Beef Goulash

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Serves: 6 / 306 calories per portion

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours and 35 minutes


  • 1kg good braising steak, preferably chuck steak
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 medium onions, cut into 12 wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 beef stock cube (Oxo works well here)
  • 600ml cold water
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Method

  1. Lots of peppers and paprika make a good bit of braising steak into something special. A great foot stomping feast from Hungary to stop you feeling hungry!
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½. Trim any hard fat off the beef and cut the meat into rough 4cm chunks. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the steak and fry over a high heat until nicely browned all over, turning regularly. Tip the onions into the pan and cook with the beef for 5 minutes until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring regularly.
  4. Sprinkle both paprikas over the meat and crumble the beef stock cube on top. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato purée and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and transfer the dish to the oven. Cook for 1½ hours.
  5. While the beef is cooking, remove the core and seeds from each pepper and chuck them away. Cut each pepper into chunks of about 3cm. When the beef has cooked for 1½ hours, carefully remove the dish from the oven. Stir in the peppers, put the lid back on and put the goulash back in the oven for a further hour or until the beef is meltingly tender.
  6. Serve with small portions of rice (see pages 178–179) and spoonfuls of soured cream if you like, but don’t be too generous – soured cream contains less fat than double cream but still has 30 calories per tablespoon!

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  • I made this yesterday and loved it. I threw in a handful of new potatoes and served it with leek and cabbage. Wonderful.

    • Hey know how u can have this with soured cream well could u have double cream not with it but mixed in it or would it ruin the flavor? I thought it may make it creamier to taste im makin it just now its 11.12am on wednesday morn im makin it in slow cooker so as its lush for my partner comin home tonite from work think we might have either mash n boiled carrots with it or spicy potatoe wedges with some cauliflour brocolli cheese mmm

  • I use low fat yoghurt instead of soured cream. Delicious!

  • I made this at the weekend ready for a couple of work lunches this week and had it at lunch time today for the first time. It was delicious! I will definitely be making it again.

  • lush , will defo make again .

  • looks lush, I have the recipe and will be making it when the weather turns, right now still in beautiful salad mode!

  • would a small portion of Hungarian Noodles add many calories instead of rice?

  • Could this be made in a slow cooker?

    • I made in a slow cooker and put it the fridge for 2 days it was incredible

    • Yes! I started it off on top of the stove then transferred it to the slow cooker! Was lovely!

      • Would like to make this Sunday using my new slow cooker. How long does it take once in the slow cooker? Thanks In anticipation

      • how much would you reduce the cooking liquid by though?

    • of course it could - why do you ask?

  • Very tasty, although we found it a bit too thin so I added a bit of cornflour at the end to thicken it up. My mum has bought the book too, she made it last night and she thought the same, next time I think I will put in less water.

  • Really loved this, We'll done boys, I have never eaten as well in my life

  • Made this with Cauliflower rice for a very low calorie, low carb dinner. Less water made a richer sauce and we used a very low salt beef stock cube (Kallo) as my mum who lives with us needs to take care of her salt intake. A fantastic dish and thank you Si and Dave, love the book!

  • Made for 1st time and loved it. I only put in 500ml of water and cooked for longer on gas mark 3 for about 3 hours and the sauce was perfect. Love the recipes have lost 3 1/2 stone so far! Thanks x

  • i remember having this as a kid but as years passed this dish was forgotten but now i have got the recipy i will be cooking it thanks hairy bikers all the best andy.

  • add a tablespoon of caraway seeds when adding the paprika

    • Great tip!

  • Just one thing to say after just eating this, "love you hairy bikers"

  • Oh my, another brilliant recipe from the HBs. We LOVED this! Big thumbs up :D xxx

  • This is by far the best thing I have made in all of my cookery attempts of late.
    Looking forward to trying more of the HBee's recipes.

  • Just adding peppers,can't wait

  • I am having this for my Christmas dinner tomorrow! Dumplings and mashed potatoes might go with this as well...

  • my wife is from the slovak/hungarian border and her family know a thing or 2 about making goulash - they reckon this is a decent one :-) I make it regular for us and its a big favourite especially in the cold winter months here in Czech

  • Had your book from my sister for Christmas. My wife Chris is making delicious recipes, the Beef Goulash is scrummy and a good filler!!! defo be eating this again.

  • I've been making this since the book came out and we LOVE it, especially my husband. Had some relatives come to stay and cooked it for them and they went straight out and bought the 2 diet books!! The only thing I would like to know with the recipes are the protein/carbohydrate/fat/fibre content as I am on a diet that uses that info to calulate points!! I am a HB convert!!!!

    • You could probably have this on a f&h day if you can't get the NV's to work out. Or divide the cals by 50 and you will get the info. From a fellow member.!!!

  • A very Good simple goulash. Should try this with venison lovely

  • Bosh,,, loved it :)

  • Just searched the net for a recipe for stew beef & fell up on this one, so this is for tea tonight, will report back tomorrow with the verdict.....

  • Amazing! I have done nearly all the recipes in this book and the last. Never found a bad one and you'd never know that they're diet recipes. All very low syns on a particular diet too so a firm favourite in our house.

  • I made this in the slow cooker, the meat was lovely and tender. Removed the oil as not needed in slow cooker, makes this a healthy meal. Served with sweet potato mash and broccoli, delicious! Will certainly make again.

    • Can you tell me how long it took in the slow cooker please?

  • Always liked a good goulash and this recipe is the best one I have found by far thanx lads

  • My mother in law makes this but doesn't use paprika she uses 2tbl spoons of curry powder its lovely

  • A few people have made this in their slow cooker, but I can't see any comments saying how long it took? Anyone?

    • I would say cook it on high for 30 minutes then on low for about 5 to 6 hours then check. I used to leave on all day when at work and was still fine. Add peppers afterwards and leave lid of to reduce fluid and it will thicken up. Also reduce fluid if doing in the slow cooker.

      • Made this in slowcooker yesterday for diner tomorrow night, what to serve it with though ?? Sauce Looks a bit thin so will add cornflower to thicken smells wonderful

  • This has become a firm family favourite in our house; even with those who don't usually enjoy red meats. Delicious!

  • Have made this and its cooking happily away in the oven, its just coming up to the adding peppers stage, so that's when i will take it out of the oven and finish it off tomorrow once peppers have been added. Today is Saturday so this will make a lovely dinner for Sunday.
    Thanks Hairy Bikers for a lovely recipe once again, x x

  • Nice recipe thanks hairy Bikers - I used shallots instead of onions

  • Made for the first time and did what some suggested by cutting back slightly on the water. It was delicious. So easy to cook, can't see how anyone could go wrong. I just love the 2 diet books. The food is wonderful.

  • Tried it in Prague and loved it made it today from your recipe only did 500 ml of water and did 3 hrs like another post. Loved it . Enough for monday night tea too mmmm

  • For those who find it too runny, an alternative to using less water I did the following: when you remove it to add the peppers for the last hour of cooking put it back in the oven without the lid, it makes a real difference in reducing the amount of liquid. I haven't had goulash since I was a kid and I loved this recipe :-) definitely will make again. in lieu of the oil I used fry light 1 cal spray, this cuts the amount of calories involved when using oil.

  • Tasted amazing!

  • Also works well with mash and fresh pod peas

  • I'm having my friends round for dinner, they have never had goulash I've been looking for a good goulash recipe reading all these good comments, i'm going to use this one.
    to be cont....

  • Goulash in the oven right now, smells wonderful, i know i am in for a real treat.

  • yum yum my husband loved it! Thanks

  • I love this recipe, making again right now. Flippin' lush!!

  • Goulash is Fantastic , l have known it since l was kid it was 1972 untill now still ok.
    every Restaurant l work of course l insert it in my menu.

  • Having Goulash for Halloween Party, the name Goul sounds great on the menu..yum..yum can't wait. :3

  • I didn't have hot smoked paprika, added some cayenne pepper which gave it the extra kick

  • Just tried this and the meat turned out really dry even though we followed the instructions to the book!

  • Made this recipe with beef mince as opposed to braising steak. Turned out wonderfully still and meant I did not have to fork out shedloads to ensure my meat wasn't tough.

  • I first made this recipe on Christmas eve and it was a big success so much so I have made it a further 4 times and I also made a slight adjustment to the recipe and added chicken instead of beef and that was also a big success

  • I just made this for the first time, did it in the slow cooker for 4 and a half hours on low was enough after I'd cooked the beef, onions, garlic etc first.

    I wanted a lot of "gravy" but thickened it up with 2 table spoons of corn flower near the end.

    Simply superb. I added a teaspoon of cayenne pepper too to give it a little pep. Nice!

  • Made it, added some fresh tomatoes, served with pasta, nice twist

  • This is the most incredible recipe! I cooked it using the cheapest stewing/braising/casserole steak from Tesco. I didn't measure the water but used one and a half tins of water ( using the tinned tomato tin) and it was perfect. I find recipes like this always benefit from cooking the day before and reheating next day. Some how makes flavour so deep and lovely. Highly recommended

  • Bang on lads
    Just as I make it
    Warming, tasty, nutritious
    Silk on a plate
    I like to put new little potatoes in mine & mushrooms

  • Great recipe. I will be cooking it for a party of 80 soon and therefore in several pots. Can anybody suggest the best method of doing this.

    • Yeh buy 20 pots

  • I love this recipe - slow cooked meat so it's tender and actually tastes of something because of the paprika. I use water with bay leaves rather than a stock cube. I'm a rubbish cook, but this and other HB recipes always get good comments because they work.

  • I added 100 grams of St agur to it. Lush.

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