Gulyás Leves – An essential thing to try in Hungary.

IMG_3613Ingredients for 4-6 for Gulyás Leves:

  • 2 medium onions, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 30 dkg cubed beef chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 slices of garlic
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 2 parsley roots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 pieces (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Vegeta (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • Pinch hot Hungarian paprika
  • Salt, black pepper to taste


  1. In a large soup pot brown onions in the oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let the onions brown. Salt the onions lightly to help tenderize them.
  2. Turn the heat to high and add the meat cubes and stir constantly for about 3 minutes or until the meat has been seared on all sides. Add sweet Hungarian paprika then add water to cover by an inch and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is almost tender, adding water, as necessary, to keep it above the level of the meat. This can take up to 2 hours.
  3. Add the carrots, parsley roots, potatoes (if using), 2 slices of garlic, Vegeta, caraway seeds (if using), and hot paprika. Bring back to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart. Add additional water, if necessary, to keep a soup consistency. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. In another pan, put oil and tarhonya (special Hungarian pasta) and sear until they are middle-brown. Put in the soup before it gets ready and cook together for 10 minutes.

Recipe by Andrea Bohár

Irish Girl’s reaction to the recipe:

I was excited to try something truely Hungarian. Stews, like gulyás leves, can be very particular to each country they originate from, much like Irish stew which is cooked with Guinness. So instead of following the exact recipe I decided to combine both Irish and Hungarian.

I did everything that the recipe told me to but instead of just using water I added a little bit of Hungarian beer. The results were fantastic. The combination of paprika and the beer made for a very comforting sauce for the beef and the vegetables to rest in.

What I was surprised about was that the hot paprika actually came through in the flavours, it gave a nice little kick after you swallowed your first bite. It had a nice warming effect through out the whole meal.

Another thing that I did a little bit differently was I cooked the potatoes separately, cubed them afterwards which made them great sponges to soak up the sauce.

Overall the Gulyás leves experience was a very comforting and worthwhile one. It was like eating a meal my mother would cook, but with a Hungarian twist.

By Leonie Holly


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