Sunday, June 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash

According to my Hungarian friend, I made this incorrectly.  Allegedly, if I were to make true Hungarian goulash, the result would be more of a soup instead of a stew.

Apparently, he thought I would care.  My kitchen isn't exactly a democracy.  When I think of goulash, I think of a beef stew, not a beef soup.  I also happen to like stews better than soups.  So I can make my goulash any which way I please.  And I did.  It was marvelous.  And I even "cheated" by using a crock pot.  So take THAT, you Hungarian.

There's also something new that I've been trying lately with my crock pot dishes.  I've been setting them up to cook overnight so they are done by the time I wake up in the morning.  This works particularly well for me because 1) I have no problems with taking down a bowl of stew for breakfast and 2) I typically work from home on Fridays, so this solves the problem of what to eat that day since my meal is already waiting for me in the slow cooker.  

You should try this too.  In fact, I encourage it.  Alternately, you could do something like on a Friday or Saturday night so that it's ready for brunch the next day.  That's convenience, I tell you.  Get with it.

Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash
adapted from

  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ~1/2 teaspoon habanero sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 cup beer (I would recommend a lager for this dish.)
  • egg noodles, to serve with the goulash

1) Combine the salt, paprika, and mustard in a medium bowl.

2) Add the beef and toss to coat the meat in the spices.

3) Drizzle extra virgin olive oil into a pan over medium heat.  When the oil begins to shimmer, add a batch of the beef and sear on all sides.  This process will most likely require you to sear the meat in several batches.

Note that the meat should only be seared on the outside.  The goal is not to cook the meat at this point.

4) Place the seared meat in the slow cooker.

5) Top the meat with the onions.

6) In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, habanero sauce, and beer.  Pour this sauce over the onions.  The sauce won't cover the onions just yet.

7) Cover the slow cooker and cook on Low for 9-10 hours, or until the meat is tender.

8) Prepare egg noodles according to the directions on the package.  Serve the warm goulash on top of the noodles.

I respect the authentic Hungarian version of this dish.  I really do.  If that's how you want to get down on this, then make it happen.  However, I'm in love with my adapted version.  The meat was so tender that I needed a spoon to scoop it out of the crock pot.  The sauce was sweet, smoky, and also slightly spicy.  The egg noodles were the perfect vehicle with which to serve this.

Oh yeah.  This happened.


  1. Oh man, I need to use up about 4 roasts in my freezer! But I have rice so that will have to do to serve it on.

    1. This is one of my favorite recipes from 2012! Will definitely be making this again. It was so good. Hope you like it as much as I did.

  2. Seems like a good recipe - all the ingredients smelled good during prep. But I halved the recipe and as a result overcooked it :-(

  3. This is a beautiful website -- and I love the name

  4. Seems like a lot of worcestershire sauce?

    1. Not too much. Since there's 2lbs of beef in here and a cup of beer, the worcestershire sauce blends perfectly. Also, this should be served with noodles or rice or something to help soak up the sauce. If you decide to try it, let me know how this works out for you!

  5. How many does this recipe serve?

  6. Sounds great, but why did you have to call it Hungarian Gulyas?

  7. A great recipe I can't wait to try out. I love Goulash and those adventurous enough to try it! I wish more would.

    I came up with my own version of a Hungarian Goulash. While different from your own, I think mine is a unique take on the dish. I'm new to the Food Blog scene and would love some feedback from a pro like you. Check out my recipe if have time.