Viennese Beef Goulash

When is a stew not a stew? When it comes from another country, of course! Yes, I know that basically, they all start out with cubes of meat, and some add vegetables but that’s where the big changes come in. Every country – really every culture – has its own way of making “stew” or whatever they call it – different. The French use red wine…the Greeks use olives …and the Viennese?

Well, while Vienna is best known for its waltzes and its pastry, try this Beef Goulash and then waltz away to the pastry table!

Viennese Beef Goulash

  • 2 – 3 large onions, sliced
  • 1/2 c shortening (some bacon fat gives extra flavor and is traditional)
  • 3 – 4 lbs. beef stew meat, cubed and trimmed of all fat
  • 1-1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram
  • 2 garlic cloves,  minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 c plus 2 Tbsp water, divided
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
  • Cooked wide noodles, optional but traditional

This is easiest and best made in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one,  stovetop instructions are below.

PRESSURE COOKER: Using  6 qt. pressure cooker, sauté onion in fat for 5 minutes. Add beef cubes (they don’t have to be browned but can be if desired), caraway, marjoram, garlic, salt and peppercorns. Add 2 cups water, cover and cook at 10 lbs. pressure for 25 minutes. Combine ketchup, paprika and remaining 2 Tbsp. water. Add to pressure cooker, raise pressure to 15 lbs. and cook for another 5 minutes. Add additional paprika afterwards, if desired.

Serve over hot, lightly buttered noodles.

STOVE TOP: Use a 6 qt. Dutch oven, sauté onions as above; add all ingredients through 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Add paprika/ketchup/water mixture from above, add and simmer an additional 10 – 20 minutes.

This is wonderful when made…but is even better if made 24-36 hours in advance and reheated before serving.

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