A goulash is easy to do in a slow cooker and only requires a few ingredients that you can get anywhere all year round. Sear the meat to add delicious flavors to the goulash stew. But searing the meat is not always necessary. It saves time if you put the meat right away into the slow cooker with lots of onions and other goodies, then let it simmer at low heat in the slow cooker for a few hours and it turns into a hearty meal.
Goulash traditional medieval meat stew
Goulash is first mentioned in writings from the Middle Ages as a meat stew made from beef, veal, horse, pork, lamb or mutton, or a combination of different types of meat. But certainly, meat stews similar to goulash were already cooked in the times of our ancestors in the Stone Age.
Today mostly beef is used for a classic goulash or a mixture of beef and pork. The meat, preferably well streaky cuts, is slow-cooked for many hours with lots of onions which gives the stew its creamy consistency. Optionally, you can chop up more vegetables, depending on what you have, and add them. But a typical goulash with spaetzle should include bell peppers and paprika powder and a bit of carrot, tomato, and spices.
As I just said, there are endless different variants of the goulash recipe, on how a good goulash should be cooked and with which ingredients. There is no such thing as the best goulash because after all, it is a matter of taste how you would like your goulash. This variant here is a super simple one with only a few ingredients but cooked for a long time in the slow cooker results in a tasty delicate meat stew.
- 1 pound streaky meat (beef brisket or shank, pork topside or shoulder)
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 tomato
- 1 large onion
- 1/4 knob celery
- 3 carrots
- 1 Montana pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- tsp salt
- Ground black pepper
- Hungarian paprika powder
- 1 red chili pepper if you like it hot
- Finely dice the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, garlic and celery.
- If you use fresh basil, oregano and coriander then finely chop them as well.
- When everything is chopped up and prepared, all you have to do is put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, it’s that simple.
Set the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 8 to 10, then the meat will be quite tender. If you don’t have that much time, you can also set the slow cooker to HIGH, then 6 to 8 hours will suffice.
In the slow cooker, the meat is cooked without supervision for many hours at a low temperature until it is nice and soft. Due to the gentle preparation, the meat stew is particularly tasty but may need to be seasoned a little at the end before it is served.
As a side dish dumplings, potatoes, rice, or pasta does go well with it, but today we want to serve goulash with spaetzle. So here comes the spaetzle recipe!
Ingredients for the homemade Spaetzle
Spaetzle is traditional South German/Swiss pasta that is served as a side dish or with other ingredients as a separate dish. Spaetzle is egg pasta made from flour, egg, salt, and water (sometimes also milk, depending on the region). The freshly made, chewy gooey spaetzle batter is cooked briefly in boiling salted water.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 to 5 eggs depending on size
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup soda water give or take
Preparing the Spatzle Batter
- Put the spaetzle flour in a bowl, whisk with the salt, then add the eggs and mix well.
- Add about half a cup of water. Tip start with less and keep on adding when necessary.
- Now mix everything with a wooden spoon and then beat the dough vigorously. It’s easier if you use your Kitchenaid. The batter should be mixed vigorously for a good 5 minutes
- While beating, you’ll quickly notice whether the consistency of the is viscous enough – if it’s too thick, then add small amounts of mineral water.
- The spaetzle batter should be thick and viscous, throw bubbles and drip slowly from the wooden spoon – then it’s just right.
- Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes.
Cooking the Spaetzle
- Get a large pot, fill with water, bring the water to a boil and salt, then reduce the heat so it is just gently simmering.
- Then put the batter in small amounts into the boiling salted water using the spaetzle press or slicer.
- When the spaetzle rise to the surface of the water, they are done – then you can skim them into a sieve with a slotted spoon
The spaetzle are ready, well hello, they look great, now we can load up the plates and serve everyone a great goulash with spaetzle.
This is a great yummy dish, good old home cooking that everyone really likes. Don’t be surprised when all the eaters ask for a second helping. If you want to cook a lot of it right away, get your biggest slow cooker and just double the quantities given in the recipe above.
Can you reheat goulash?
Oh yes, goulash can be warmed up, like so many other stews, it tastes even better warmed up. Reheating the leftover goulash with spaetzle is convenient, you can just cook a big pot of goulash if you have free time on the weekend. Put the leftover stew in the fridge, it will keep for a few days. To warm it up, simply heat it up slowly on the stovetop over low heat, or pop it in the microwave for a few minutes on low power.