Transylvanian Goulash

Transylvanian Goulash was made wildly popular by a restaurateur in Pittsburgh. Rich pork and paprika with a base of caraway topped with sour cream and dill…. perfect comfort food!

This is great over egg noodles or with mashed potatoes or European dumplings. Lots of flavourful juces to be soaked up!

Choose a pork roast cut that is well marbled. You could use Pork butt but I find that a bit too fatty. I used a sirloin roast that had a good fat cap. I trimmed the fat cap but as you can see in the photos below the meat was nicely marbled. I came out fork tender!

It takes about 25 minutes to prepare and brown your ingredients and then it goes in the overn for 1 1/2 hours. So you need a bit of time to make this. You only add the sauerkraut in the last 30 minutes of oven time so it doesn’t cook down to a mush.

Paprika is the defining goulash flavouring but the caraway seeds lend a nice depth of flavour. The pork is fairly rich tasting and there is lots of sauce so it is good to serve it over a base of potatoes or noodles or some kind of dumpling. Spaetzle would be good too!

Wine Pairing for Transylvania Goulash

The final taste of this dish is surprisingly mild so you have a lot of options here. A dry Riesling, a Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay would all work.

For red look for low tannins. 100% Grenache or a Rhone Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend would be good. An Italian Barbera would also go nicely.

Close up of Transylvanian Goulash in a bowl over yellow potatoes, garnished with sour cream and fresh dill.

Transylvanian Goulash

Rich pork in a paprika/caraway seed sauce spells delicious. Add a dollop of sour cream and a bit of dill to highlight even more flavour when serving.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Servings: 8 servings


  • 3.5 lbs sirloin pork roast or other marbled roast cut
  • 1 tsps salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp veg oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 red pepper chopped (can sub green pepper)
  • 2 stalks celery choppped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 3 Tbsps Hungarian sweet paprika do not use smoked or hot paprika
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups sauerkraut See Note 1
  • sour cream for serving
  • fresh dill for garnish


  • Trim any excess fat cap from pork roast. Cut roast in to 1 1/2" cubes. Season meat with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  • Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven, preferable not non-stick. Add pork cubes when oil is hot. Sear pork about 2 minutes per side in a single layer. You may need to work in batches. Do not disturb pork during the 2 minutes per side. You want it to brown and create a fond on the bottom of the pot. If there is too much juice created during cooking drain it into a large bowl. Surface has to be relatively dry to brown the meat. As pork browns transfer it to the bowl with any juices.
  • Add the onion, pepper, celery and tomato to the Dutch oven and cook 8 minutes until soft. Return the pork and any juices to the Dutch oven. Add the caraway seeds, garlic and paprika and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cup water and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer while oven preheats to 325°.
  • Cook covered 1 hour.
  • Drain the sauerkraut juices off and add the sauerkraut stirring well. Return to oven uncovered and cook another 30 minutes.
  • Serve over potatoes or noodles with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of fresh dill for garnish.


Note 1:  You can use 2-3 cups of sauerkraut depending on how much you like it or how much goulash you want to end up with.
Nutrition assumes 1 Tbsp sour cream per serving and does not include potatoes or noodles.


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 562mg | Potassium: 1063mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2009IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg
Transylvanian GoulashTransylvanian Goulash

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