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Beef Goulash with Beer

Beef Goulash with Beer

I’d been meaning to have a go at cooking goulash for a really long time, but when I saw a recipe online which included stout I felt inspired. Unfortunately, other than the genius idea of using beer, the recipe looked a bit rubbish. I scouted out a few more recipes online with good reviews and took what I thought to be the best elements of each. The result is the recipe I’ve included in the post below. The beer gives it a great flavour, taking the place of the red wine some recipes call for.

I’ve made this a few times now and it’s been a great hit with everyone who has tried it. I fully admit that it’s not in any way authentic, if you’ve been to Hungary you’ll know goulash is more like a soup there, but I prefer the stew-like version. It’s hearty meal and goes well with both rice and potatoes. I prefer making it in a slow cooker as it doesn’t take long to do the initial steps and then you can just leave it simmering away. Although I do admit smelling it for hours before it’s ready can lead to some overactive saliva glands!

Beef Goulash with Beer



Cooking Time

4 or 8 hours in a slow cooker (2.5 hours in an oven)


c. 750g diced beef/steak

4 tbsp sunflower (or similar) oil

2 tbsp cornflour

1 onion, cut into c. 1.5cm/0.5” pieces

2 garlic cloves, crushed

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

500ml dark beer (stout or porter)

1 tbsp liquid beef stock or 1 stock cube/stock pot

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 bay leaves

3 peppers, cut into c. 3cm/1” pieces (different colours are good!)

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add half the oil to a frying pan on a medium/high heat, then add the beef and brown
  2. When the beef is lightly browned add the cornflour and cook for another minute, stirring constantly
  3. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside
  4. Reduce to a medium heat and add the remaining oil and the onions to the pan. Cook until soft (5-10 minutes depending on the size of pieces), stirring regularly to make sure they don’t burn
  5. Add the garlic when the onions are nearly finished, cook for another minute, stirring constantly, and then take off the heat when done
  6. In the slow cooker mix together the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, beer, beef stock, paprika, smoked paprika, and a good pinch each of salt and pepper (check seasoning during cooking and add more as desired)
  7. Add the beef, onions and garlic, stirring them through and place the bay leaves in
  8. Cook for at least 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low and 2.5 hours in casserole dish in the oven (make sure the lid fits well or you may lose too much liquid), a bit longer is OK, mostly aiming for super tender beef
  9. Mix in the peppers 1 hour before the end of cooking for a slow cooker on high or in the oven, or 2 hours if cooking on low
  10. Serve with rice, or roast or boiled potatoes
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