Diana Rigg’s Goulash

I’ve got my head down finishing work on the Columbo cookbook – publication date is 20th February – eek!  I’m going to continue working my way through all the wonderful feedback I’ve had from those of you who have kindly tested recipes for me and create posts for each one.  At the moment I’m only doing what my chum Sarah Akrobettoe (my partner in crime on the Patti LaBelle video) calls “convenience cooking”.  No time for anything else…  But here’s one I made earlier…

As far as I know, cider is not a traditional component of a goulash, but Diana uses it in hers, and somehow, it works.  This was really very tasty indeed.  It was very difficult to make it look nice in a photo though.  As it was pointed out to me many moons ago by the lovely Alastair Hendy, brown food is very hard to photograph.  Definitely one for the Vincent Price Co*Star cookbook though, I liked it.

As I don’t have a nice pic of the goulash, how about some pics of Diana?!

…and here’s the way she makes her goulash!

Diana says: “As a change from ordinary cooking, I enjoy some international cuisine.  Goulash is a stew using a cheap cut of meat, made tender by long slow cooking.  The flavourings are unusual and result in a dish that is different and delicious.  It re-heats well for a second day.”

Diana Rigg’s Goulash

Serving Size: 6-8

Diana Rigg’s Goulash


  • 1/2 pint / 284ml cider*
  • 2 1/4 lb / 1 kilo cheapest cut stewing steak
  • 1 lb / 450g onions
  • 2 oz / 56g lard [slightly less than 1/3 cup]
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • salt [I used a teaspoon]
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • grated rind of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds and dried marjoram
  • * this recipe was in a British cookbook so Diana would have been referring to an imperial pint, which is different to an American pint...


  1. Trim fat and skin from the steak and cut into strips.
  2. Cut the onions into thin slices.
  3. Melt the lard in a strong pan and fry the onion until golden brown. Stir in the paprika and half the cider and boil for a minute or two.
  4. Stir in the rest of the cider, the meat, salt, chopped tomatoes and seasonings (garlic, lemon rind, caraway seeds and marjoram).
  5. Cover pan with lid and cook as slowly as possible until the meat is tender (usually about 2-3 hours).
  6. Serve with boiled potatoes and plain noodles.
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