Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What’s for Dinner: Old-Fashioned Goulash

It seems that everyone has their own variation of goulash, whether they call it that or not.  It may be known as macaroni with beef and tomatoes in your family. Our family calls it goulash.
This is not Hungarian goulash; that is a different animal altogether.  Maybe I’ll have one of my 15 Hungarian first cousins (two different families) share a recipe for that someday (if they want).
Today, I’m talking about the goulash that my grandma used to fix when my Uncle Bud came back from Oklahoma for vacation or when he was on leave from the Army and wanted home cooking. He also used to request his mom’s special chocolate chip cookies (and she gladly obliged).  (Come to think of it, grandma made anything for anybody if they asked. Sigh.)

Recipe: Old-fashioned goulash

2 cups dry elbow macaroni
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2-3  28-ounce cans whole tomatoes (I use 3 cans cuz I like it very tomato-y)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, cook elbow macaroni according to package directions, then drain and set aside (don’t overcook; macaroni will cook more as you make the goulash).
Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain the grease, then put ground beef in a dish lined with 2 paper towels to soak up even more grease (I don’t like to see orange floaty grease in my goulash).
In the now-empty skillet, sautee the onions in 1-2 teaspoons olive oil until just wilted.
In the same large pan used for cooking the macaroni, return the macaroni along with the ground beef. Add the whole tomatoes and slice each tomato in half to release the juice. Add the onions and gently stir. Add the green pepper last, and cook on medium-low for 10-15 minutes to warm everything up (try not to let it boil, or the elbows will get  soggy). Serve. Makes about 10-12 cups
            Nutrition info per 1 cup serving:  233 calories, 14 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 375 milligrams sodium.

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