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This isn't the traditional Hungarian goulash. This is purely beef and onions, no potatoes or vegetables (apart from tomatoes) in sight. I serve it with basmati rice. The picture below is totally stolen so not reflecting the recipe - will add my own as soon as I make it again.


  • 750gr of diced beef (it would be fantastic to get the cheek, if you can't, a thick, cubed ribeye steak works perfectly well)

  • 4 big brown onions, cut in half then in thick slices

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 Tbsp paprika (not the hot type)

  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes

  • 500ml of dry red wine

  • 500ml of beef broth

  • 50gr lard (or 40gr butter and 10gr vegetable oil)

  • Same amount of lard (and or butter+oil) for the meat

  • A pinch of salt (optional, at the end)


  • Coat the beef pieces with the paprika, massage it well with your hands, then rest covered in the fridge for a couple of hours (overnight would be better)

  • Bring the meat to room temperature before you begin

  • Melt the lard or the butter+oil in a very heavy pot (they call it Dutch Ovens, in reality I use a special heavy iron pot with a ceramic outer layer)

  • Stir fry the onion slices on medium heat, under the lid (but do stir them frequently and don't let them brown too much) - remove and set aside

  • Add half of the remaining lard and let it melt

  • Add half (or 1/3) of the meat pieces and let them brown all over over high heat

  • Remove them, then proceed with the rest of the meat in batches, adding lard as needed

  • Once the last batch is ready, add back the onions and stir well

  • Add the tomatoes and the red wine, stir well

  • Add the broth, just enough to cover the whole lot (keep the rest on the side, as you may need it)

  • Add the bay leaves, and reduce the heat so that it just simmers when covered with the lid

  • Let it cook slowly covered (stirring every now and then) for 2-3 hours (I'll be more specific next time I make it) until the meat is seriuosly tender: it should break down with a fork

  • During cooking and when stirring, check that there is enough liquid: it should thicken nicely, but do add more broth if it gets lower than half-way

  • Once ready, take it off the heat and taste it for salt: you'd be surprised as it usually doesn't need any, but do add it to taste at this point

  • Serve it with basmati rice

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