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Czech guláš with dumplings recipe

Guláš – Czech Beef Goulash

An authentic recipe for hovězí guláš (beef stew or goulash). Slow simmered and done right, guláš is characterized by rich, hearty color, aromatic flavor, and insanely delicious taste.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Czech
Keyword goulash, guláš
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 and ½ lbs (680 g) beef chuck or shank
  • 1 and ½ lbs (680 g) onion
  • 3 Tbsp pork lard
  • 1 tps caraway seeds crushed or ground
  • salt
  • pepper ground
  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika ground
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cups (720 ml) water or beef stock
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram


  • Peel the onion and chop it roughly. Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces.
  • In a pot with a thick bottom (I use heavy iron cast dutch oven), melt the lard over higher heat. Fry onion until almost brown. Stir frequently to avoid burn.
  • Add beef chunks and fry them from all sides until a brown crust is created. Stir frequently, reduce heat if necessary.
  • Turn the stove on medium heat, add caraway seeds, salt, ground pepper, sweet paprika, and tomato paste. Fry for 2 minutes while stirring. The base can’t get burnt, else guláš will taste bitter. Add 1-2 spoons of water to prevent burning.
  • Pour in water, so the meat is almost covered. Add bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a minimum, cover with a lid and allow the beef to simmer for 1,5-2 hours or until soft.
  • Add some water when the level of liquid in the pot falls. When the guláš contains too much water, cook it uncovered at the end. The liquid will be reduced, and guláš gains richer flavor and nicely blushing color. Stir occasionally.
  • When the beef is soft, remove bay leaves, add dried marjoram, stir. Season with salt to your liking. Cover with a lid and let it set aside for 10 minutes.


  1. Makes 4 yields.
  2. Serve with bread dumplings.
  3. Add the marjoram to guláš at the end of cooking, off heat.
  4. There is one unspoken secret: Czech guláš always tastes better the next day!
  5. Instead of water, cook the beef in beef stock, the flavor of guláš will be even richer.