My Mom's Goulash
|Dreary, dark, rainy and chilly - that's what's happenin' in the Armpit of the Midwest. Probably any other time of the year, this weather would be slightly depressing to me, but not now. Although I do prefer the sunny, crisp days of Autumn, the rain and chill doesn't bother me - it only makes me want to curl up under the blankets with a good book or movie after, of course, I've made something that's comforting and warm to go with. Lots of options for delicious dishes when that chilly air hits.. but nothing as comforting as my Mom's Goulash. This was a staple in our family as I was growing up. She made this probably once a month even during the summer and we were all fans, regardless that we'd probably ate it 1,000 times over. =)|
The pasta is interchangeable in this recipe.. I've used rotini, shells, cavatappi and elbows. Anything that allows the sauce to stick is fine. Most everyone will have these ingredients on hand in their pantries and refrigerators, so it's a dish that can be made with little to no beforehand thought. It's also a one pot meal, which makes clean up a breeze. And.. it makes a lot - so if you are into left overs for lunch the next day, this is the perfect meal!
As always, when cooking one of my Mom's recipes.. there is no real measuring. "Eyeball" it, as Rachael says - you really can't go too wrong if you taste it as you are cooking it.
I hope if you try this recipe, that it will become a family favorite for you and yours as it is to our family. =)
The following recipe is written exactly as my Mom recited to me.. below is how I made it last night.
3 lbs. ground round
2-3 sm. onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 lg. cans of tomato sauce
2 lg. cans of water
dash of oregano
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2-3 cans of sliced mushrooms
1 lb. springs (rotini pasta)
Saute onions & pepper in a very small amount of vegetable oil until they start to soften, add ground beef and brown. Add tomato sauce, water and seasonings. Cook until it cooks down just a bit. Add mushrooms and springs - either already cooked to al dente or they can be thrown in dry, cooking time will just take a little longer and you might have to add a little more water. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes (or until pasta is cooked if you use dry).
*Note: Just so you can see how versatile this is.. I didn't have the large cans of tomato sauce, so I used 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and 2 regular sized cans of the tomato sauce (filled each can with water). Also.. we're talking just plain tomato sauce in a can.. not marinara (Ragu, or the others). I only had 1 med. vidalia and 3/4 of a yellow pepper as well as only 1.5 lbs. of ground round.. worked fine. I'd say for the amount of tomatoes I used, the measurements for the seasonings were.. 2 heaping tsps. of the garlic and onion powders. 1 heaping tsp. of the oregano and salt. 6 turns of the pepper mill. I used 1 sm. carton of fresh sliced mushrooms. And I probably added about 3 cups of elbow macaroni, which I threw in dry - and the simmering time was still just about a 1/2 hour as the elbows were small. Also, I like a lil sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano on top. It's not rocket science.. use what you have and don't sweat it. :D
Also! This is her chili recipe as well.. sub kidney beans for the pasta and spice it up with hot pepper flakes and a diced jalapeno or two. =) No wait, there's more! hehehe This is also her Mexican Rice recipe! I know!! Sub rice for the pasta and you're good to go! tee! :)