#6 Romanian ~ Transylvanian Goulash

Goulash (or gulas), is a popular dish around Europe that originates from medieval Hungary. The one I prepared last week hails from Transylvania. It was actually a contribution to my son’s centenary school cookbook by a local Romanian mum (many thanks Cristina, whoever you are).

At Our Table – Middle Harbour Pubic School Centenary Cookbook

Transylvanian Goulash

  • olive oil
  • 1.5kg diced beef (I use gravy beef – rich in flavour and excellent in stews)
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 red capsicums, diced
  • 2 hot chillies, finely sliced
  • 2-3 tblsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tblsp ground cumin
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into big chunks
  • bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • sour cream, to serve

Place a large pot on high heat and pour in a generous amount of olive oil. Add the beef and seal all over. Once seared, and any meat juices have evaporated, add the onion, garlic, capsicum and chillies. Next, add a generous pinch of salt and the pepper (in Romania and Hungary this is quite a salty dish), and give it all a good stir. When everything is starting to cook (about 5-10 mins), add the smoked paprika and cumin and stir, being careful not to burn the spices.

Add  enough water to just cover the meat (you may need to add more water as it cooks down). Bring the stew to a good simmer (uncovered) and cook for about 1 hour. Add the tomatoes and check your seasonings (adding salt and pepper if necessary). Continue to simmer for another 30 mins. Once done, your meat should be tender and falling apart, and your sauce will have thickened to be quite rich, salty and delicious.


Spoon into bowls with some freshly steamed brown rice, sprinkled with plenty of chopped parsley and sour cream on the side. This dish also goes well with crusty bread, gherkins and paprika-spiced potatoes. Enjoy!

Serves 6 Hungry People




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