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.
- 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)
- 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.