Czech Goulash with Dumplings version 1

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

Czech beef goulash

Goulash is a stew usually with beef, peppers and paprika and it originally comes from Hungary. This is also very popular outside of Hungary in countries like Czech Republic, Austria,Germany, Poland and many Slavic countries. It is also popular in Canada and the USA because of the immigrants from these countries. Doing a quick search I found that all these countries have different varieties of Goulash and are served with all sorts of pastas,rice, and vegetables. I also found that Goulash is eaten in Italy, though I have never seen or tried an Italian Goulash. But today I am going to be concentrating on one version of Czech Gouláš (Goulash).

A typical Czech Goulash found in many homes and restaurants is cooked with beef, paprika and served with bread dumplings called Knedliky. Goulash seems to be one of those dishes that has many varieties and one where every family has a unique recipe they like and use. One day I had two Czech friends giving me recipes and disagreeing on what spices to us in their Goulash. I can tell you from personal experience that just going to different restaurants in Prague serving traditional Czech cuisine, you will be served and taste different versions of Goulash. I have had Goulash cooked with peppers, served with potato pancakes, some spicy versions, some using caraway, some with potatoes, some with beans, some with cabbage, some with beer added to the stew..... well you get the point.

This first version of Czech Gouláš (Goulash) I'm sharing is the first one I learned to cook and it incorporates some typical Czech spices. In the coming months I will post other versions of Goulash to share with you, and who knows maybe it will be come one of your favorites too. Traditionally lard is used but I don't like to use it and I replace it with vegetable oil. In the next post I will show you how to make the Knedliky ( bread dumplings) .

czech goulash ingredients
Goulash Ingredients: serves 4
600 grams (1.33 lbs) stewing beef
10 grams (2 TBS) tomato paste

15 ml (1 TBS) vegetable oil
1 beef bouillon cube
3 small bell peppers (red,yellow and green ) sliced thinly
3 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, chopped
30 ml ( 2 TBS) ground sweet paprika
15 ml ( 1 TBS) ground caraway seed
5 ml ( 1 tsp) salt
5 ml ( 1 tsp) marjoram
28 grams ( 2TBS) flour

1. (The first thing I like to do is boil the beef for about an hour to get it really tender. This is a good tip specially if the beef is a bit tough or fatty. If you do this reserve the stock to use later.) Slice the peppers and prepare the garlic and onion, set aside. Cut the raw beef into small chunks, add the oil to a hot pot and brown until it cooks throughly. If the beef starts to stick add a little bit of water to prevent it from burning. Under medium heat stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic , cook until the onion is soft. ( If you boiled the beef you can add it to the onion and garlic after the onion has browned. )Next add all the spices except the bouillon cube and flour, mix all the ingredients and combine throughly. Only stir for a minute or two and make sure the heat is not to hot because you don't want the paprika to burn and develop a bitter taste.
2. Add the bell peppers and stir for a minute, if you don't want the peppers too soft or mushy you can hold off and add them later on. Next add 1 cup or 250 ml of water and the beef bouillon, stir and combine well with other ingredients. You can add more or less water to your liking, depending on how much sauce you want,and remember the flour will be used to thicken the sauce. I like to add about 2 cups or 500 ml of water because I like to cook or stew my Goulash for a long time( 1 hour) to make the beef very tender and to have all the spices and flavors combine well. The longer the sauce stews the better the taste. But if you're in a hurry let it cook for at least 30 minutes.

3. The last step is to thicken the stew, you'll need a bowl, a ladle or large spoon and a whish. Put the flour in a bowl and scoop a ladle full of the sauce, try not to scoop out the beef or peppers, or you can use tap water instead. Little by little add some of the sauce/water and whisk briskly to prevent lumps, keep whisking and add as much sauce/water as you need to make a roux.

4. Pour the roux into the Goulash, and slowly stir to combine. Stew for another 8-10 minutes making sure the ingredients are well combined. Taste the Goulash and if needed add more salt. I usually end up adding a pinch more of caraway and majoram, and paprika I end up adding another spoonful. But this is up to you and your taste.

Goulash with dumplings
Serve with sliced bread dumplings ( Knedliky) and you also can garnish with raw sliced onions. Czech Goulash goes great with a large cold lager beer like, Pilsner Urquell or my favorite beer Budějovický Budvar the real "Budweiser" beer.

Czech Goulash with dumplings and beer


Cookin' Canuck November 19, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

This looks very tempting for a cold winter's night. Lots of wonderful colors and flavors.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2009 at 10:57 PM  

Looks really great and delicious! I'm excited to see the other versions you'll post in the future!

Divina Pe November 20, 2009 at 3:19 AM  

I love dish. I just don't have any caraway seeds. But it's not the same without the caraway seeds. I will look for them as this is really good.

Jessie November 20, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

looks delicious and very satisfying!

singerinkitchen November 20, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

Sounds VERY flavorful! Thanks for the temptation! :)

Robin, David, Simon and Leo November 20, 2009 at 12:55 PM  

Those dumplings look fantastic. Beautiful presentation.

Anonymous,  November 20, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

Nice pics and dish. Looks hearty.

Enzie Shahmiri November 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM  

I love Goulash and the spicier it is the better. I will need to try your recipe!

Enzie via Sur La Table Cuisine

Nancy November 20, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

Hi Dara (Cookin' Canuck) ~ It is perfect on cold days, Prague is usually cold so no wonder it's a popular dish here.

Hi Shelly~ Thanks, yeah me too I'm trying to make a list of the different recipes to share with you guys.

Hi Divina~ I agree about the caraway that's way I shared this one first. Hope you find them.

Hi Jessie ~Thank you:)

Hi Noelle~ Yes Goulash is a very tasty dish. Maybe you'll try it soon:)

Hi Vegetable matter~ Thank you:) Czech dumplings are really good and there are several varieties that I'll also share.

Hi Alta~ Thank you :) Yes it's quite filling.

Hi Enzie~ Yes spicy Goulash is great. If you want to make my recipe spicy you can add some hot paprika or cayenne to your taste, I have and it turns out great:)

Alina November 20, 2009 at 6:02 PM  

Oh yeah, this goulash with knedliki looks very authentic! *thumbsup*

Caitlin November 20, 2009 at 7:03 PM  

This looks so tempting! I have never had goulash, I am putting it on my "to cook" list right now.

Mae November 22, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

I like that goulash and beer stein pic! I find goulash one of those perfect cold weather foods. I really want some now...

Kelly November 22, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

I absolutely adore ghoulash and have made it several times this past year (vegan-ized) but remember it fondly from my childhood, also--this looks delicious! Thanks!

Nancy November 23, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

Alina~ Thanks:)
Caitilin~ That's too bad and you should really try it soon.
Mae~ Thank you:) It is perfect to warm you and fill you up.
Kelly~ I've never had vegetarian Goulash but would love to try it. I need to see if you posted a recipe for it.

Olive November 29, 2009 at 12:17 PM  

this is mouth-watering.. I love stews with rice :)

lubos March 22, 2010 at 9:24 PM  

Hey Nancy, you seem to be really good at cooking Czech food! Your dishes look great! In case you are looking for more inspirations, checkout It's a site I started less than a year ago where I post recipes for Slovak food (very similar to Czech food) - in fact you'll find recipes for all these three dishes you have here. Yours definitely look prettier though.

Nancy March 26, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

Hi Lubos,
Yes I am also familiar with some Slovakian food. I'll check out your link.

Anonymous,  June 18, 2011 at 8:10 AM  

Meu filho Ânderson nos enviou esta receita dos deuses e agora estamos nos preparando para degustar esta maravilha da cozinha húngara nos próximos dias. Obrigada!!
Rondônia - Brasil.

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