Goulash— A pot of stew made with boneless beef that is slow-cooked in spicy tomato sauce with seasonal vegetables. Ladle some over a bowl of steaming rice for an early dinner on a cosy evening!
For my 30th birthday, we stayed at the Taj, Dubai and breakfasted a lot from Tesoro restaurant. A day before checking out, I realized it was a Peruvian cuisine place. So planned to stick around to try their lunch. I was so hungry that I skipped soup and salads, went straight to the main course, and served myself a big portion of white rice and Goulash that the Chef recommended. It was so good I couldn't stop raving about it throughout that day.
Update 2020 October: I came back to this recipe and decided to give it a makeover. I learnt that Goulash is primarily a Hungarian dish. I have no idea why the Chef in that Peruvian restaurant called it Goulash for a Peru-themed lunch. Maybe Goulash is a general term for "meat and veg stew". I hunted google for Peruvian stew recipes and found quite a few similar recipes that use aji Amarillo paste and lots of cilantro. So I did make a few tweaks but will still call this Goulash which I feel is more appropriate than calling this Peruvian Beef stew without the main ingredients.
What is Goulash?
Goulash is a delicious stew or soup made with meat and seasonal vegetables. A common meal predominantly eaten in most parts of Europe and also is one of the national dishes of Hungary. As we loved the Emirati chicken stew, Dejaj Salona, I was sure we will love this too.
- cooking oil
- boneless beef cubes
- bay leaf
- Produce: garlic cloves, red onion, tomato, carrot, potato, red pumpkin, red bell pepper, fresh coriander leaves, green peas and green chillies
- tomato paste
- Ground spices: hot or smoked paprika and cumin powder
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make it?
How I made this Peruvian inspired Beef Goulash?
First, I washed, drained and pat-dried the beef cubes. I like to wash the meat if there is too much blood. Next, I seasoned the beef chunks with salt and pepper. I had my sauce pot heating with some oil. You will be using the same pot for the stew too.
I added the seasoned beef cubes in small batches to the hot oil to sear it until browned on all sides. Next, the bay leaf, minced garlic and onions go into the pot along with the beef. I saute those until they become softened and translucent.
I then added the tomato paste and all the vegetables along with the seasonings like salt, cumin and paprika. At this point, I go ahead and prepare the coriander leaves water by blending some fresh leaves with water and adding it to the saucepot. Gently simmered until the beef is tender and the sauce slightly thickened.
I garnish the beef goulash with any leftover coriander leaves and green chillies and serve over steamed white rice. What more can be a comfort food?
What cut of beef is best for goulash?
As this stew is slow-cooked, buy the cheapest boneless cut you can find. You will be amazed at how this humble piece of beef will render a tender and flavourful stock by the end of slow cooking. Thanks to the bay leaf and coriander water.
So, this updated Beef Goulash recipe is inspired by Peruvian Seco de Carne. In Peru, it seems this kind of stew is always served with white garlicky rice, but I have served it with plain white steamed rice.
Like any stew, it tastes better the next day so I made mine in the morning and by dinner, we had a flavour-packed Beef Goulash!
Looking for recipes using boneless beef chunks? Try these:
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 500 grams boneless beef chunks washed, pat dried and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves crushed and grated
- 1 large red onion diced finely
- 1 large tomato chopped roughly
- 1 carrot cut into roundels
- 1 large potato chopped into large chunks
- 100 grams pumpkin chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped into large pieces
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder (use red chilli powder if you can't source this)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ cup Fresh coriander leaves blended with ½ cup of water
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup frozen or boiled green peas
- 2 green chillies chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a deep saucepot and brown the seasoned beef chunks in small batches. Sear the beef cubes on all sides as this will ensure that the meat remains juicy inside. Sear until meat juices start to release.2 tablespoon cooking oil, 500 grams boneless beef chunks
- Add the bay leaf, minced garlic, and chopped onions and sauté until translucent.1 bay leaf, 3 garlic cloves, 1 large red onion
- Add the chopped tomato, tomato paste, and chopped vegetables along with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin powder. Stir and cook for a minute.1 large tomato, 1 carrot, 1 large potato, 100 grams pumpkin, 1 bell pepper, 1 teaspoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon paprika powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- Stir in the coriander water and more water to cover the stew and bring this to a boil.½ cup Fresh coriander leaves, 1 cup water
- Adjust the salt and spices and then cook covered for 40 minutes to an hour on low flame or until the beef and all the vegetables are cooked (Do occasionally stir the stew to prevent it from sticking or burning)Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the frozen green peas for about 5 minutes before the end of cooking and simmer for a few minutes.⅓ cup frozen or boiled green peas
- Stir in the chopped green chillies and serve warm with steamed white rice!2 green chillies