I do not presume to be an authority on Hungarian cuisine but my husband asked me to post this recipe because he thinks I hit the nail on the head. I did refine the recipe to his taste and customs — there are no red peppers or turnips in this version as you might find in others. The key I have found is to be very liberal with the paprika — you want to coat the meat in a thick layer of it — I don’t measure it I just keep pouring until I get a blanket of red.

Also, although it is traditionally made with lard and, indeed, my husband and brother-in-law prefer it that way, I could not stand the smell more than once so have switched to butter.

While we were in Hungary in 2017 I was I was discussing the difficulty of making nokedli with a cheese grater when my husband’s family eagerly told me about this tool called the nokedli sagado! See the picture below in the recipe… it is essentially a huge grater that sits on top of a boiling stock pot perfectly suited to make many nokedli at once and cut your time down in half! I searched for it all over the place and had almost given up on finding one before our trip back home. Stephen’s cousin got word that I had been looking for one and seemed to miraculously produce one for me on the very last day of our trip! If you make goulash regularly you must have one of these! You can get a metal version made for spaetzle on Amazon.

In general, our trip seemed to be full of surprises like these… it seems that Stephen’s family knew how interested I was in Hungarian cuisine and every family member we visited that year made a gift for me of some utensil or book or pot. When we were in Mosonmagyorovar his family there gave me a huge traditional goulash kettle. I found a way to bring that home even though it took up most of one suitcase. It barely fits on my stove top but I use it anyway!

Gulyás (Hungarian Goulash)

Servings: 4


  • 3 tbsp butter or lard
  • 2 lb beef chuck steak or stew beef cubed
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 potatoes chopped into cubes
  • salt

Nokedli (noodles)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup AP flour 142 g
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Heat the butter in a large stockpot. Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the caraway and garlic and cook for another two minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the meat, add salt to taste and coat the whole layer of meat with a thick covering of paprika (just keep pouring paprika until you can't see the meat anymore). Cover and allow it to simmer at low heat for 2-3 hours or until the meat is cooked but not falling apart.
  • Add carrots and 4 cups water and simmer at low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Add potatoesand simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
  • Serve hot with nokedli.

Nokedli (Noodles)

  • Fill a medium stockpot 3/4 full with water and a sprinkle of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Beat the eggs with the salt and 100 ml water (scant 1/2 cup). Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until you achieve a smooth, viscous dough.
  • Using either a cheese grater or a nokedli sagado (see picture) set atop the stockpot push the dough through the holes into the boiling water, using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Think of using a scraping motion across the holes. Scoop up the noodles with a slotted spoon once they rise to the top.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and drain. Stir in oil.


You can make the nokedli (noodles) ahead of time and add to the hot goulash when you serve it. 

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