World Tour Wednesday-Hungary

Today was time for another World Tour Wednesday! We love having ethnic foods that we know we love, but it’s always fun to try something new. When we started researching Hungary, we knew that we would do goulash, the meal for which they’re probably most famous. I grew up eating a lot of my papa’s version of goulash, and I didn’t really like it, so I wasn’t excited about this one. I understand now that it was a cheap way to feed a lot of grandkids, but I learned this week that the traditional form of goulash in Hungary is much different from the American version. While the American goulash is usually a mixture of elbow macaroni, a tomato sauce, and ground beef, the Hungarian version is a rich stew with chunks of beef, onions, sweet paprika, tomato, and caraway seeds. Most serve it on top of noodles or potatoes. We chose mashed potatoes and also made a traditional cake, Dobosh Torte.

My daughter loves to bake, so she was eager to make the cake, a 7 layer sponge cake. But it was a LOT of work and just okay. It is a dense sponge cake with buttercream filling and a caramel glaze, but the texture is just very different than what we are accustomed to in the US. The buttercream was unique with a base of cooked egg whites, but we had difficulty with the peaks stiffening. The taste of the buttercream was really flavorful though and the texture is very light. That was probably the best part of the cake. On her first attempt for the caramel glaze, she let the caramel cook a bit too much, so it had a bitter taste and we had to throw away the top layer…so it became a 6 layer cake instead of 7. Just a lot of work again for a cake that we will probably throw away tomorrow. (I hope this doesn’t sound like a big whine about this meal…I didn’t think it was as horrible as my family made it out to be!)

I was surprised at the reaction of my family because they didn’t really care much for this meal. In fact, my daughter hardly ate any of it and said she never wanted it again. Most of them gave it a 5. I thought the stew had a really nice flavor, and the beef was so tender. I think the tomato paste in the stew is what threw them all off, but I didn’t mind it. I gave the meal a 7. So overall, we rated this meal a:


Hungarian Goulash

I converted to an Instant Pot recipe and it came out great!


2 tsp butter or oil

1.5 pounds beef stew meat

1 onion, diced

1/4 cup flour

2 TBSP sweet paprika

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups beef broth

8 oz tomato paste

about 3 cups new potatoes, halved or quartered

about 1.5 cups baby carrots


Add flour to your beef and shake until all coated. In your Instant Pot, put 2 tsp of butter or oil. Add beef and onion to oil and put on saute function. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Then add paprika, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper and combine. (I did add some minced garlic too because it just seemed right…lol.) Slow add beef broth and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen everything. Keep adding and stirring until all 2 cups of broth are added. Then stir in tomato paste, potatoes, and carrots.

Put top on Instant Pot and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Naturally release for about 5 minutes. If still thick afterwards, you can add a little cornstarch to thicken.

Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles.

For the cake, Dobosh Torta, I will just link the recipe we used. We didn’t change it up any, and it is pretty detailed, so this is the one we used! Let me know if you make this meal and give us your thoughts!

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