Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew inspired by classic Hungarian stews and soups such as Goulash, Paprikash and Pörkölt.

It isn’t an authentic Hungarian recipe, but it’s still flavoursome and comforting….oh so comforting!

We don’t eat much beef at home and when we do it’s the same dishes: Thai-style stir fry or steak, chips , eggs and maybe a salad if I’m feeling guilty about all the fried food!

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

I was craving British beef stew with dumplings and minus the alcohol, but I remembered the first and last time I cooked that for my husband he disliked it with a passion. It wasn’t so much the stew, but the ‘soggy dumplings’ that happen to be my favourite part!

Then I remembered I’d recently tried Yvonne’s Beef Stew, but with Lamb and whilst I enjoyed it with Lamb, I wanted to try it again with beef and so I did. Not only did I have it for Lunch but Dinner too and if I could have had it for Breakfast I would have. It’s that good people. My husband ate it without complaint, but I can tell it’s not going to be a favourite of his.

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

I changed a few things from Yvonnes’s recipeI halved the amount of lots of the ingredients – to serve 3-4 people instead of 4-6 and cooked the stew for 2 ½ – 3 hours instead of 5-6. I added celery just because it was in my fridge going soft but you could add most vegetables here, I’m thinking chopped bell peppers are a good way to go. I used a little tomato paste instead of crushed tomatoes for colour more than flavour and finally I used a stock cube and water instead of liquid stock. Also the method, a little different but nothing too drastic.

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

Do you ever wonder what’s the difference between a Soup and Stew? In theory, it’s about the about the amount of water you add and how long you cook it for. Soup tends to have more water – lower concentration of meat, vegetables, pulses and cooks quicker than Stew. Stew you barely cover with water – higher concentration of meat, vegetables and/or slow-cooked for hours.

Beef works perfectly in Stew, as it’s a tougher meat and the slow-cooking method is the best way to tenderize such meat.

I’m a massive (MASSIVE) fan of cooking meat on the bone, though I don’t know any recipe that uses beef on the bone, except ribs. Maybe because beef bones are just too big, it is Cow after all. Without the bones for a self-made stock / added flavour in the stew, a stock is essential. My stock came in the form of a cube, but one of these days I will make my own stock for recipes such as these إن شاء الله.

I really enjoyed my bowls of this warm, thick Smoked Paprika Beef Stew because despite the sunshine on this day it was bitterly cold.

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

Speaking of thickness, this stew has two thickeners: Potatoes and Flour. The flour coats the stewing beef pieces before they are sealed in hot oil. Flour protects the meat from the high heat of the pan and helps lock in the beef juices as well as thickening the liquid in the Stew. Potatoes when cooked for a long time breakdown and become one with the liquid, thus thickening the Stew.

I finished my stew with chopped coriander and an extra sprinkling of Smoked Sweet Paprika. By all means use other fresh herbs such as Parsley, Basil or Thyme and if you like your food hot, use Smoked Hot Paprika and combine with some chopped fresh Chillies while cooking and for garnish.

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

I enjoy a good hot dish every once in a while, but I often think Chillies can overwhelm instead of compliment the rest of a dish, especially when used excessively and here you want the smokiness to be the distinguishing flavour. So, be careful or you know go wild with Chilli, if that’s what you’re into.

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Serving Size: 3-4

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew inspired by classic Hungarian stews and soups such as Goulash, Paprikash and Pörkölt.

It isn’t an authentic Hungarian recipe, but it still flavoursome and comforting….oh so comforting!


For Dredging:
    • plain flour (all purpose)
    • 450 grams halal beef stewing steak, cut into bite-size cubes
    • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 brown onion, grated or finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 stick celery, chopped
    • 1 cup carrots, peeled roughly chopped
    • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
    • 1-2 bay leaves (European) *optional
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 litre (4 cups) water
    • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube (halal if chicken)
    • ½ cup frozen peas
    • Salt (to taste and if needed)
  • fresh coriander leaves (or parsley, basil, thyme)
  • pinch smoked sweet paprika, for sprinkling


  1. Dredge beef cubes in flour and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large cooking pot or Dutch oven.
  3. Seal and brown flour-dredged beef cubes on all sides, remove and set aside.
  4. If necessary add another tablespoon of oil to the pot,then soften onions, carrot and celery until onions are translucent, scraping the bottom of the pan to stop the leftover meat residues from burning. Add garlic, black pepper, smoked paprika, bat leaves and tomato paste, saute for a few minutes more, add a splash of water if needed to stop spices from burning.
  5. Crumble over stock cube, add water and potatoes, increased heat and bring up to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and a simmer. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, add peas about 20-30 minutes before the end of cooking. Remember to stir the stew at 20 minute intervals after about half-way through cooking time – to stop the flour from sticking to the base of the pan and burning.
  6. Serve warm, garnished with your favourite herbs and a sprinkling of smoked paprika if you like.


I didn’t need to add salt because the stock cube I used had enough, but taste towards the end and adjust accordingly. You could serve this stew alongside bread or rice, but I find it’s enough all on it’s own.

Smoked Paprika Beef Stew
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Smoked Paprika Beef Stew

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