Trudy McNall’s Home Cooking Hungarian Goulash

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Hearty and satisfying Hungarian Goulash adapted from a vintage recipe from Trudy McNall is a filling and delicious winter meal.

Being the food geek that I am, I often alternate between searching for local recipes and looking for general vintage recipes. When I stumbled upon Trudy McNall and her collection of recipes I felt like I hit the jackpot! Not only were these vintage recipes, but they are from a well known and much loved local celebrity chef.

Who Was Trudy McNall?

Before Julia Child was a national household name Rochester had it’s own celebrity chef, Trudy McNall.

Gertrude “Trudy” McNall a Pennsylvania native, graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1934 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. She also studied at Fannie Farmer’s Cooking School in Boston.

She married Stephen McNall, a Henrietta farmer, in 1941, and aside from helping to work on the farm, she passed on her cooking knowledge and skills in 4-H Club classes, and wrote articles for Woman’s Home Companion and Better Living.
Mrs. McNall appeared twice on Ann Rogers’ WHAM-TV morning show in 1953. Impressed, the station management invited her to start the live, half hour Home Cooking. Mrs. McNall would not just deal with entrees, “but with how to assemble a total dinner, and what went with what,” Rogers said. So the show became “basic training in cooking” for many young people, women and men.

Trudy found great success with the long running Home Cooking segment. Women loved to tune in and learn to cook new dishes, and get inspiration from her weekly menus. Every week Trudy offered menus in collaboration with Star Markets, housewives could request the weekly menu and recipes by mailing a SASE (Self addressed Stamped Enevlope) into the station.

After the show went off the air in 1963, Mrs. McNall worked as a consultant for food-service businesses, and had a test kitchen at R.T. French’s in Rochester, she also made guest appearances on TV and radio.

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian goulash is drastically different from America goulash, and more closely resembles beef stew that the beef pasta version for goulash. I loaded my goulash with potatoes and carrots for my husband who loves potatoes, but you could easily leave them out if you aren’t as big of a fan of potatoes as my husband. One of the key ingredients in Hungarian Goulash is Hungarian sweet paprika, which delivers sweet pepper flavor without being spicy, I found it to be a tad more pricey than regular paprika, but in recipes like Hungarian Goulash, stuffed peppers, and Hungarian chicken paprikash there really is no substitute.

Trudy McNall’s Hungarian Goulash

I found a copy of Trudy’s Hungarian Goulash over at Trudy McNall’s Home Cooking, the site was created anonymously and seems to be a complete collection of McNall’s recipes, someone put a lot of time into perserving these recipes.


2 lbs beef chuck
1 c. chopped onions
1/4 c. shortening
1 T. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. paprika
2 c. bouillon (2 or 3 bouillon cubes in 2 c. hot water)
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 c. peeled diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Bouquet Garni (1 bay leaf, 1 stalk celery and leaves, 2 T. chopped parsley, 1 t. thyme all tied up in a piece of cheesecloth)


Brown beef in shortening, add onions and continue to cook until onions are lightly browned. Stir in flour, salt and paprika. Add remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Cover, simmer about 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender. Remove Bouquet Garni. Serve with hot macaroni or buttered noodles. Serves 6.

Hungarian Goulash Updated

My recipe is very similiar to Mrs. McNalls, but I did tweak a few things to suit our preferences and modern ingredients. Instead of making beef broth with bouilon I used premade beef stock. Because stock is often made with aromatics and has a richer flavor than bouilon I skipped the Bouquet Garni. I also went with canned tomato products, because that is what I happened to have in my pantry, and while the recipe is written in a way that makes me think it is calling for fresh tomatoes, I feel at the time it would have been common for women to be using a mixture of homecanned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes or commercially canned tomatoes. I don’t think there is a wrong answer here. I opted to serve my hungarian goulash as is, but if I had made it without the potatoes, I would have definitely served it over hot buttered egg noodles.

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 pound stewing beef trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, optional
  • 3 cups potatoes, optional
  • fresh parsley, as garnish


    1. In a large pot, over medium heat melt butter and add onion. Cook the onion until soft and translucent. Stir in caraway seeds and paprika and mix well.
    2. In a bowl, dredge the stew beef with flour. Brown the beef in the pot with the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
    3. Slowly add about 1/4 cup of the beef broth to deglaze the pan, and lift the flavorful bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, (potatoes and carrots if using), bay leaf, salt and pepper.
    4. Stir and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 1/2 -2 hours or until tender.
    5. Before serving sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, if desired and serve over hot buttered noodles.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 825mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g

Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

I don’t personally remember Trudy McNall or her Home Cooking segment, but learning about her has been fun. I loved this recipe for Hungarian Goulash, and I am looking forward to trying more of her recipes.

Do you remember Trudy McNall? Did your mother collected her recipes?

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