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The best meat for goulash – 4 Useful tips to consider

The best meat for goulash. / Image by RitaE from Pixabay
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The best meat for goulash: Cooking the best goulash is a statement in itself that requires explanation. And that’s what we say in our article precisely. And indeed, our goal in this article is not to warm up a goulash recipe for you.

We want to explain to you which meat is the best for goulash, what tricks a goulash can use to make it stand out from the average goulash and make it a very good or even the best goulash ever.


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The best meat for goulash

The best meat for goulash
The best meat for goulash. / Image by RitaE from Pixabay

What is the best meat for goulash? Beef and veal, as well as pork, lamb, mutton, or horse meat, can be processed into goulash. Since goulash is simmered and braised for a long time, marbled tri-tip beef meat is mainly the best meat for goulash.

Get here four useful tips on goulash meat:

  • Any tendons that may be present are getting converted into natural gelatine during braising, thus binding the sauce. The meat becomes very tender and crumbly due to the long cooking time.
  • Suitable goulash meat comes, for example, from the neck and calves, in the case of beef also from the prime rib or false rib, the shoulder and the upper and lower shell.
  • Typical ingredients for hearty goulash and goulash soups are onions and paprika, such as in our veal goulash with paprika.
  • The addition of caraway, garlic, potatoes, or mushrooms depends on regional variations and personal preferences.

Marbled meat is the best meat for recipe goulash, Hungarian goulash, goulash beef, goulash recipes, American goulash, easy goulash, goulash soup, goulash instant pot, hamburger goulash, ground beef goulash, chicken goulash, and old fashioned goulash.

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Goulash with beef

In many goulashes and Pörkölt (meat stew which originates from Hungary) recipes like Hungarian goulash, beef is traditionally get chosen as an ingredient alongside paprika and onions. With a classic beef goulash, we suppose you might be very wrong with it.

For the beef goulash, you should not choose too lean meat, because it dries out quickly with the long cooking.

The best meat is the sinewy, flat (marbled) meat from the calf of the beef. Cut the meat into cubes of about 4 cm. These you braise for a long time and thus achieve a tender, juicy consistency.

The tendons are transformed into soft gelatine by the extensive braising.

Alternatively, beef goulash can also be getting made with meat from the neck or shoulder. Veal goulash is a popular variation of this.


A related video about “Beef Battle – Tri-Tip vs. Picaña.”

In this episode of beef battle, we will find out which is the better steak – Tri-tip vs. picaña.

Video Credit: Pitmaster X


Goulash with pork

With pork goulash, we recommend a marbled piece of meat, for example, from the shoulder. The Szeged Goulash is a typical pork goulash. You can also ask for pork or beef goulash at the counter of any butcher.

Some recipes use half beef and half pork.


Regional and modern goulash recipes

Specific regional kitchens also prepare goulash with lamb, mutton, or horse meat. Other recipes include poultry, fish, or various sausages. Lean meat such as turkey or chicken breast should not be cooked for too long, as it will dry out.

Tip: Wild goulash with deer or deer is a delicious dish, but it is quite expensive. You can get wild meat at the weekly market, at some butchers or in specialized meat shops.


Making a tender tri-tip beef goulash recipe

Making a tender tri-tip beef goulash recipe
The best meat for goulash. / Image by tomwieden from Pixabay

Making tender tri-tip beef goulash is not that difficult; it just takes a little time. But before every good goulash, there is always a little bit of hard work.

The golden goulash rule says that you need just as much sliced onions as meat; otherwise, the sauce won’t work. The function of the onions is to bind the sauce and make it sweet and creamy.

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That means that you have to cut many onions that look like a lot before, but after caramelizing, this mountain of onions shrinks tremendously.

After that, you don’t need any more flour or other ingredients to bind the sauce.

A nice slice of fresh country bread is enough as a side dish to goulash so that you can soak up the sauce from the plate until the last drop.

Otherwise bread or dumplings, spaetzle or noodles also fit very well. Ideally, you prepare the goulash one day before serving.

Dont forget, the goulash only becomes good after the second heating!



  • 1300 g tri-tip beef meat piece
  • 1300 g onions
  • 1000 ml of water
  • Four tablespoons tomato paste
  • Four tablespoons sweet paprika
  • Clarified butter
  • One pinch of sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper


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  • Cut the beef into cubes of about 2 cm. Cut the onions into half rings.
  • Melt the clarified butter in a frying pan over medium heat, slowly caramelize the onions until they turn a golden brown color, stirring regularly until then. Remove the onions from the roaster and set aside briefly. Let the clarified butter melt in the frying pan at high heat and fry the meat (in portions).
  • Add the onions. Mix in the tomato paste and the paprika powder. Immediately fill up with water so that the paprika powder does not become bitter—season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
  • Cook the goulash for about 3 hours, the first hour in closed, then let it simmer lightly in an open roaster. Please turn off the stove and let it simmer for another hour. Stir it from time to time so that it does not bake. While cooking, add some water if necessary, but not too much, otherwise the sauce will become too watery.
  • Season to taste with pepper, salt, and sugar before serving.




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