Authentic Austrian Beef Goulash

How to make an Authentic Austrian Beef Goulash.

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • 2 1/4 lbs (1 kg) whole boneless beef shank
  • 1 3/4 lbs (800 g) yellow onions
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds or ground caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (20 g) tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons (30 g) sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika or a pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar (any will do)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • Clarified butter or vegetable oil


  1. Cut beef into 2-inch (5-6 cm) cubes.
  2. Only trim off thick outside fat, in case there is any.
  3. The interior fat will be rendered out during cooking which makes the beef tender and the sauce smooth and thick.
  4. Peel onions and cut them in half, lengthwise.
  5. Cut into thin and even half-moon slices to ensure they all cook evenly later.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon clarified butter or oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
  7. Add beef and sear, turning occasionally, until beef is browned, about 5-10 minutes.
  8. The pot shouldn’t be crowded or the meat won’t brown nicely.
  9. Rather add beef in two batches.
  10. Add more oil if needed.
  11. Transfer beef to a large plate and set aside.
  12. Add a tablespoon clarified butter or oil and the sliced onions to the pot.
  13. Cook for 8-10 minutes over high heat, stirring steadily.
  14. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are golden brown and soft, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
  15. Add tomato paste, marjoram, caraway seeds and paprika to the onions.
  16. Stir for about 20 seconds.
  17. Do not roast longer since paprika will get bitter if roasted for too long.
  18. To be on the safe side, you can add all the spices except paprika.
  19. Roast them for ½ to 1 minute.
  20. Now add paprika and stir for a few seconds.
  21. Immediately add vinegar, followed by a cup (240 ml) of water.
  22. Stir well and let the onion-mix reduce until almost all liquids have evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  23. Add another cup of cold water (for easier blending) and blend using an (immersion) blender, then return to the pot.
  24. The sauce will be orange but will darken the longer it cooks.
  25. Add salt, bay leaves and beef with any accumulated juices to the pot.
  26. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and return to a simmer over low heat.
  27. Only if the beef cooks low and slow it will get tender.
  28. This will take about 3 hours.
  29. The sauce will get darker in colour and it will thicken slightly.
  30. Season to taste with salt.
  31. The goulash is ready now.
  32. Serve and enjoy!
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