Old-Fashioned Goulash Recipe (Székely Gulyás)

Old-Fashioned Goulash Recipe Székely Gulyás

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Old-Fashioned Goulash Recipe Székely Gulyás

Old-Fashioned Goulash Recipe with Pork and Sauerkraut (Székely Gulyás)

The Old-Fashioned Goulash Recipe with Pork and Sauerkraut is a culinary journey into the heart of traditional Eastern European comfort food. This time-honored dish beautifully combines succulent pieces of pork with the tangy and savory notes of sauerkraut, all simmered together to create a symphony of flavors.
What makes this Hungarian goulash truly old-fashioned is the dedication to simplicity and authenticity. Slow-cooked to perfection, the pork becomes tender and infused with the essence of the sauerkraut, resulting in a dish that's both hearty and soul-warming.
The sauerkraut adds a delightful sourness and complexity to the goulash, while the spices and herbs enhance its depth. Served hot, this Old-Fashioned Goulash is a comforting reminder of timeless family gatherings and cherished recipes passed down through generations.
Whether enjoyed as a comforting weeknight dinner or as the centerpiece of a festive occasion, this recipe promises to transport your taste buds to the heart of Hungary, evoking a sense of nostalgia and a deep appreciation for the rich flavors of the past.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 10 servings


  • 140/4 oz/kg sauerkraut (sour cabbage)
  • 70/2 oz/kg diced pork shoulder
  • 10/300 oz/g yellow onions
  • 3.5/100 fl oz/ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper or to taste
  • 3 tbsp sweet paprika
  • some sour cream for serving


  • cut the sauerkraut (sour cabbage) head in half and remove the stub.
  • cut the cabbage into thin strips.
  • peel and chop the onions.
  • pour oil into the pot.
  • put the meat into the pot and sear it until bleached.
  • put the onion into the pot and fry it for about 10 minutes.
  • add cumin seeds and ground black pepper.
  • add paprika and stir continuously for about 1 minute.
  • pour about 0.5 l/17 fl oz of lukewarm water or vegetable broth.
  • put the sauerkraut in the pot.
  • reduce the temperature and pour lukewarm water into the pot to cover the ingredients.
  • simmer the goulash until the cabbage is tender (about 1.5-2 hours).
  • serve the goulash topped with sour cream


Cooking Tips for the Best Results:

1. Choose the Right Cut of Pork: Opt for pork shoulder or pork butt for this goulash recipe. These cuts have the ideal balance of meat and fat, ensuring a rich and flavorful stew.
2. Prepare the Pork in Advance:: To save time on busy days, consider bleaching the pork in advance and storing it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the goulash. This step will not only streamline the cooking process but also allow the pork to marinate in its flavors, resulting in even richer and more tender meat when you’re ready to simmer the goulash.
3. Rinse and Drain Sauerkraut: If you prefer a milder sauerkraut flavor, rinse and drain it before adding it to the goulash. This will remove some of the excess acidity and salt.
4. Simmer Slowly for Depth of Flavor: Goulash benefits from a slow, gentle simmer. Allow it to cook low and slow to allow the flavors to meld together and the pork to become tender.
5. Taste and Adjust Seasonings: Sauerkraut can vary in its level of sourness, so taste your goulash as it cooks and adjust the seasoning accordingly. You might need a touch of sugar to balance the sourness or extra paprika for depth.

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FAQs about the Old-Fashioned Goulash Recipe with Pork and Sauerkraut

Can I use a different type of meat for this goulash?

Yes, while pork is traditional, you can experiment with other meats like beef or even a combination of meats to suit your preferences. Just ensure they are suitable for slow cooking to achieve the desired tenderness.

What’s the best way to balance the sauerkraut’s acidity in the goulash?

If you find the sauerkraut to be too sour and/or salty, you can rinse and drain it before adding it to the dish. This will reduce its acidity and salt content while retaining its unique flavor.

Can I make this goulash in advance and reheat it?

Yes, Old-Fashioned Goulash with Pork and Sauerkraut reheats beautifully. In fact, many people believe it tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld.

What side dishes pair well with this goulash?

Common accompaniments include crusty bread, boiled potatoes, or buttered noodles. These sides complement the rich flavors of the goulash and soak up its delicious sauce.

Can I freeze leftover goulash?

Absolutely! This goulash freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then store it in airtight containers in the freezer. When reheating, you may need to add a splash of broth or water to restore the desired consistency.

➡️ Traditional goulash recipes such as the Szekler Goulash have kept their popularity because they are extremely delicious and easy to cook. I recommend you cook it as soon as possible because it is one of the best recipes that include pork and sauerkraut. Enjoy cooking old-fashioned goulash recipes from scratch! For additional info, read more here. I also recommend other tasty Hungarian goulash recipes available on this site.



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