Beef Brisket Goulash

January 10, 2012


Brisket Goulash

I’ve been playing around with Hungarian goulash recipes and come up with a version using melty beef brisket, which I have to say turned out to be quite sexy. Point your cursor at this little linky for the recipe.

[EDIT: the AoL site is no longer active so please find the recipe below]

Beef Brisket Goulash

(serves 4-6)

1 x 1kg beef brisket, in one piece
2 onions, sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3 tablespoons un-smoked paprika
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 bell peppers (not green ones), sliced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Beef stock (about 450-500ml)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
A good splash of red wine
Sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon
Oil, for cooking

Bread, to serve

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan which is large enough to hold the brisket. When hot, sear the brisket until it is brown all over, then set aside on a plate. Add the onions to the pan along with the chopped fresh chilli and let cook over a low-medium heat until the onions are starting to colour – about 10 minutes.
Add the paprika and caraway seeds and cook, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes. Add the red wine and let it bubble up and cook down for a few minutes more, then add the peppers and tomatoes.

Add the brisket back to the pan, along with the vinegar and just enough of the beef stock to almost cover the meat. Season with salt and pepper, then bring to the boil, put a lid on and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the brisket is falling apart. Shred the meat into the sauce.

Serve in bowls with finely chopped chives, grated lemon zest and sour cream on top.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Andy K January 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I am waiting for a variety of Hungarian paprikas in order to experiment with my own versions. This place has loads:

    I’ve not started yet but have been doing some preliminary reseach. Out of interest… Where did you start looking for recipes? There’s quite a range of opinions on various things like the onion:meat ratio (often higher than yours), the cooking medium (lard), marjoram etc…

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Hi Andy, thanks for the link. To be honest, with the AoL column, I have to keep things very simple indeed and things like marjoram would probably put people off making it. If it was for this blog however…different story.

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    Reply Helen January 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Actually, Andy, that should be THREE onions in the recipe! I will have it amended!

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    Reply Alicia (Foodycat) January 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    And now I am getting grief from my husband because I never cook anything for him that looks as good as this!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Ha ha! Well that’s a bit cheeky of him! Perhaps he should cook it for you instead 😉

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    Reply zuko January 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Yes! This is exactly the kind of big, winter-warming meaty thing I was looking for at the weekend… brain went blank and I opted for a hunk of gammon, but this is going straight on the to-do list.

    Do you think you a bit of harissa paste would go well in there too?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      I say, to hell with authenticity – sling it in and see what happens!

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    Reply Catering Supplies January 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Oh my this look good, Is that a little sour cream in the corner? Nice.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Oh yeah, sour cream is essential!

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    Reply KSalty January 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Auggh that beef looks so soft and tender and good. Why did I give up red meat for Jan and is it too late to change my resolution?!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      You make the rules so you can change em!

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    Reply Shu Han January 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    That looks sooo good. I ‘m a fan of anything slow cooked and tender almost to the point of falling to pieces, this totally fits the bill. yup, and agree that the nice blob of sour cream there is essential 😉

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Absolutely ESSENTIAL!

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    Reply Meatball Micky January 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Top banana, Helen! I’ve been fantasizing about beef brisket of late… must be the winter. I was going to do a slow roast, but sod that… I’m making goulash this weekend. I’m not sure I agree about smoked paprika, I’m a fan of it myself. I think a bit sparingly could add depth to a dish like this. Saying that, I do like my food rather well seasoned…

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Hey Micky. Sling a bit of smoked paprika in! ROCK AND ROLL!

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    Reply Meatball Micky January 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I will Helen! Rock and roll goulash… I like it 😉

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Brill. Let me know how it goes.

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    Reply Pilsbury January 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Just devoured this for tea, really really scrummy

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

      I’m really glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.

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    Reply Meatball Micky January 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Just had this for my dinner – yum! I used a bit of smoked paprika, a few bay leaves, crushed green peppercorns and shit loads of garlic as well 🙂

    Brisket is perfect for January, cheap and hearty. Thanks Helen.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 16, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Great, really pleased you liked it Micky! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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    Reply zuko January 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Well, this was bloody lovely! We’re decorating our kitchen/dining room at the moment and this was the perfect reward after an afternoon of manual graft yesterday.

    I didn’t use harissa in the end, as it was looking a bit off, and I also substituted cumin seeds for caraway, and also used those sweet pointed peppers instead of bell (special offer 🙂 )

    Thank god I made a triple portion 😀

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Brill. Nice work on the substitutions! I bet the cumin took it off in a not at all unpleasant different direction.

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    Reply zuko January 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Hard to tell really, it was down to necessity (couldn’t find caraway) rather than choice, and a quick google gave me a toss-up between cumin and fennel. In the end, what’s important is that it tasted of sweetness, paprika and MEAT.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      You are a man who has his priorities STRAIGHT! Nice.

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    Reply s January 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    jesus, only you can make brown food look good in a photo, Helen. another brilliant one from you. x s

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Ha ha thanks Shayma! Yeah, brown food is VERY tricky to photograph x

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    Reply Elsey and Bent | London fruit and veg January 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    wow that is awesome!! definitely on the menu before the weekend!! Glad I stumbled across your blog! Regards.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Cheers! Hope you like it. Let me know what you think

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    Reply Mariah Stanford loves this goulash recipe! February 2, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Great goulash recipe! Made it last night. I cooked the recipe to feed me and hubby. In mine i added tomato paste, it definitely makes for a nice thicker consistency. I also used chili flavored diced tomatoes and added a dash of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. YUM!

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    Reply Leigh February 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I finally got around to making this one last night and now I have done it won’t take me so long to get round to making it again. Would it be wrong to make it two nights running? Perhaps. So instead I’ll alternate this receipe with the brown stew chicken, both fantastic recipes for this chilly weather. Thanks for another great recipe Helen.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen February 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

      So glad you liked it Leigh! Thanks for letting me know, too. I still have a load of the brisket in my freezer, which I had forgotten about. Wahey!

  • Avatar
    Reply Andy K February 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Following up from my original post… I reckon this guy nailed it:

    What is truly amazing is quite how much better it tastes 24-48 hours later. I mean – it’s really unexpectedly different.


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    Reply Bryan April 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Is there another link for the recipe ? The link just goes to the huffington post and I can’t find the recipe anywhere!!! Please help!!!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Bryan, have pasted recipe below for you. Enjoy!

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    Reply Bryan April 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks, but I still do not see anything. Would you be able to email it?
    Thanks again, we greatly appreciate it!!!!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      The recipe is under the post Bryan. It’s on this page.

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    Reply Bryan April 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Nevermind!!! Thanks for posting it!!!!!

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    Reply Sailie56 January 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Bought a beef brisket and had some fresh paprika from Budapest market, stumbled upon your recipe and 4 hours of delicious smell later viola! it was amazing! Thank you…..

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Awesome! Really pleased you liked the recipe.

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    Reply The Brussels Cook(er) April 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This looks great – have you tried making this with pork cheeks? (I adore them – and have just read your wonderful pork cheek tacos recipe which I shall make this week)!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen April 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      I’ve not made this with pork cheeks, no. Do let me know what you think of the tacos!

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    Reply Jane Ujhazi January 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Sounds delightful! Haven’t used brisket for gulyash before.

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    Reply Nick December 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm


    I make lots of your recipes and always have fab results but this one just didn’t work 🙁 I followed it to the letter but at the end it was very thin and the brisket was really dry – any idea what I might have done wrong?

    I wondered if it was doing it on the hob? I have an electric hob and put it on the smallest hob and lowest setting but it just never went tender even after 3 hours. Would I have been better putting it on low in the oven? Not sure if I over- or under- cooked it?

    Anyway, sorry to make my first post a negative one 😮 I love your Donald’s Adana kebabs, lamb pide, Peckham pizza and everything else I’ve tried!!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen Graves December 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Don’t apologise! It’s tricky to know what went wrong here but it’s probably to do with the fact that brisket is a very sensitive piece of meat to handle, due to the fact it’s quite lean. I’d say it’s almost certainly because you did it on the hob, and I think the oven would be better but this is an old recipe now, and I would need to test it again to say for sure. Sorry!

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