hungarian paprika

Hungarian Goulash

This is my mom’s recipe for Hungarian goulash and it’s my favorite because you can make so much of it for (pretty) cheap, freeze it and eat it a few different ways.

It’s essentially beef stew meat slow cooked in gravy that’s served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Or eaten by itself!

I usually buy all the ingredients from Aldi to keep it affordable.

1 pack of beef stew meat (beef chunks, essentially)
A package of brown gravy (I actually prefer the Aldi brand, called Stonemill)
Spicy Hungarian paprika (optional)
Olive oil (Optional)

1. (Optional step) Heat a skillet with a little bit of olive oil and sauté about ¼ of an onion with the beef stew meat, just until it’s brown.

2. You can definitely skip that first step and put the raw meat and onions directly into the crock pot. Browning it just gives it extra flavor.

3. Prepare the packaged gravy per instructions (usually combined with a cup of cold water until mix has dissolved).

4. Combined meat, onions, gravy mix in the slow cooker and add paprika until it has a reddish tint. I usually do maybe a ½ tablespoon of regular paprika and ½ tablespoon of the spicy Hungarian paprika.

*Hungarian paprika makes it spicy (think cayenne) so if you don’t like spice, just use the regular kind.

5. Slow cook for 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low.

6. Peel and slice up the carrots to add the last hour so they don’t completely fall apart.

I don’t have specific measurements because I just do what looks right. The gravy mix does most of the flavoring so I would just adjust paprika as necessary. I’ve also known people to peel some potatoes to throw in at the same time as the carrots and have it as more of a stew, instead of eating it over noodles or mashed potatoes.

Krumplis Tészta (Hungarian Potato-Paprika Pasta)

quick, simple, very filling comfort food! basically like a pasta salad or mac n cheese, but with mashed potato and paprika instead of cheese sauce. traditionally it’s made with flat square egg noodles, but i’ve made it with bow tie and i think it’d work fine with any short non noodley pasta. hungarian paprika is also in the original recipe but can be substituted with a lotttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt of typical american paprika/ w/e grade paprika u have and maybe a dash of cayenne.  and there’s no set amount, anyway- you add to your taste!

you’ll need:

  • a pot each for the pasta and potatoes, or just one and you can empty the pasta in a separate bowl
  • your desired amount of pasta- let’s go with 250 g (half a normal size package)
  • a few potatoes- maybe 3 medium ones or a bunch of tiny guys
  • hmmm 5 cloves of garlic or more to taste. garlic powder or cream would also work
  • salt n pepper
  • paprika to taste
  • lil bit of oil for pasta
  • onions if u want to sautee some and throw em in. red or yellow are nice but any would be good

any kind of sauce/addition for pasta is best done before the pasta. boil potatoes and garlic in a small amount of water, and when they’re tender + the water is reduced a good amount, mash them >:). don’t worry about getting it too smooth like normal mashed potatoes- the chunks won’t taste as awkward. add paprika and additional seasoning, and last mix nice and evenly with the pasta. add sauteed onions, a fried egg, sausage, parsley- whatever!!!! i think a runny egg yolk goes nicely w/ all the yummy starch. 

and i guess this is….not too unhealthy??? better than mac n cheese. you’re getting some veggies n spices. paprika has loads of health benefits too. i heard that hussars (hungarian horsemen) used to eat this before long journeys bc it kept them full. so there ya go

Customers crowd into a bustling Budapest restaurant for dinner. They open their menus, expecting to read about stuffed paprikas and Hungarian goulash.

But instead they find … Eritrean sourdough pancake bread. Afghan pie. Syrian sweets.

“It’s a little bit difficult, because not all the ingredients are available in Hungary. So a few of them are coming from Austria or other countries. But we can do it!” laughs Judit Peter, the bartender and director of special projects at Kisuzem, a trendy, bohemian bar in Budapest’s historic Jewish quarter. “People really like it. We’ve served 80 portions a day — and that’s quite a lot for a small kitchen like ours.”

Kisuzem is one of 10 Budapest eateries that have been serving up food from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia — in solidarity with migrants and refugees streaming into Hungary from those countries. It’s all part of the Körítés food festival, which aims to combat xenophobia through cuisine.

Budapest Foodies Hope Cuisine Can Help Heal Anti-Migrant Prejudice

Photo: Lauren Frayer for NPR