This traditional recipe is German comfort at it´s best! If you love beef stew with lots of delicious gravy this recipe will become one of your new favorites. Not only is this dish super easy to make, but it's also a great German entree for festive occasions.
If you don't know yet what to serve your family for a nice Sunday dinner, then you should definitely try this recipe. After all, this Rindersaftgulasch (beef stew) tastes just as juicy and tender as its name implies. Due to the long braising time, the dish does take a little longer, but the end result is well worth the effort.
This German Saftgulasch only needs a few ingredients and does not take a lot of work to prepare. The long braising time makes this dish a sure-fire recipe.
What is German Goulash?
This German goulash is also called Saftgulasch. Saftgulasch literally translated means "juice goulash" but means a goulash with a lot of gravy. Therefore you can imagine that this dish comes with a lot of rich gravy. The gravy is naturally thickened through the amount of onions which are finely blended to achieve a creamy texture without the use of any starch.
The gravy gets it´s richness through the addition of red wine and bone broth. If you don´t want to use wine, you can find substitutions in the ingredients section below.
The most important thing when cooking goulash is undoubtedly that good meat is used. Goulash meat should be carefully selected, because it determines a melt-in-your-mouth culinary experience or a tough and bland-tasting pile of meat.
But this does not mean you have to buy an expensive cut of meat. Ideally, you buy a marbled and slightly fatty piece from the shoulder, or a piece of beef topside or silverside. Pieces from the neck and calves are also good.
I use in this video stew meat, but you could cut cubes from a beef shoulder or best beef shank. If you cut your meat by yourself, I would recommend cutting larger cubes.
Simple yellow onions are best for this dish. Their flavor is strong but still mild. I use 3 pounds of onions in this recipe. I know that sounds a lot, but this is what gives the gravy thickness and depth of flavor.
Good quality wine is important for this dish. It does not have to be the most expensive one, but the sauce will be only as good as the wine.
You can substitute the red wine with grape juice or apple juice.
You can use homemade beef broth, but you also can use a good broth from a package. I would not recommend instant powder, but it will do if that is what you have on hand.
They dish only needs a few spices to round up the amazing gravy. Lemon zest brings a bit of freshness, and bay leaves, marjoram, and caraway seeds bringing more depth to the flavor..
Amazing Veggie Additions
You can add bell pepper pieces, drained sauerkraut, carrot slices or mushrooms to the dish. Add your favorite addition about 30 min. before the end of the simmering time.
How is Goulash Called in German?
Goulash is called “Gulasch” in German.
How to pronounce "Gulasch"?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Gulasch" in German.
Step by Step Recipe Instructions
This German Goulash also known as German beef stew with red wine is easy put together but needs quite a bit of simmering time. The depth and richness of the amazing gravy makes it the perfect dish for a cold winter day.
The ingredients are simple and as this dish freezes very well, I like to make bigger batches. These are the ingredients for about 8 portions of goulash.
Start by melting the clarified butter on medium heat. If you don´t have clarified butter you can use lard or 1 tbsp. of butter plus 1 tbsp. of neutral vegetable oil.
Fry the onion cubes on medium heat in the clarified butter for about 10-15 Minutes until they are slightly brown. Don´t forget to stir occasionally to avoid burning.
Then add the tomato paste and garlic to the onions and continue frying for a few minutes. I usually use my homemade garlic paste but you can use fresh garlic, I would not recommend garlic powder.
Fry this all together for about 5 minutes before you mix in the paprika powder and fry for about another 2 min.
Then you just need to pour in the broth and wine.
Simmer the mixture covered on medium-low heat for about 45 min. and uncovered for about 15 min.
If you were worried about the amount of onions, you will be pleasantly surprised that we now blend them either with an immersion blender or better pour the mixture into a stand blender and mix until smooth. Then you pour the liquid back into the pot.
Zest the lemon, you need about 1 tsp. of lemon zest. Add the zest with the bay leaves, marjoram, and caraway seeds to the pot.
Then add the meat also to the pot and simmer on low heat covered for about 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
What To Serve With German Goulash?
Homemade Spaetzle or Other Pasta
Authentic German Recipe
- 4 pounds beef i.e., stew meat, beef shoulder, beef shank
- 3 pounds onions
- 2 tbsp. clarified butter or 1 tbsp. vegetable oil plus 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- 500 ml red wine about 2 cups
- 500 ml beef broth about 2 cups
- 1 tbsp. paprika powder
- 1 lemon organic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- salt & pepper to taste
- Peel and cube onions.
- In a large pot melt clarified butter on medium heat.
- Fry onion cubes on medium heat in the clarified butter for about 10-15 minutes until slightly brown. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- In the meantime, finely chop garlic or press it through a garlic press.
- Add tomato paste and garlic to the onions and continue frying for a few minutes. Add the paprika powder and mix well and fry for about another 2 min.
- Pour in broth and wine.
- Simmer covered on medium-low heat for about 45 min.Remove lid an continue to simmer for about 15 min.
- Blend the sauce with an immersion blender or pour the mixture into a stand blender, mix until smooth and pour back into the pot.
- Zest about ½ of the lemon (about 1 tsp. of lemon zest) and add it with the bay leaves, marjoram, and caraway seeds to the pot.
- Add the meat to the pot and simmer on low heat covered for about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaves.
- Serve with boiled potatoes, noodles, or dumplings.
Tips & Tricks
- Make a double batch of this dish and freeze it in portions. This German beef stew with red wine is one of the dishes that taste even better when it is reheated.
- Freeze unused red wine (if you didn´t already drink it) or beef broth in ice cubes. This way you will always have a cube of broth or wine on hand for your gravies.
- If you have leftover gravy you can freeze it and have the perfect gravy starter for your beef roast. You can freeze the gravy also in an ice cube maker. Add a cube or two to any gravy and it will enhance the flavor.