Gulash Recipe And Vegetarian Goulash

Easy Gulash Recipes For Fans Of Viennese Cuisine

The classic Gulash is a tasty beef stew of Hungarian origin. It is one of the greatest imports to Viennese cuisine. Before I share my favourite Gulash recipe with you, here is a starter.

Gulash derives its taste from red sweet pepper, sour cream, onions, cumin and marjoram. The hearty red coloured stew is referred to as Pörkölt or Paprikás in Hungary. The contemporary Hungarian form is a more liquid, soup-like stew, which we Austrians in turn call Gulaschsuppe.

Gulash crosses social and cultural levels in Austria: Originally it was the food of poor people. You can find it in traditional Austrian and Viennese taverns such as Zu den Drei Hackenor Silberwirt, in many Vienna coffeehouses, and in refined restaurants. At many of the most elegant Vienna balls, the hearty stew is served at midnight to fuel ball dancers with energy. For the same reasons, it is equally popular at Austrian ski resorts.

In Austria, the Gulash is most popular in Vienna, and the Austrian regions bordering with Hungary: Lower Austria and the Burgenland.

Where Does Gulash Come From?

Austrian GulashThe stew has its origins with the Hungarian shepherds and later symbolised Hungarian culture and sovereignty in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the start of the 19th century, the Hungarian Infantry was established in Vienna and created the Austrian variation of Pörkölt: Gulash.

In the First and Second World Wars, the stew was a popular meal with the military, as it was easy to prepare, could also be cooked with meat of lesser quality, and provided high energy to the troops, especially when combined with pulses. The mobile kitchen trailer used by the military, invented in Germany at the end of the 19th century, was soon called Gulaschkanone.

How To Prepare Gulash

What makes a good gulash is the right type of meat and the right consistency of the gravy.

Beef: foreshank, heel of shoulder, shank without bone, or silverside heel. The shanks are aromatic and rich in sinews which turn into gelatine when the meat is gently simmered. The gelatine binds the gravy and reduces the need to add flour. However, this kind of meat will require 1.5 to 2 hours of simmering to get tender. Alternatively you can take
Pork: neck, shoulder, foreshank, leg, hip, cheek. The pork takes much less time to cook.


for four to five people
1 kg shank (beef of pork) or other types as mentioned above
1 kg onions
100 gr lard
1 tble spoon of ground sweet pepper (Rosenpaprika)
250 ml water
30 gr salt
2 fingers of garlic (crushed)
1 tble spoon of caraway seed (crushed)
1 tble spoon of marjoram
3 tble spoons of tomato puree
1 tble spoon of flour

  • Soak whole onions with outer layer in water for 20 min. Then peel and chop into fine pieces.
  • Heat the lard in a pan and slowly fry the onions.
  • Cut the meat in slices, then in cubes. You can remove some or all of the sinews if you prefer.
  • Add the tomato puree and the ground sweet pepper to the onions, and fry a little with the onions.
  • Add some of the water, then add the marjoram, caraway seed and the meat. Cover the pan with a lid and let the gulash simmer on low heat.
  • Finely chop the garlic and salt it.
  • Add more water if required, and sprinkle in the flour.
  • Add garlic.
  • Let the stew simmer until the meat is tender. Pork should take no more than one hour. Beef, as mentioned above, can take up to two hours.


The classic beef gulash can be modified by adding different sides. Each of these dishes have their own name:

Wiener Saftgulasch: with bread roll
Eszterhazygulasch: with root vegetables and potatoes
Fiakergulasch, also called Herrengulasch: with Vienna sausage, a pickled gherkin and fried egg
Karlsbader Gulasch: with flour and egg balls (Eiernockerl)
Bauerngulasch: with bread dumplings (Knödel)

Vegetarian Gulash

Instead of beef and pork  use potatoes, beans, chanterelles to prepare a vegetarian Gulash. The original method of preparation and spices largely remain the same. The modern Viennese cuisine also knows a pumpkin variation (Café Drechsler, for example, used to serve a lovely one!).

Here is my favourite recipe for potato gulash.


for four to five people
1 kg potatoes
3 vegetarian sausages
500 g onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp marjoram
2 tbsp sweet red pepper (paprika)
5 tbsp flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 l bouillon
1 tsp bouillon powder
half a bunch of fresh parsley, or a handful of capers

  • Chop onions in generous cubes and fry them in a little vegetable oil until golden brown. Add 1/8 l of bouillon, spices, stir well and add the remaining bouillon.
  • Cut potatoes in 1.5 x 1.5 cm cubes. Add them to the soup until almost soft.
  • Cut sausages lengthwise, then slice them. Add them to the soup and potatoes.
  • Mix flour with a little water and add to the gulash. Bring to the boil, stir well.
  • Serve the potato gulash with freshly chopped parsley or capers.

go to Wiener Schnitzel Recipe – How To Prepare The Best Wiener Schnitzel
go to Sacher Torte – All About Vienna’s Sacher Cake
go to Gugelhupf – Best Recipes
go to Restaurants in Vienna – Viennese Cuisine reviewed

back to Austrian Food
back to Vienna Tourism Tips
back to Vienna Unwrapped homepage

Check Also

Michelin Star Restaurants Vienna: creation by Silvio Nickol

Michelin Star Restaurants Vienna: A Failproof Guide

If you like Michelin star restaurants Vienna is holding a few gems. Increasingly, our love …