When I was looking for recipes to try, I stumbled upon a German pork roast and immediately knew what this week’s theme would be: German food. My husband loves it, but I haven’t given it a try. There was no particular reason I hadn’t other than I never got around to it. Well, that is about to change! I passed on that pork roast recipe because it included beets. Hubby and I are both meh on them. Instead, I found this Classic German Goulash, and we were both totally into it. I’ve made Hungarian Beef Goulash, so what’s the German version like? Let’s find out!
This savory braised beef stew is made with lots of onions, caraway seed, paprika and beef stock. It only takes 30 minutes of hands on prep and a few hours of braising. Serve this hearty, rich German Goulash over egg noodles, mashed or steamed potatoes for a delicious family dinner.
This Classic German Goulash recipe has 16 ingredients. Well, 17 if you include egg noodles, which I simply had to do. I can never pass up egg noodles—they’re such a childhood comfort food for me 🥰 A quick check of my kitchen I found several ingredients: kosher salt, black pepper, dried marjoram, olive oil, beef broth, and tomato paste.
That left me with 11 ingredients to buy, and I found almost everything else at my usual grocery store. The recipe gives the option of using a chuck roast or beef stew meat. I chose the stew meat since it was already cut up and a few dollars less than the chuck roast.
They did have caraway seeds, but I almost missed them. It took me a while to look through a huge selection of bottled spices to find the tiny little bottle. I’ve never used them before, and I instantly loved the rye bread-like smell when I opened the bottle. For reference, a 0.9-ounce bottle of McCormick Caraway Seeds was $3.99.
In case you can’t find caraway seeds, you can substitute fennel, cumin, dill, anise, or nigella seeds. Fennel seeds seem to be the top choice, but they aren’t quite the same flavor as caraway seeds. The caraway flavor was prominent in this goulash, so I’m sure anything else will change the flavor a bit.
I also needed paprika, but I don’t buy that in the grocery store. Ever since my aunt brought me back paprika from her trip to Hungary, I have bought the same Chili-Trade sweet paprika brand online. It’s amazing!
I always love a one-pot recipe, and my 5.5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven was perfect for this one. Things started off with preheating the olive oil while I chopped the onions, a quick 3-minute task. Then I added them to the pot with some kosher salt and let them cook for 15 minutes.
While the onions cooked, I prepped the other ingredients. Just a little more chopping and measuring the rest of the ingredients while occasionally stirring the onions.
Once the onions were done, I removed them from the pan and added the stew meat. I turned up the heat and let it brown for 5 minutes. The beef released a lot of liquid, but it didn’t really sear. I think the pan was too crowded and I probably should have browned the beef in two batches.
I left the beef and liquid in the pot and added the remaining ingredients except for the sour cream. Once the mixture came to a boil I turned the heat down to low and let it simmer for 90 minutes.
The meat soaked up all those flavors while it tenderized, and it was practically falling apart when the timer dinged. All that was left to do was stir in the sour cream, and my Classic German Goulash was done.
I did serve it over wide egg noodles, and I’d love to say I timed things perfectly, and they were done with the goulash. That didn’t quite happen. I ended up cooking a bag of egg noodles immediately after the goulash finished, and it only took a few minutes.
I did add some butter after I drained them to keep them from sticking together. It worked nicely, although next time I might stick with olive oil to avoid the extra saturated fat.
My first try at this Classic German goulash recipe went so smoothly! The recipe lists 30 minutes to prep, 2 hours to cook, and a total of 2 hours 30 minutes. I came in a little under that because I chose the quickest cooking time, and this is how my time was spent:
- 3 minutes to prep the onions (steps 1-2)
- 15 minutes to cook onions and finish prep (steps 2-3)
- 14 minutes to brown beef and add remaining ingredients (steps 4-5)
- 1 hour 30 minutes to cook (step 6)
- 3 minutes to add sour cream and chop parsley to garnish (step 7)
- 2 hours 5 minutes total