Csángó gulyás is a wonderfully balanced Hungarian Goulash in the style of the Csángó people. Loaded with fall-apart tender beef and sauerkraut with a smattering of rice in a vibrant broth that's seasoned with sweet paprika, this Goulash is perfect on a cold winter day.

Csángó gulyás is a wonderfully balanced Goulash in the style of the Csángó people, perfect for winter.

Today I want to talk about cheeks. They’re a cut of meat that’s vastly underutilized, and whether you’re talking about beef, pork, or even fish, it’s a cut that tastes amazing! If you find the idea of eating cheeks a bit grotesque, let me remind you that anytime you’re eating meat, you are eating muscle tissue. Whether you choose a round steak(a fancy name for cow butt) from one end of the cow, or a cheek from the other, the only real difference is your perception of it.

Meat with lots of connective tissue like this beef cheek work best for Goulash

So what makes them so amazing? For one thing, cheeks tend to get a decent workout, so they receive good blood flow and develop lots of connective tissue. Cheeks also tend to contain a lot of fat evenly marbled into them. These aren’t necessarily great traits for a steak, but they’re perfect for slow cooking. Time and heat turns the collagen into gelatin, while slowly rendering out the fat. When the meat is done, it ends up so tender and succulent that it falls apart into a pile of glistening strands of meat when gently prodded with a fork.

Csango Goulash is a sauerkraut and beef goulash that's as easy as it is delicious.

Csángó Gulyás, or Goulash in the style of the Csango people, is the perfect way to use some beef cheeks if you’re able to get some from your butcher. Any cut of beef with lots of connective tissue such as the shins or chuck will work for this dish, but I love using cheeks so much because the rich beef is perfectly contrasted by the tart sauerkraut, while giving the soup and rice loads of flavor.

Cooked in stock with sweet paprika and a bit of caraway, Csango Goulash is traditionally more of a hearty soup than a stew, though you can take it in either direction by adjusting the size of the beef and the amount of liquid. Finished with a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt if you’re trying to be healthy), it’s the ultimate comfort food for a cold winter day. I served this Goulash with boiled potatoes, but dumplings or bread are both great accompaniments, or you can also increase the amount of rice (but be careful not to overdo it or you’ll end up with no soup left).

Csango Goulash (Csángó gulyás)Csángó gulyás is a wonderfully balanced Goulash in the style of the Csángó people, perfect for winter.


  • CourseEntree
  • CuisineBest
  • Yield6 servings
  • Cooking Time1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Preperation Time10 minutes
  • Total Time1 hour, 40 minutes


650 grams
beef cheeks
2 teaspoons
vegetable oil
270 grams
onion (~1 large onion, finely chopped)
14 grams
garlic (~2 large cloves, finely minced)
50 grams
Anaheim peppers (chopped)
6 cups
vegetable stock
1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon
caraway seed
bay leaf
50 grams
long-grain rice
680 grams
sauerkraut (lightly rinsed)
sour cream (to serve)


  1. Beef cheek cut into cubes for Sauerkraut Goulash
    Trim the beef of any excess fat and and then cut into 1.5-inch cubes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Browned beef cheeks for Csango Gulyas
    Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and then add the beef in a single layer. Brown on one side (4-5 minutes) and then flip and brown the other side. When the beef is browned, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Caramelized onions and peppers for Goulash.
    Turn down the heat and then add the onions and garlic to the pot. Cover and let the onions steam until tender (about 10 minutes). Remove the lid, add the peppers and then saute until the onions are browned.
  4. Sauerkraut and beef gulyas
    Add the vegetable stock, paprika, caraway and bay leaf, cover with a lid, and then let the beef cheek simmer over medium-low to low heat until it starts to get tender (about 45 minutes).
  5. Csángó gulyás simmering away on the stove.
    Drain and lightly rinse the sauerkraut. When the beef is almost tender, add the rice and sauerkraut to the Goulash. Cook until the sauerkraut and rice are tender (about another 30 minutes). Adjust salt to taste and serve with sour cream and dumplings, or boiled potatoes.