Veal Goulash with Sauerkraut

Veal cooked with onions, tomatoes, and served with a paprika sour cream sauce over sauerkraut. Also known as Szegedine Goulasch, an Austrian goulash.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or rendered beef fat
  • 2 pounds of veal, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced onions, sliced root to tip, 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, or chopped fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, chopped or crushed in a mortar with pestle
  • 2 28-30 ounce jars sauerkraut (we recommend Bubbies, in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1 Lightly brown the veal: Heat butter or beef fat in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Pat dry the cubed veal. Sprinkle with salt and add to pan. Working in batches, sauté the meat until the meat is just beginning to brown.

2 Add onions, then garlic: Add the onions to the pan with the veal, cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3 Add a teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of black pepper, and the tomatoes. Add enough water to just barely cover the meat, about 2 cups or so, depending on the size and shape of your pan.

4 Simmer about 30 minutes: Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, uncovered. Cook until the meat is almost cooked through, about 30 minutes.

5 Remove veal, reduce the sauce: Use a slotted spoon to remove the veal from the pan to a bowl to temporarily set aside. Increase the heat to high and let the liquid boil until it is reduced by half. Lower the heat to medium.

Add the meat back to the pan.

6 Add the sour cream, paprika, and crushed caraway seeds, and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes.

7 Heat the sauerkraut in a medium pot on medium heat until hot.

To serve, strain the sauerkraut. Place the sauerkraut in a serving dish and top with the goulash.

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  • phzs

    More paprika, please! It has to be bright red.
    I also make a fat-sautéed onion-paprika base for the sauerkraut, and mix it with the ragout, made with pork. In the end I add a handful of rice to the combined dish, which makes the sauce thicker.
    It is very important to keep the meat and sauerkraut ratio at 1:1. :)

  • Timka

    As it was written here before: gulyás (goulash) is NOT a german food! That’s hungarian. And as a hungarian from Hungary I have to tell you that this reciepe is not even a gulyás (which is a delicious soup with vegetables and meat and paprika of course, but that’s an other story:)).
    As someone wrote already it’s called székely káposzta.
    Both are traditional in Hungary and delicious, but not the same dishes. (and about it’s oder name: Szegedine goulash—I think it’s not in connection whith Szeged,which is the third biggest city in Hungary, and also known as the land of paprika, but I guess that this name came from a lady,an ordinary housewife, whose name was “Szegediné” which means Mrs. Szegedi. In hungarian that’s the mark (“né” ending with the husband’s name)of marrige.

    May I give you an advice aboute the usage of paprika? It gives you the best arome, if you take it to the oil, or fat directly. Beware that paprika can easily burn down, and than it’ll have an awful taste, so first you have to take the pan off the direct heat before adding the paprika. I would do it between the 2nd and the 3rd step in your recipe;)

    Anyway I’m glad to see that hungarian kitchen made you happy:)I hope you’ll taste that personally once)! (I would glad to cook you:))

    Best wishes
    Timka from Hungary

  • beata

    Hi, I am from Hungary and this is one of my favourite winter dishes! One should also try eating it the next day, with extra sour cream and a good slice of bread. Hungarians say that, following a break-up, love is not good reheated, only székelykáposzta is (this goulash with sauerkraut).

  • Bob

    If you do it right, the smell doesn’t have to be all that bad. My family doesn’t even really realize that I have a batch going when I’m making it… and I do it on the kitchen counter! Email me if you ever want a little friendly advice.

  • Bob

    I’m an OSU (Oregon State University) Master Food Preserver. I do a lot of canning, drying, freezing, smoking, etc., and teach others to do those things, too.

    Might I suggest a fun project for you and your father… making homemade sauerkraut! It is FAR superior to any commercially produced sauerkraut that I’ve ever had. It’s easy to make and can, and the effort is well worth it. I will eat no other in my home. Yes, I’m a sauerkraut snob.

    I think it would be wonderful in this dish, and I’m going to give it a try.

    I’ve been trying to talk my dad into making homemade sauerkraut for years. He doesn’t want to stink up his garage. But now that I have my own garage, I may tackle it. BTW, I had a friend make his own sauerkraut in his small apartment in New York City. He loved the sauerkraut but not the way the making of it made his apartment smell! ~Elise

  • Bela

    Oh, well. Johnny come lately … I’m Hungarian too but my compatriots already gave the lessons about the “gulyás” (goulash) and the “székely káposzta”. Fabulous dish! The memories eating it in the school cafeteria made me smile. Just like my childhood in Budapest. I always eat this with a slice of hearty bread. It’s just so good to dunk it in the “szaft” (sauce in Hungarian). I also put some extra sour cream on the top.

  • Kelly Senyei

    This recipe reminds me so much of my Hungarian grandmother’s goulash (and also of her chicken paprikas with nokedli). Thanks so much for brining back some of my favorite food memories!

  • Christine

    Seriously, I’m with Christina.

    The food looks delicious, but hello Elise’s dad. (Also that sounds super creepy, but I’m leaving it.) ;)

    Zokay, my dad is rather amused by these comments. :-) ~Elise

  • Richard Boggs

    I have the same exact cookbook you describe. Great recipes throughout. There is a comment about venison…the key to tender venison to treat it the same as veal…quick browning and low heat plus you need to use the backstrap (tenderloin).

  • Christina

    Looks good! But I wanted to comment on something rather unrelated to the recipe…

    Your dad looks amazing. I seriously paused at that picture and thought “wow… he’s ripped!”. And I’m easily young enough to be his grand-daughter. Good for him!

    He is, isn’t he? The guy is crazy strong. Lifts twice a week. :-) ~Elise

  • Beth

    Sounds yummy! I actually really like sauerkraut, but my husband might insist on serving over egg noodles instead. ;)

  • mantha

    Just because of where it comes from, it make me think of venison as a possible alternative to the veal. If it could be made tender enough. This looks delicious, and your pix are as always good enough to lick the screen for.

    Your dad is a fine-looking gentleman, and that blue suits him to a T. :)

  • CandyA

    If using American sauerkraut always always rinse it well before using. Eurpean kraut is much milder than ours here in the US and the overly sour taste could ruin this dish if you don’t rinse and drain well.

    Bubbies is the brand that we use (American). It is a high quality sauerkraut that you can only find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. You don’t need to rinse it. It’s perfect as is. I think perhaps with other brands of sauerkrauts, or with sauerkraut in cans, then rinsing is probably a good idea. ~Elise

  • Vladimir

    With any goulash recipe Hungarians will remind everyone that Hungarian goulash (gulyás) is actually a soup and not a stew.

    Szegedine Goulasch uses the German name for the Hungarian city of Szeged which is THE epicenter of sweet and hot paprika production.(as well as Hungarian sausage and salami) However this dish does not originate from there as it doesn’t use the required HEAPS of paprika. (Szeged’s real original food is Halázslé which is fisherman’s soup that uses the local catfish or carp and tons of paprika…very good!) Actually this dish is well-known to Hungarians as Szekély Káposzta. (pronounced Seh-kay Kah-pos-tah) which is actually the most well-known dish originating from the Hungarians in Transylvania, the Szekély. (Káposzta is the Hungarian word for cabbage) This is Hungarian stick-to-your-ribs soul food. The kind that you can imagine being a godsend after a cold and grey winter day and entering your house smelling this dish simmering on the stove. Rich and comforting that gives you strength for another day.

    Note that the veal is a bit of a luxury. Pork shoulder should be well enough for this dish. Also the carraway seeds is a Austrian/Swabian flair and may not be necessary, but I personally like that herbal taste.

    This is a really great winter dish that one should try. It is a different flavor profile than most dishes for the American table but it well worth a try.

  • Merry

    I love sauerkraut, but alas I’m the only one in my family who does. And Bubbies is great sauerkraut. I may make this and put everyone else’s over egg noodles and mine over Bubbies.

  • JUM

    This is a Hungarian recipe from the Southern city of Szeged. Traditionally prepared with pork – which is not a typical meat for goulash (that would be beef or veal). They always served it in school cafeterias when I was growing up in Hungary, and most kids hated it – saurkraut with fatty chunks of meat… But when my mom made it at home, it was delicious – now she prepares it with turkey thigh meat cubes! Thanks for reminding me of this!

  • Todd Whitney

    This looks awesome. It is technically a szegediner paprikash. Any time goulash is cooked w sour cream it is no longer considered goulash.

  • Craig

    My wife has an aversion to veal. Would other cuts of meat work?

    According to many in the comments, this dish is often (usually) made with pork. I did try it with pork and didn’t like it nearly as much as with the veal, but it was still good. Note that if you use pork, you’ll probably want to use a relatively tender cut, which would better mimic the constancy of veal. If not, then you’ll want to cook it a bit longer. ~Elise

  • Peter zalesak

    This is a common recipe in central Europe. I come from a Czech family and we had it often, always with pork, but the big difference is that we rinse the kraut and simmer it in the stew (add it in your step 3). Serve with noodles or boiled potatoes. One of my favorites.

  • jerryobaby

    Wow! De ja vu, all over again! I just stumbled across this exact same cookbook, Luchow’s German Cookbook, in my tiny, southeast Missouri, public county library! I was researching a recipe for authentic German bratwurst when I pulled this dusty little gem off the shelf. Their bratwurst recipe is amazing as well, btw… Now I’m going to have to go back and see what other tasty-goodness it contains… after I try the goulash, of course…

  • Alena

    I am a regular reader of this site. I know that you have previously used veal and while I don’t have an issue with veal per se, I do wish that you would differentiate between cuts of veal found at every grocery counter and those that are humanely raised.

  • Karell

    This looks excellent and really original! I’m excited for a new recipe yet familiar ingredients. Two questions, though:
    -Any particular cut of veal (or beef, or pork)?
    -If it meets your qualifications for the category could you please tag this as Low Carb? It meets mine and your LC section is an awesome and inspiring resource.
    Thank you!

    Hi Karell, no particular cut was specified in the original recipe and we just used veal stew meat. As for the low carb classification, great idea, thanks! I’ll add it. ~Elise