Last Updated on 6 months by Tim
I love eating stews. They’re comforting, warming, and give me strength. I highly value the flavor in the hard-working but not so tender parts of the pig and cow.
Today I’m going to show you my recipe for a traditional German goulash. The word goulash is a broad description for a wide variety of different stews. The goulash recipe I’m showing you today is one of the most common and traditional approaches to goulash.
goulash isn’t a pure beef stew.
It’s not a pure beef stew but a mixture of half pork and half beef. This might sound strange to you at first, but in German cuisine, it’s very popular to mix pork and beef.
One of the reasons to do so is, of course, the price. Pork is significantly cheaper than beef. Other than that, pork tends to be a bit higher in fat than beef lending the stew some more juiciness. And if you ask me, pork tastes just as great as beef does. I don’t know any other meat that has such a natural sweetness and juiciness to it than pork.
The meat I used for this stew was already pre-cubed and sold as goulash meat. As I wrote in my introductory, goulash is just a generic word for stew. It was already pre-mixed with half pork and half beef. In case you only want to go with either beef or pork you can, of course, feel free to do so.
Don’t skimp on the onions when cooking goulash
When looking at the recipe, you might be confused about the quantity of onions listed. It’s not a typo. The traditional ratio of meat to onions in a traditional goulash is 1:1.
The only vegetable I use in this stew is red bell pepper. I cook it separately from the stew and add it shortly before serving so that it retains its texture and integrity.
Using bell pepper in a goulash is a tribute of the Germans to where the dish originated: Hungary. It’s through the Austro-Hungarian empire that goulash became an essential part of German cuisine. Up until today, the goulash with bell peppers is the most popular version.
Keep the seasoning simple
You will notice that the only three spices used to flavor this goulash are black pepper, caraway seeds, and sweet paprika.
Caraway seeds are a part of many traditional German dishes, however, they seem to have lost a lot of their popularity among the younger generation. They certainly do have a distinctive anise flavor that I think pairs exceptionally well with heavier stews. Just look at the extensive use of star anise in Chinese cuisine. If you like this flavor profile, you will love caraway seeds.
If you like things a little spicy you can substitute some of the sweet paprika for cayenne pepper. I keep my recipes on this blog non-spicy to make them enjoyable for a broad audience. A little pinch of chili can be added to almost all German dishes if you like things a little fiery.