Paleo Hungarian Goulash (Instant Pot)
Goulash is a recipe that holds a lot of memories and sentiment for me. By goulash, I don’t mean the American concoction of elbow pasta, ground beef, and spaghetti sauce. I’m talking about the authentic stuff, but authentic Hungarian goulash stew with a fiery-colored paprika sauce.
I spent a year and a half in Austria during my early 20s as a representative for the LDS church, and fell in love with the unique mixture of German and Hungarian food that we ate. I learned to appreciate good sausage, homemade sauerkraut, authentic apple strudel, and ate more bowls of Hungarian goulash than I could count. I also ate Nutella for the first time, so basically my time there changed my life.
Side story: I also learned what Wienerschnitzel actually is, and shake my head with embarrassment when I see the Wienerschnitzel restaurants here in the States serving hot dogs. WIENERSCHNITZEL is NOT a hot dog.
Wiener = from Wien (Vienna), or Viennese
Schnitzel = slice or cutlet
Wienerschnitzel is actually a pounded pork or turkey cutlet that is breaded and fried and usually served with fries. It’s one of my favorite Austrian dishes — especially the “cordon bleu” version that is stuffed with Swiss cheese and ham slices. IN-CREDIBLE.
It’s a good thing we did a lot of walking around and climbing stairs in really old elevator-less buildings or else I would have weighed 500 pounds when I came home.
Ok, back to goulash. And time for another story — this one’s good because it involves yodeling.
There was an elderly woman we visited who invited us over for lunch quite often. Her name was Maria Güsenleitner, and she was Austria’s “Queen Yodeler” back in the 1940s. (Yes, that was a thing.) She was quite famous and even did voiceover work in movies during that time.
Maria was fun to chat with and she liked to show us clips from the movies in which her crisp yodeling vocals were featured. She also made the best goulash and served it to us every time we came over. Sometimes we ate it with egg noodles. Sometimes with steamed potatoes. It was one of my favorite things to eat.
The fact that I can make authentic goulash in my Instant Pot makes me giddy. You can also make it in a slow cooker (see recipe notes), and that version is in my paleo slow cooker cookbook, too!
Despite the hot sauce-colored gravy, this stew isn’t spicy. You can certainly make it spicy by adding more Hungarian hot paprika and maybe some chili flakes.
We ate it this particular day with some leftover Instant Pot Cauliflower Puree with Rosemary & Garlic — a PERFECT COMBO. But, unless you have two Instant Pots or prep one of the dishes ahead of time, it could be somewhat cumbersome making both at dinnertime.
You can also serve it over rice, baked potatoes, or gluten-free noodles. And if you add a little more beef broth, you can eat it like a soup!
Have short ribs? Try these Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Beef Short Ribs!