Sunday, September 26, 2010

A nickel's worth of goulash beats a five dollar can of vitamins

I love goulash  . . .  a quick easy one-pot meal that is filling, satisfying and versatile.

Goulash - gulyás - is a traditional Hungarian dish that in its truest form is cooked with beef, onions, tomato, some green pepper and paprika.  It is considered a soup, albeit a hearty soup, and is a staple in Hungarian households.  It is a substantial meal that is sometimes served with noodles or potato but the recipe is consistent.

The goulash that I know and love bares little resemblance to this dish but has been tossed into the melting pot and what comes out is not traditional Gulyás but American goulash.  The primary similarity . . .  the name and the beef. 

American Goulash can be found in any number of forms.  But typically included elbow macaroni, ground beef, and some form of tomatoes (canned, fresh, soup, etc).  It is a simple meal that is easy to prepare.

There are countless variations depending on the state, region, ethnicity of the cook.  Ingredients that may be used are corn, bell peppers, onions, celery, kidney beans, or chile peppers.  Cheese is a welcome addition to almost any dish . . . so toss it on!

A friend of mine makes a killer goulash . . . I don’t know the recipe.  The base ingredients are the usual but it includes pretty much anything that is left over  . . . brocooli, eggplant, mushrooms, squash, beans.

The recipe I grew up with was ground beef sautéed with onions with elbow macaroni, canned tomatoes and black olives - sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese.  Yum!

Here is my favorite Goulash recipe.

  • 1 Lb Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Lbs Ground Beef
  • 3 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 Medium Chopped Onion
  • 1 Chopped Green Pepper
  • 2 Or 3 Chopped Chili Peppers
  • 8-10 Small Fresh Tomatoes – Skinned, Seeded And Chopped (Canned Can Be Substituted, Of Course)
  • 1 Small Can Tomato Paste
  • One Can Kidney Beans
  • One Can Black Olives
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Cups Sour Cream
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Bring water to boil for macaroni and cook until done. Drain and leave in colander. 

Brown the ground beef. Drain the grease and put in the colander with the macaroni.

Saute the garlic, onions and peppers in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until soft with a little crunch left in them.  

Add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes. 

Add the macaroni, ground beef, kidney beans and olives.  Stir until combined. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the tomato paste diluted with a little water and stir until mixed well.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes and then add sour cream. 

Serve with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese


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