Mom’s Goulash (Mostly)

My mom made a pretty authentic goulash in certain respects.  In certain other respects it wasn’t really goulash at all.  I’m now making something somewhere in between.

The Hungarians would make a sort of soup called goulash and serve that with or over cubed boiled potatoes.  The Germans like a thicker version and serve that over spaetzle.  My mom used elbow macaroni.  I have a spaetzle maker but usually just reach for a nice orzo lately.

My mom used a combination of tomato juice and tomatoes.  I skip the juice.  Feel free to include some to make a thinner version.  You could also add chicken stock to take it more into the soup dimension.  My mom used stewed tomatoes but I use just diced.

My mom used ground beef, but I’ve gone more traditional here and cube nice beef and brown that.

Finally, my mom didn’t use paprika (I know!) and I use a lot.  If I can brown the beef and saute the onions over fire I use Hungarian sweet, but if I can’t I use Spanish smoked paprika instead.  Or maybe a combination.  I’m not too picky about this detail.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef (browned)
  • 2 large onions (sauted but not browned)
  • 1 T garlic (optional)
  • tomatoes (2 cans of Muir Glen diced is typical for me)
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ paprika (yes, a lot)

Directions:

  • brown beef and set aside
  • saute onions in whatever fat remains, scrap up the bits, and let them go translucent (take your time)
  • add everything into the pot (except the pasta) and let that simmer for a long while, relax
  • cook the pasta you chose (or potatoes or make spaetzle)
  • you can combine the starch and sauce together and server or serve portions (I usually combine in the pasta just prior to serving time so it’s a one pot stop)

That’s it.  Basic.  Easy.  Fucking delicious.

JamesIsIn

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