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Authentic Polish Beef Goulash Recipe

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Beef goulash with bread.
Beef goulash with bread

This traditional Polish beef goulash recipe or gulasz wolowy gives you succulent and tender chunks of beef slow-cooked in a sweet onion and mustard gravy. Serve with bread, kopytka, or boiled potatoes. 

What Is Goulash? Where Did Goulash Originate?

Goulash is a traditional Polish meat stew or meat soup that originated in Hungary. Its name comes from the Hungarian word gulyás which means herdsman, and so the dish was called gulyásleves or meat prepared by herdsman that came to be called ‘goulash soup’.

The original recipe was cooked by Hungarian shepherds as portable meals. Meat was dried in the sun and packed in sacks of sheep stomach. These sacks could easily be boiled with water to become a meal.

Now made in most Central European countries, goulash can be made with pork, veal, lamb, or beef meat. Some modern versions include potatoes, red peppers, and other veggies, or even noodles. Sometime after the 16th-century paprika was brought to Europe and was also included in the dish. 

The Polish version called gulasz is typically made with pork meat, but beef, chicken, or turkey can also be used sometimes. It’s also much thicker than the original Hungarian version

Suggestion: Serve beef goulash with boiled potatoes

How To Make Authentic Polish Beef Goulash At Home?

Step 1 – Preparing The Meat

To make gulasz wolowy, first cut washed beef into half-inch pieces and coat with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in a covered pot and allow it to rest for a few hours or overnight.

Beef on a black platform.
Beef cubes

Step 2 – Start Making Beef Goulash

The next day, chop an onion finely and caramelize it with butter or ghee. Coat the beef cubes with flour and add to the fried onions. Keep turning it over till it changes color to golden-brown.

Cooked diced beef and sautéed onions in a black frying pan on a stove for a Polish goulash recipe.






Step 3 – Seasoning & Simmering

Once the beef has cooked, add the garlic, mustard, and a cup of water or broth. Cover with a lid and allow to slow cook for an hour, stirring occasionally. You can cook it for longer if you want the beef more tender.

Polish beef goulash.
Polish beef goulash

Step 4 – Serving!

Serve with kopytka, kluskie slaskie, or bread. Polish beef goulash tastes best warm!

Tips For Making The Best Polish Beef Goulash

  • Half-inch by half-inch beef pieces are ideal, but you can make them bigger or smaller if you want to. 
  • Add more water or broth if you want more gravy.
  • For a tastier goulash, add beef broth instead of water. 
  • If you want a thicker gravy, add some sour cream or potato starch to the broth five minutes before taking it off the stove. 
  • Top with sour cream, parsley, or other herbs before serving. 
  • Goes really well with placki ziemniaczane

Beef goulash with bread.

FAQs About Making Polish Beef Goulash 

What Other Meats Can I Use To Make Goulash?

You can make goulash with pork, chicken, or turkey. The Polish pork goulash is often served with potato pancakes and called placek po węgiersku

What Other Types Of Polish Goulash Are There?

Some other types of Polish goulash include:

What To Serve Beef Goulash With?

Serve the Polish beef goulash with any of the following:

Is It Possible To Make The Beef Goulash Gluten-Free?

Yes, to make the beef goulash recipe gluten-free simply replace the all-purpose flour with potato flour or rice flour

Is It Possible To Make Polish Goulash Vegetarian?

Yes, to make the goulash vegetarian, replace the beef with button mushrooms or portabella mushrooms. You will need to add more salt and spices though.

How Long Can I Store Leftover Polish Beef Goulash?

Store leftover Polish beef goulash in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Reheat well before serving!

Authentic Polish Beef Goulash Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Polish Beef Goulash Recipe

Beef goulash with bread.

This traditional Polish beef goulash recipe consists of tender chunks of beef slow-cooked and served with bread, kopytka, or boiled potatoes. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 1½ lb of beef
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of black pepper
  • 2 tbsps of all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsps of butter or ghee
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp of mustard


  1. Wash and dice the beef (½’’/  ½’’ each piece).
  2. Coat the meat with salt and pepper and let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
  3. After resting, coat the meat with flour.
  4. Finely chop the onion and carmelize it with butter or ghee.
  5. Add meat and fry until it changes the color to golden-brownish.
  6. Add water or broth, crushed garlic clove, and mustard. Cover the pan/pot with a lid and cook slowly until the meat is soft (for 1-2 hours). Stir as often as possible, making sure the stew won't stick to the bottom of the pot.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 469mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 30g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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Did you like this Polish beef goulash recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Responses

  1. I think you need to decide whether you’re making an authentic polish goulash or you’re making something else with a different name. If you want to make authentic polish goulash then you need to make it with pork and mushrooms because that’s how authentic polish goulash is made. If you’re making it with something else then generally it has a different name and you should ask someone who is Polish and understands polish cuisine what the name of that dish is. It’s the same as when someone talks about making Hungarian goulash with chicken which actually is a different dish with a specific name, chicken paprikash. Think of it this way.. when you make beef stew from chicken you don’t call it beef stew anymore, you call it chicken stew. And no polish or Hungarian herder would be making a stew based on pork or chicken because they don’t herd pigs and chickens. They heard cows goats and sheep and would be making their dishes from those animals.

  2. Love it ❤
    P.S. just a small spelling correction to make your post even better – “It’s name…” should read “Its name…”, no apostrophe.

  3. My Ukrainian grandmother, Sophie, made this stew often in cold weather. It always had pork, always had sliced mushrooms, and about 3 times the mustard and 5 times the garlic as listed in the recipe.
    She also included a side-dish of ground horseradish root for those who dared.
    Splendid dish, fond memory

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