Beef Goulash

Beef goulash is a cosy comfort stew of slow-cooked tender beef in tomato, coriander and paprika sauce with vegetables like carrots, peppers and peas. Served with rice or mashed potatoes, goulash is perfect winter food.  
Beef Goulash

For my 30th, F planned a trip to Dubai and we stayed at the Taj, Dubai. He likes to stay in luxury while I am the kind who prefer to save on stay and splurge on the streets. But of course, Taj is close to our hearts for many reasons. We had our daily breakfast from the Tesoro restaurant and only a day before checking out, I realized it was a Peruvian cuisine restaurant. We then planned to stick around to try their lunch menu. I was so hungry that I skipped soup and salads, went straight to the main course and served myself a big portion of white rice and their Goulash that the Chef recommended. I was so hooked to it and made a mental note to come home and try making it. It was the first time I heard the word Goulash. As soon as we returned to Yanbu, I saw UmmHamza's post on Smoked Paprika Beef Stew and it looked so much like the Goulash I had in Dubai. And to top it, she had tagged it as Goulash! I tried her recipe without any further research. 

Update 2020 October: I came back to this recipe and decided to give it a makeover. I learnt that Goulash is primarily a Hungarian dish and I have no idea why the Chef in that Peruvian restaurant called it Goulash for a Peru themed lunch. Maybe Goulash is a general term for "meat and veg stew".  I hunted google for Peruvian stew recipes and found quite a few similar recipes that use aji amarillo paste and lots of cilantro which is not the common coriander that we are used to. So I did make a few tweaks but still calling this Goulash which I feel is appropriate than calling this Peruvian Beef stew without the main ingredients. 

Beef Goulash

What is Goulash?

Goulash is a soup made of meat and mixed vegetables and is usually seasoned with smoked paprika and other spices. Originating in medieval Hungary, goulash is a common meal predominantly eaten in most parts of Europe and also is one of the national dishes of Hungary. 

What cut of beef is best for goulash?

As this stew is slow-cooked, buy the cheapest boneless cut you can find. You will be amazed at how this humble piece of beef will render a tender and flavourful stock by the end of slow cooking. Thanks to the bay leaf and coriander water. 

So this updated Beef Goulash recipe is inspired by Peruvian Seco de Carne. In Peru, it seems this kind of stew is always served with white garlicky rice, but I have served with plain white steamed rice. 

How I made this Peruvian inspired Beef Goulash

After the success of chicken stew, Dejaj Salona, I was sure we will love this too. 

First, I washed, drained and pat dried the beef cubes well. Next, I seasoned the beef chunks with salt and pepper. I had my sauce pot heating with some oil. I will be using the same pot for the stew too. I added the seasoned beef cubes in small batches to the hot oil and sear it off until browned on all sides. Next, the bay leaf, minced garlic and onions go into the pot along with the beef and I saute those until they become softened and translucent; I then add the tomatoes, paste and all the vegetables along with the seasonings like salt, cumin and paprika. At this point, I prepare the coriander leaves water by blending some fresh leaves with water and add it to the saucepot. Everything is gently simmered until the beef is tender and the sauce slightly thickened. I garnish the beef goulash with any leftover coriander leaves and green chillies and serve over steamed white rice.

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash Recipe


2 tablespoon cooking oil 
500gms boneless beef cubes, washed, pat dried and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, crushed and grated
1 large red onions, diced finely 
1 large tomato, chopped roughly 
1 long carrot, cut into roundels
1 large potato, chopped in large chunks 
100gms chopped red pumpkin
1 red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped into large pieces
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon hot or smoked paprika (you may use red chilli powder if you can't source this)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 cup or a handful of fresh coriander leaves, blended with 1/2 cup water
1 cup of water 
1/3 cup frozen green peas
2 green chillies, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a deep saucepot and brown the seasoned beef chunks in small batches. Sear the beef cubes on all sides as this will ensure that the meat remains juicy inside. Sear until meat juices start to release. 
  2. Add the bay leaf, minced garlic, chopped onions and sauté until translucent. 
  3. Add the chopped tomato, tomato paste, chopped vegetables along with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin powder. Stir and cook for a minute.
  4. Stir in the coriander water and more water to cover the stew and bring this to boil. 
  5. Adjust the salt and spices and then cook covered for 40 minutes to an hour on low flame or until beef and all the vegetables are cooked (Do occasionally stir the stew to prevent from sticking or burning) 
  6. Add the frozen green peas about 5 minutes before the end of cooking and simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Stir in the chopped green chillies and serve warm with steamed white rice! 
Note: You may use 500gms of mixed vegetables or frozen veggies. You can add any kind of cooked legumes too. Like any stew, it tastes better the next day so I made mine in the morning and by dinner, we had a flavour packed Beef Goulash!

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash
2016 original post pic of goulash


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