American Goulash

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This recipe is how my mom used to make Goulash, and I have been making it since I got married nearly 30 years ago (YIKES)!  Actually, I even made it as a teen when my parents were both working, and had it ready for them when they got home.  Over the years, I have tried “doctoring” it up with various seasonings, but honestly, it just tastes better with just salt and pepper.

Note:  This will make a big batch!

2 lbs ground chuck

1 large onion

1 28 oz. crushed tomatoes

2 15 oz. cans either petite diced or diced tomatoes (last night, I did a can of each)

Probably around 1 to 2 cans of water (from the 15 oz. cans)…it should be about the consistency of Wendy’s Chili

1 16 oz. box Campanelle Pasta (Barilla) – traditionally, we always used elbow macaroni, but I tried this and we liked it…it’s a nice sturdy/firm pasta.

Salt and pepper (I ultimately probably added in over a teaspoon of Kosher salt, and a half teaspoon of pepper, but add to your tastes).

In a heavy-bottomed pot (or dutch oven), brown ground chuck and drain grease off.  You can cook onions with it, but I like to cook them in a small saute’ pan in a little bit of canola oil until tender, and add them to the beef after it’s cooked and drained.  I feel like I’m not pouring off onion flavor with the grease that way.

Meanwhile, bring a good size pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta; cook pasta for one minute less than the box says, and drain, don’t rinse.

While the water is coming to a boil in your pasta pot, add all the cans of tomatoes, water, and salt & pepper to the ground chuck & onions until it tastes right.  If tomatoes are too acidic or bitter, add a pinch of sugar…sometimes two pinches..just to taste.  Bring to a simmer (I’m usually doing this while my pasta water is coming to a boil, so the tomatoes are hot and ready for the pasta when it’s done). When pasta is drained, pour into pot of beef and tomatoes, mix thoroughly (If you like it a little wetter, add a little more water, but you’ll have to adjust for salt), and serve in bowls with buttered toast, French bread, rolls, etc.

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