My parents had a very close group of friends and I grew up thinking they were relatives. It was Aunt Penny & Uncle Reggie, Aunt Wanda & Uncle Bill, Aunt Millie & Uncle Dave… I was shocked to learn that they weren’t actually aunts and uncles. But they were loved as much as any blood relative and they taught me so much. One thing I learned was how to make Aunt Millie’s Hungarian Goulash!
Aunt Millie wasn’t Hungarian but she wasn’t afraid to cook different types of food. Of course she made some changes to recipes she discovered but that’s true of every cook. Even in Hungary goulash isn’t the same dish from one house to another. And every Hungarian mother swears hers is the authentic one!
Aunt Millie’s Hungarian Goulash is pretty close to a true Hungarian goulash from what I’ve seen.
The most important thing, in my opinion, is that it’s a really tasty, filling meal that isn’t expensive. I use cheap chuck roast to make it. It cooks low and slow so the meat gets really tender.
I cut up about 1 pound of the chuck roast. It’s just for the two of us so that’s more than enough meat. You can double or triple the amount depending on the size of your family. When the boys were home I always had to cook two full chuck roasts to have enough! I season the beef with salt and pepper to taste.
Next I heat a couple of tablespoons oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven. When the oil is nice and hot I add the beef in batches and brown it. If you put too much meat in at once it steams rather than browning so I’m sure to give it enough room. As each batch browns I pull it out. I’m going to use the same Dutch oven to cook the onions and garlic.
I use one medium size onion and give it a rough chop. Then I toss the onions in the Dutch oven and cook them until they’re slightly browned. While it’s cooking I season the onions with salt and pepper.
Next I add 2 large cloves of minced garlic in with the onions. I let the garlic cook for about a minute, being careful to stir it. You definitely don’t want bitter, burned garlic in the goulash!
As soon as the garlic is fragrant I sprinkle 2 1/2 teaspoons of paprika over the onions and garlic. Then I give it a good stir. You have to be careful not to burn the paprika so stir it just long enough to get it well-distributed.
Return the beef to the Dutch oven and add a cup of beef broth. Give it a good stir to combine the ingredients. I season again with a little salt and pepper.
Since I use chuck roast I let this cook over a very low heat for about 40 minutes then add chopped carrots. I use one really large carrot for the two of us. I also add about 3 potatoes cut in chunks at this time. I cover the pot and let it cook over low heat for another 40 minutes. Since this dish has a lot of vegetables I taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid of seasoning Aunt Millie’s Hungarian Goulash! I also add a little water if the liquid in the pot is getting low at this point.
I add 1/2 a large green pepper that I’ve rough chopped and cover the pot again. I’ll let this continue to cook over a very low heat for another 30 minutes or so. Then I check the meat to make sure it’s tender.
Finally I turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf, then stir in a couple of teaspoons of sour cream. I don’t add too much sour cream because I’m also going to put a dollop of sour cream on the finished goulash.
I serve Aunt Millie’s Hungarian Goulash in deep bowls topped with a bit of sour cream and a little parsley. This meal is rich, hearty, and so very good! It was a perfect meal after a hard day of construction!
Aunt Millie’s Hungarian Goulash
Aunt Millie's Hungarian Goulash is rich, hearty, and full of flavor! Your family will love this delicious meal and you'll be proud to serve it!
- 2 -3 pound chuck roast
- 2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or use canola oil)
- 1 large onion, rough chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 – 3 large carrots, rough chopped
- 4 large potatoes, cut in chunks
- 1 large green pepper, rough chopped
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- Salt and pepper
- Water as needed
- 1 tablespoon sour cream + plus more to top served portions
- Parsley (optional for garnish)
- Cut beef chuck roast into 1 inch pieces.
- Chop 1large onion, 2 -3 carrots, 4 potatoes, and 1 green pepper into large dices.
- Mince 2 large cloves garlic.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add beef pieces when oil is hot and brown on all sides. Brown beef in batches so as not to steam the meat.
- Remove beef to a large plate when it is browned and set aside.
- Add more oil to Dutch oven if needed and cook onions until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper while cooking.
- Add minced garlic to onions and cook, stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika over onions and garlic, stirring constantly, until well distributed. Be careful not to burn paprika.
- Return beef to Dutch oven and stir.
- Pour 2 cups beef broth over beef and onions and stir.
- Add 1 bay leaf to pot.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook over very low heat for 40 minutes then add carrots and potatoes.
- Season again with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue cooking, covered, over very low heat for an additional 40 minutes.
- Add chopped green pepper and cook, covered, for an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat, discard bay leaf, and stir in 1 tablespoon sour cream.
- Serve in deep bowls. Top with additional sour cream and garnish with parsley (optional).