Easy Slow Cooker Beef Goulash is packed with chunks of tender beef and plenty of peppers. Transformed by a rich tomato and smoky paprika sauce, it’s the perfect beef stew for a cold winter’s day.
This my take on a Hungarian goulash. I’ve added tomatoes and red bell peppers to the traditional ingredients of meat, onions and paprika.
As well as being one of my favourite ingredients, red peppers make the stew go a little further. The tomato passata adds an extra richness and makes for a lovely thick stew.
I use a mix of paprika and smoked paprika but if smoked is not available, substitute it with paprika. Regular readers may recall we love a bit of heat so I’ve used one tablespoon of smoked paprika. If you’re not so keen on spicy heat, use half a tablespoon instead. Smoked paprika really is worth using because it delivers an extra depth of flavour with a smokey finish.
I love using the slow cooker for hearty, warming stews on chilly days. Ideal for a beef goulash, the long, slow cooking produces melt in your mouth beef and a rich smokey sauce.
I like to add the peppers once the meat is soft and tender. This way, the peppers keep their shape and texture much better. That said, if you’ll be pushed for time at the end of the cooking, include the peppers at the beginning.
For me, I find if the peppers are stirred in when I get home, the timing is just right. It means I’ve time for a cuppa and getting the rest of the meal ready. Serve with noodles and a dollop of sour cream. Or maybe try a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes or rice ?
What Ingredients Do I Need ?
Beef – I’ve used brisket seasoned with salt and pepper and dredged with flour but you don’t have to use brisket. Alternatively, chuck steak or beef labelled as stewing or braising transforms into tender chunks of fall apart meat too.
Paprika – I’ve used regular paprika and smoked paprika which work together for a real depth of flavour to the goulash. If you can’t get hold of smoked paprika, substitute it with paprika.
Onions and garlic – I’ve used large brown onions.
Passata – adds richness and keeps the sauce nice and thick.
Tomato puree and beef stock – adds more flavour to the sauce.
Red bell peppers – a deviation from a traditional goulash but I love the texture contrast.
A little cider vinegar – added towards the end of cooking will balance the acid in the tomatoes.
How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Goulash
Full recipe details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Brisket chunks are tossed in a seasoned paprika flour mix and browned. The lovely pieces of paprika crusted beef cook with the sauce to deliver a wonderful flavour. This flavour is much deeper than if you simply added paprika to the passata and stock.
Softened onions and garlic are added to the slow cooker along with the beef, a bay leaf, stock and passata. Everything is then left to cook on low for six to eight hours.
Peppers are added once the meat is soft and tender. The peppers keep their shape and texture much better this way. If you know you’ll be pushed for time, include the peppers with all the other ingredients at the beginning.
How To Serve
Serve with sour cream or yogurt
Or Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Can I Cook It In The Oven ?
Yes, you can! But you will need more stock and passata. This is because liquid evaporates more in an oven than in a slow cooker. For oven cooking use 600ml passata and 250 ml beef stock.
Cook in a cast iron casserole or flameproof casserole and cook at 160C for 3 hours. Add peppers and cider vinegar before cooking for a further 30 minutes.
Can I Use Other Meat Instead ?
Yes. The goulash sauce in this recipe makes a delicious chicken, pork or lamb goulash.
Slow Cooker Chicken Goulash
You can use chicken breast or boneless thighs cut into chunks.
Follow the recipe substituting chicken for beef and cook on low for four hours or two hours on high. Add the peppers at the beginning of the recipe.
Slow Cooker Lamb Goulash
Use the cut you would use in a stew, such as middle neck/neck or boned and diced shoulder.
Substitute lamb for beef and follow the recipe as directed, cooking times are the same as for beef.
Slow Cooker Pork Goulash
Use the cut you would use in a stew such as tenderloin, leg, chump end or diced shoulder.
Substitute pork for beef and follow the recipe as directed, cooking times are the same as for beef.
Can Slow Cooker Beef Goulash Be Reheated ?
Yes. Once cooled the stew can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Reheat in a pan on the stovetop for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Can I freeze it?
Yes. Cook the goulash, then cool, cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stovetop for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
More Hearty Slow Cooker Meals……
Slow Cooker Beef Goulash
- large frying pan
- Slow Cooker
- 1 kg beef brisket or chuck steak cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 or ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons rapeseed/Canola oil
- 2 large onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 125 ml beef stock
- 400 ml passata / sieved tomatoes
- 3 red peppers sliced
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Sour cream and freshly chopped parsley to serve
- Lightly grease the inside of your slow cooker with oil or cooking spray and turn your slow cooker on high.
- Add paprika, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to your flour and coat the beef chunks before setting to one side.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the paprika floured beef chunks to your frying pan and brown well before transferring them to the slow cooker.
- Add a little more oil to your frying pan and soften the onion before adding the tomato puree and crushed garlic. Add the passata and stock to onion mix and warm through before transferring to the slow cooker.
- Stir well and add the bay leaf and leave to cook with the lid on for 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.
- Add the sliced red peppers and cider vinegar and stir and cook on high for 1 to 1½ hours with the lid on.
- After one hour check you peppers are cooked to your liking and the stew is the thickness you like. For a thicker stew add a little cornflour and water and cook with the lid off for another half hour.
- Serve with soured cream and chopped fresh parsley with buttered noodles or a big bowl of creamy mashed potato.
- Once cooled the stew can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in a pan on the stovetop on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Goulash freezes well, keep in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Pin Slow Cooker Beef Goulash for later
I’m entering Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Goulash into a couple of food challenges this month: