Sunday, August 24, 2008

Culinary Creations: Goulash for Grown-Ups

OK, this isn't in fact Goulash at all, but if you were a kid in America, in your reality, it was. I suppose Beef & Macaroni would be a more appropriate name. That's exactly what the version I found in the freezer section of Whole Foods was called. For $2.99, they sell an organic version that is pretty good. The pasta is perfectly al dente, even after 3 minutes in the microwave. While this was a perfectly acceptable version of the childhood classic, and a good option for lunch, I decided to set out to make my own. It has been around 10 years since I’ve made this (I think the last time was when I was living in Wymondham around ’98), so I decided to make an adult version. It’s basically the same standard recipe everyone knows, with a few additions. Here is what I came up with:
  • 1 pound ground beef (or buffalo, turkey, vegetarian crumbles)
  • ½ Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Dash crushed red pepper
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Dash of dried oregano
  • Dash of dried thyme
  • 1 can (14 ½ oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 6 oz red wine
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni

1. Cook macaroni according to box.

2. Brown the ground beef on medium heat.

3. Before beef is completely brown, add the garlic, onion, carrot, green pepper, salt, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, oregano, and thyme. Continue to cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened.
4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, Worcester sauce and gently simmer for at least ½ hour on low heat.5. Slowly stir in cooked macaroni, allowing the sauce to fill the pasta tubes. Allow to simmer 5 minutes on low.

6. To finish off, once in serving bowls, garnish with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.

Serves 4.

The results weren't bad. I used buffalo instead of beef, and really welcomed the addition of red wine. Also, I had forgotten to buy a green pepper, so had to use red. In addition to the herbs mentioned, I added a little fresh rosemary. While you could serve it with crusty garlic bread and salad for dinner, mine is going into little containers for my lunch this week. It has been raining here for weeks, so this will make the perfect stay-in-the-office lunch time treat.


Jane King said...

Whoa hang on a sec this is what americans (still??) think goulash is? Thats funny! Not that British people are smart about food to be fair but it still funny :-)

Amy Jemima said...

Well, proper goulash is popular here too, but they still do tend to call this stuff goulash too. Go figure. I had a friend in school that wouldn't eat much when he was little, so his mom called it "Cowboy Stew" and it became his favorite food. My mom took us to a Russian restaurant a few weekends ago and I had the best goulash I’ve ever had in my life.