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Paprika Beef (Goulash)

Slow cooked paprika beef, a flavoursome dish using beef brisket, packed full of vegetables and stewed in a smoky paprika gravy. This paprika beef recipe is cooked in the oven and based on a traditional goulash recipe. It’s an easy stew to prepare and cook, and a great Winter warmer dish. I also include instructions on how to make slow cooker beef goulash later in this post.

A table setting of beef paprika goulash in a blue bowl, a bowl of white rice to the back served with sour cream and a tin of La Chinata smoked paprika to the side.

This slow cooked paprika beef dish is an old recipe of mine that I’ve cooked for many years. It’s a reliable recipe as aside from it’s simplicity to cook, it packs a real flavour punch.

What makes this dish such a great hit with the family is the addition of smoky paprika to the dish. It adds flavour without chilli heat that children often find too much. Both my children love this dish and have eaten it from a young age.

This best beef goulash recipe is comfort food in a bowl for me. On a cold, wet day I really don’t think there is anything that cheers the soul quite as much as a hearty bowl of stew, served either with a chunk of crusty bread; some steamed rice; or a dollop of buttery, creamy mash.

Is goulash considered a stew?

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew that can be made with beef or pork, lots of vegetables and plenty of paprika. I have used smoked paprika, but you can use hot paprika too, whichever you prefer. Goulash can be served almost like a soup, or you can thicken the gravy if you prefer.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Very little hands on preparation, once assembled the oven (or slow cooker) does all the hard work.
  • The spicing is intense but mild, making it a great stew for serving to children who can’t always handle chilli heat.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled if feeding a crowd, or you can enjoy some now and freeze some for an easy meal another day.
  • Use gluten free beef stock and this is a great gluten free beef goulash.

How to slow cook Paprika Beef in oven:

Diced beef tossed in a paprika spice mix sitting in a white bowl about to be cooked before being added to a casserole.
  • Preheat the oven to 160C/140CFan.
  • Cut the beef into large chunks and rub with smoked paprika and season well.
  • Brown the meat in a large, heavy bottomed casserole dish, or Dutch oven, and brown to seal on all sides.
Diced beef, coated in paprika that has been browned off in a pan alongside a pan with vegetables cooking down to put together to make a beef goulash.
  • Cook the beef in batches to ensure it sears, rather than steams in an overcrowded pan.
  • Remove the beef from the pan and place in a bowl.
Chopped red peppers, onions, carrots and leeks mixed with paprika and cooking in a casserole pan.
  • Once the beef has been cooked, add the vegetables to the pan and stir to soften a little.
A hand adding red wine from a bottle to chopped vegetables in preparation of making a paprika beef casserole with the diced beef just at the bottom ready to add to the casserole.
  • Pour the red wine into the casserole and deglaze the pan.
A cooked casserole of paprika beef (beef goulash) topped with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Add the beef back into the pan and add the remaining ingredients.
  • Place the lid on the pan and pop the casserole into the oven to cook gently at 160C/140CFan for 4 hours.

Make this paprika beef stew in slow cooker:

This easy beef goulash recipe can also be made in the slow cooker or Crockpot.

Crockpot filled with paprika beef
  • Brown the meat in batches and transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Saute the vegetables in the same saucepan then transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Deglaze the pan with red wine to get every last bit of flavour from it, and transfer to slow cooker.
  • Add all remaining ingredients into your slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on your Crockpot and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Beef goulash recipe ingredients:

  • Beef – I used a 1kg beef brisket joint which will feed 6. You can substitute with other slow braising cuts such as beef chuck; beef shoulder; beef shin; braising steak; or rib trim.
  • Seasoning – I use plenty smoked paprika along with black pepper and salt to season the beef. If I’m not serving this stew to my kids, I like to swap the smoked paprika for hot paprika which adds a great kick of heat to the dish.
  • Oil – I use regular olive oil to sear the beef and veggies.
  • Vegetables – this recipe uses lots of onion, along with celery, carrots and red peppers to flavour the stew.
  • Herbs – I use a lot of garlic and a large bunch of fresh parsley.
  • Red wine – is added to deglaze the pan and flavour the goulash. Use a good quality red wine, one you want to drink yourself as it is being used to add flavour.
  • Flavourings – tomato passata, Worchester sauce and a Knorr rich beef stock pot are added to flavour the gravy.
a closeup of a warming bowl of paprika beef with carrots, a bowl of rice to the side and served with a helping of soured cream
Paprika Beef

Recipe hints & tips:

  1. Go heavy on the onions! A friend’s mother, who’s mother is Hungarian, said the trick to making a good beef goulash, was to add plenty onions, almost adding the same weight of onion to beef.
  2. Don’t miss out on browning the beef as this adds extra flavour and makes a huge difference to the taste of the finished dish.
  3. Always brown meat in batches as this ensures it sears and browns properly. If you overload the pan the meat won’t brown properly and you’ll end up steaming it instead.
  4. Allow the beef goulash to sit, as with all stews it will taste so much better the next day as all the flavours with have melded together and intensified.

What to serve with beef goulash?

You can serve this beef goulash with sour cream and some crusty bread to soak up the juices. Try beef goulash with rice, like I have done here, or noodles is also really popular.

However, my personal favourite is when I serve it alongside some creamy, buttery mashed potato and some steamed green vegetables tossed in a little butter and black pepper. Perfectly simple comfort food.

smoked paprika beef casserole served with a bowl of rice on a blue backdrop with blue napkins and a tin of smoked paprika in the back

How to store easy beef goulash:

Can you make beef stew ahead of time?

Yes, as with all meat based stews they can be prepared a day ahead. Simply cook the paprika beef as per the recipe, allow it to cool, before covering it and leaving it overnight in the fridge. This will actually improve the flavours of the dish, as the beef will take on the flavours of the gravy, giving it a more intense flavour. Stews, soups and curries always taste better the next day!

Leftover goulash can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Can I freeze beef goulash?

This beef goulash can be easily frozen as can any leftovers. I have been known to make double the quantity, eating one portion and saving the rest for later. Once cooked, simply allow to cool and place in a covered box in the freezer. When ready to eat remove from the freezer and defrost thoroughly before heating up and serving.

a closeup of a bowl of smoked paprika beef on a blue napkin and blue background


What cuts of beef are good for slow cooking?

Beef brisket is one of my favourite cuts to slow cook with as its full of flavour and ideal in this beef stew with paprika. Brisket has a good amount of fat in the meat and that fat renders down beautifully into the stew, giving you a delicious gravy.

However, this paprika beef stew works equally well with other slow braising cuts such as beef chuck; beef shoulder; beef shin; braising steak; or rib trim.

Do I have to brown the beef first?

This a question I am often asked. What I would say is that a little effort up front to brown the meat, really does make a difference to the flavour of the finished stew. Searing the beef well really adds to the flavour of the beef and the gravy.

Is it important to deglaze the pan?

Yes, deglazing the pan with the wine is an important step. When you add the wine ensure you scrape the bottom of the pan and pick up any of the residue left from searing the meat. You will be rewarded with really flavoursome gravy for your efforts.

How to thicken the gravy

You may also wish to thicken the gravy a little, this is really simple. Remove some of the gravy from the casserole into a bowl and stir through 1-2 teaspoons of cornflour and add it back into the pan, stirring until the sauce has thickened.

Pin the recipe:

a pinterest collage of a hearty bowl of paprika beef with a serving of rice and sour cream

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then please leave a comment below. Then why not try some of our other easy beef stew recipes:

Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.

paprika beef casserole in a blue bowl closeup

slow cooked paprika beef (goulash)

This slow cooked beef dish using beef brisket is a one pot dish. A great Winter warming stew with the smokiness of paprika.
4.94 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 468kcal


  • 1 large heavy based casserole dish with a tight fitting lid or a slow cooker


  • 1 kg beef brisket joint (or similar stewing cut of beef)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large onions (quartered)
  • 2 sticks celery (chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 red pepper (deseed and sliced into cubes)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1 bunch parsley (chopped)
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 250 ml tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp worchester sauce
  • 1 Knorr rich beef stock pot
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • Cut the brisket into large chunks and roll the pieces in the smoked paprika, salt and pepper, taking care to cover all sides. Cutting the brisket up allows for better coverage of spice into the meat. Heat the oil in a heavy based casserole and brown the meat on all sides, remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Put all the vegetables into the casserole and saute gently for 5 minutes, allowing the onions to soften a little but not colour. Pour the red wine over the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes to deglaze the pan and allow some of the alcohol to burn off.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pan stir to combine. Return the beef to the pan, along with any beef juices. Cover with a lid and cook in a low oven 150C/140CFan for approximately 4 hours or until the beef pulls apart. If the dish looks like it is drying out, add a little water to loosen the gravy as required.


This recipe uses beef brisket however works equally well with other slow braise joints such as beef shoulder, shin or rib trim.
Delicious when served with either sour cream and some crusty bread to soak up the juices, or creamy mashed potatoes and some green vegetables tossed in a little butter and black pepper. If you prefer a smoother gravy, remove the steak and blitz the gravy and stewed vegetables with a hand-blender to make a thick, smooth gravy.
Nutrition Facts
slow cooked paprika beef (goulash)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 468 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 786mg34%
Potassium 1075mg31%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 4696IU94%
Vitamin C 36mg44%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Main Course
Cuisine : British
Keyword : Onepot, slow cooked
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Recipe Rating

4.94 from 15 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

Monday 9th of November 2020

YUM! I love goulash so much. It's a real fave in this house :-D


Monday 9th of November 2020

Thank you Eb, a real favourite in my house too, everyone loves it! Lesley


Sunday 8th of November 2020

This looks so delicious! So comforting and warming.


Monday 9th of November 2020

Thank you Cat, this is comfort food perfection in a bowl for me! Lesley

Jacqui – Recipes Made Easy:Only Crumbs Remain

Friday 6th of November 2020

That is one rich and meaty looking stew. I usually use sweet paprika with goulash but rather like the idea of using smoked paprika for a change.


Monday 9th of November 2020

Thank you Jacqui, the smoked paprika adds a lovely smokiness to the stew. Lesley

Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery

Friday 6th of November 2020

What a perfect dish for the Autumn! This would definitely go down well with The Peas! Thanks for sharing with #CookBlogShare :)


Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Smoked Paprika is my favourite spice. This is very much my kind of food and I'll be making your goulash very soon.


Thursday 5th of November 2020

Thank you Janice, it's the perfect bowl of warming stew at this time of year. Lesley

4.94 from 15 votes (5 ratings without comment)