Hungarian goulash is made by browning seasoned beef and cooking it in a savory sauce until tender. The American version of Hungarian goulash often uses both ground beef and pasta as ingredients, while the Hungarian version doesn't. Hungarian goulash is served over rice with a dollop of sour cream.
The traditional recipe for Hungarian goulash is made by heating 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a Dutch oven and cooking 3 sliced onions until tender. The onions are then removed and set aside. In a mixing bowl, 2 tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper are combined to create the meat seasoning. About 3 pounds of stew meat are coated with the seasoning mixture and browned in the hot vegetable oil. After the meat is browned the onions are returned to the pot along with 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 minced clove of garlic and 1 1/2 cups water.
Cooking heat is reduced and the Hungarian goulash is simmered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. If the sauce becomes overly thick before the meat is tender then more water will be added to the sauce. This is traditionally served over rice or noodles with sour cream on top. Instead of simmering the goulash on a stove, it can be transferred to a Crock-Pot and cooked on high for 4 to 6 hours.