This simple German Goulash recipe uses wholesome ingredients and a slow simmer to achieve the perfect melt in your mouth tender chunks of meat result. With the sweetness of onions, the hint of paprika, and the richness only a thick gravy can offer, this Gulashsuppe is perfect on a cold wintery night, served with a nice slice of crusty bread to soak up all the flavors.
This German Goulash is a simple, cold-weather meal that can satisfy any palate!
This easy recipe provides a thick and hearty beef stew that is ideal as a one-pot meal, for a weekend meal prep, or a celebration meal, as this is a flexible recipe that can be twisted and turned to preference.
This hearty German Goulash doesn’t claim to be the one and only authentic version, as this recipe is different from town to town in Europe and has hundreds of versions, however, this is the one I was brought up with since I come from a small Italian town on the border with Slovenia, which was under the Austro-Hungarian Empire for a very long time.
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Ingredients for German Goulash without Tomato
- Diced Beef: Beef chuck is the best choice when looking for the perfect meat. This cut is usually chosen for slow-cooking, braising, stewing, or pot roasting, as it has a very rich flavor while being quite lean; the lean part of the chuck is rich in collagen that breaks down as it simmers, making the beef cubes extra tender, absolutely perfect for German Goulash.
- Onions: Thinly chopped onions in this recipe will dissolve and break down during the long cooking time on low to medium heat, creating a rich gravy that hugs the meat. Although this recipe calls for a lot of it, the onion will add depth but not sting to this goulash soup.
- Bell Peppers: There are different traditional recipes for this stew and this one uses a delicious one-to-one ratio of beef, onions, and peppers, which are the three main ingredients for this Gulashsuppe. This little addition will play a great part when paired with the richness of the sweet or hot paprika.
- Paprika: Although different spices can go (and traditionally went) into the making of this beef stew, paprika is the one you should use if you had to make a choice.
- Salt and Pepper: Traditional seasoning.
- Oil: Sunflower, vegetable, or olive oil will all work well.
How to make German Goulash without Tomato [Step-by-Step with Pictures]
- Chop the beef chuck, peppers, and onions to the desired sizes and set aside.
- Warm up the oil in a large pot and add the onion to it.
- Mix the onions well and put a lid on the saucepan while reducing the heat to medium-low; allow then the onions to soften but not burn.
- Add the beef to the onions and mix well; brown the meat on all sides.
- Add the bell pepper cubes to the browned beef and onion; mix well and cover the pan with a lid. This will allow the peppers and onions to release their juices and create the delicious gravy base for the German Goulash.
- After about 10 minutes, add the paprika, salt, and cracked black pepper and mix; allow the spices to cook stirring occasionally.
- Add enough water to cover the goulash soup, but do not add too much of it; cover the pan again and allow this easy Goulash recipe to simmer for 2 hours on a low flame. Enjoy!
People also ask [FAQs]
Goulash is a classic recipe of stew or soup made of meat and choice of vegetables, seasoned with different spices, such as marjoram, paprika, and caraway seed flavoring.
This hearty soup originally originated in Hungary, however, it has become a very popular meal all over Europe, with each area having its variation in terms of meat, vegetables, and spices used.
German Goulash is made of diced beef chuck, onions, and paprika as main ingredients; this stew can be turned into a richer soup or one-pot meal with the addition of different vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and peas, as well as more stock or water to the base.
Many like to use malty German dark lager while simmering the Goulash, to add some local tones to the dish.
Goulash originates from the Hungarian word Golya which means cowboy or herder.
Rindergulasch is a beef stew in Germany.
Hungarian Goulash is a traditional dish that uses diced beef, onions, spices, and no tomato, while American Goulash is a pasta-based dish that uses ground beef (minced), elbow macaroni, and loads of tomato.
Goulash is a hearty stew made of vegetables, meat, and spices, while Stroganoff is a pan-fried dish that uses mushrooms, steak, and onions served in a white sauce made of sour cream and brandy.
~~ If you like mushrooms and meat recipes, you should definitely give this Chicken and Mushroom Recipe a go!
Beef chuck is the best choice when cooking this meal, as it is very lean and it is rich in collagen, which breaks down while the stew simmers, making the meat extremely tender.
Should you not find beef chuck, the top round is an excellent second choice for great results.
How to store Goulash?
You can store your German Goulash in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, ensure it has completely cooled off before sealing it and refrigerating it; freezing Goulash works the same way and it will stay good for up to 3 months.
Fully defrost your beef stew before reheating it to serve.
What to serve with Goulash?
Goulash is an excellent stew or soup that can be served with multiple side dishes!
- Potatoes: boiled, mashed, or roasted all work well! Try these Leek Mashed Potatoes or mashed potatoes without milk.
- Cabbage: sauteed cabbage is an excellent side dish!
- Roasted Vegetables: roasted root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips pair well.
- Pasta: any shape works, however, fusilli or rigatoni (or pasta with similar shapes) hold on to the sauce.
- Gnocchi: simply boiled potato gnocchi or pan-fried gnocchi (like the ones in my pictures!) work a treat.
- Polenta: soft or grilled polenta is a staple in the North of Italy and you should give them a try.
- Spaetzle and dumpling: very European, perfect for this dish! Try them out with bread dumplings or potato dumplings (like gnocchi).
- Sauerkraut or red cabbage: the perfect veggie pairing with its tanginess, sounds amazing, right!?
- Bread: because there’s hardly anything better than a nice slice of bread to soak up all of the juice from this melt in your mouth tender beef Goulash.
- Sour Cream: a dollop of sour cream on top of a bowl of Gulashsuppe works wonders with that little hint of tanginess. If you are out of sour cream, here you will find many substitutes and a simple homemade sour cream recipe.
Tips and Tricks
This recipe is extremely straightforward, however, there are a few good tricks I’d like to share to make this dish perfect and, if wanted, personal.
- Paprika: Hungarian paprika is the best choice for this dish as it has a very rich flavor, while also giving the stew a great color. Should you not have it, sweet paprika is a great option or, if you want to dare, some smoked paprika can offer a great dish too!
- Marjoram, Caraway Seeds, and Bay Leaves are great spices to add to your simple German Goulash, with the caraway seeds being extremely popular in the Hungarian version. Add some at the same time as the paprika, should you wish. Should you wish to add bay leaves, these are quite flavorful, so just one bay leaf will be enough for this recipe.
- Red wine and Beer: For a richer, more decadent result, add some red wine or beer to your German Goulash when adding the water for simmering, but remember that the quality of the drink matters. When using red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice, while if you are opting for beer, then a malty German dark lager will offer that extra kick.
- Beef Broth or Stock: Just like the option above, should you want it and have it, you can use some beef broth instead of water, however, this recipe is extremely rich and tasty without it. If you still wish to use it, make sure to use good-quality beef stock.
- Clarified Butter (Ghee): If instead of oil you fancy a change, start your stew with some clarified butter instead. Many use vegetable oil instead, but it doesn't have the same richness, in my opinion.
- Make it a one-pot meal: You can turn this into a full meal by adding some more water to the stew, some carrots, frozen peas, or potatoes to it; ensure each ingredient is added at the right time as they all have different cooking times.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato or tomato paste was not originally used to make goulash (nor were peppers or paprika), however, should you wish to add a tangy yet sweet note to your stew, then a spoon of tomato paste at the same time as the paprika will do the trick.
- Too thin: If you have added too much water or beef broth to your stew and want a thicker consistency, simply remove the lid once the meat has fully cooked and continue simmering the Goulash on a low flame and stir occasionally and it will thicken as the excess water evaporates.
Variations from the world for a hearty beef stew
All dishes have regional variations, think of vegetable soup, barbecues, and curries, so I am sure it comes as no surprise that also Goulash does. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- German Goulash: Just like this one I prepare, it is a proper soup, rather than a stew. Many like to add a little wine while cooking, but it is not necessary.
- Italian Goulash: Eaten especially in the Northern regions (which is where I come from), this version often uses red wine and adds local herbs, such as rosemary and marjoram and it is mostly served with gnocchi or soft polenta.
- Slovenian Goulash: Usually served with mashed potatoes, the Slovenians tend to indulge in at least two types of meat.
- Hungarian Goulash: The traditional, the one and only original version is normally served as a soup.
- Czech Goulash: It is sometimes made with pork rather than beef and is served with freshly chopped onions and dumplings.
- Croatian Goulash: Given the abundance of venison and wild boar, these meats are often used instead of beef; many add also some mushrooms, such as porcini, as well as pancetta or bacon.
- Polish Goulash: This dish is mostly served with egg noodles or mashed potatoes and it is an extremely popular dish all over the country.
- Serbian Goulash: Depending on personal choice, this is made with pork, beef, or veal and it is mostly served with noodles or mashed potatoes, like in Poland.
- American Goulash: This is the most different version of Goulash, as it uses ground beef (minced beef) rather than chunks and it is cooked with plenty of tomatoes and elbow macaroni.
This easy German Goulash recipe is a beauty: perfect for a crowd or meal prepping, freezes well, and reheats that is a pleasure, becoming richer the day after.
Turn this flexible recipe into a one-pot meal by making it your own and enjoy it with a nice slice of crusty bread, what a treat!
Fancy something easy yet cozy?
The Best German Goulash without Tomatoes
- 450 g Beef diced in chunks of similar size
- 450 g Onion thinly sliced
- 450 g Bell Peppers diced in cubes of similar size
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 2 tablespoon Oil Sunflower, or Extra Virgin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Start by chopping the beef chuck, peppers, and onions to the desired sizes and set them aside. You can find the beef precut or get it cut by the butcher.
- Warm up the oil in a large saucepan, for which you also have a lid, and add the onion to it.
- Mix the onions well and put a lid on the saucepan while reducing the heat to medium-low; allow the onions to soften but not burn. This should take around 5 minutes.
- Add the diced beef to the onions and mix well; brown the beef on all sides.
- Next, add the peppers to the beef and onion; mix well and cover the pan with a lid. This step will allow the peppers and onions to release their juices and create a delicious gravy base for the German Goulash.
- After about 10 minutes, once the vegetables have released the water, add the paprika, salt, and cracked black pepper to the saucepot and mix.
- Lastly, add enough water to cover the beef, but do not add too much of it; cover the pan again and allow this easy Goulash recipe to simmer for 2 hours on a low flame.
- Adjust the seasoning before serving. Enjoy!
To turn this recipe into a Gulashsuppe, you can add some more water; should you prefer, feel free to use some beef stock, beer or wine instead.
To store your Goulash, allow it to fully cool down before storing it in the fridge in an airtight container; the beef stew will keep well this way for up to four days.