoe puree
- Reduce the heat to medium low, cover with a lid and let the whole thing to simmer for about 2 hrs.
- Check regularly to make sure that the stock doesn't evaporate too much and check the beef. Depening on what cut of beef you buy, the dish might be ready sooner or longer than the recipe.
- Serve with traditional Czech dumplings or with a thickly cut sourdough bread.