For years my mother has made what she calls “goulash”—ground beef, green pepper, a can of diced tomatoes, and lots of elbow macaroni. I do believe this is what most Americans think of when they hear the word “goulash”. I believe this is actually a variation of American chop suey. And while this is a good (although I’m not a fan of canned diced tomatoes) one day I wanted something a little less American and a little more Hungarian. And more importantly, I didn’t want to wait all day for it. This was my compromise recipe. I hope you like it.
(Sort of) Hungarian Goulash
- 1 Dutch oven large, with lid
- ¾ lb ground beef
- ½ onion (large, minced)
- 1 bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
- 1 carrot (large, peeled and chopped)
- 1 Tbs paprika (Hungarian or a good Spanish)
- 2 tsp caraway seeds (crushed or ground)
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 Tbs flour (all-purpose)
- ½ cup ditalini (or any soup pasta)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- Over medium heat, brown the ground beef.
- Place the carrots in a microwave-safe bowl, add a bit of water, and microwave on HIGH for 1-2 minutes to parboil them. (This step is optional.)
- Add the onion and green pepper, and sauté for a couple of minutes to soften.
- Add the spices and mix them in well. Cook, stirring constantly, to allow them to bloom.
- Add the flour, stir to mix well, and cook for a minute or two.
- Drain the carrots and add.
- Add the tomato sauce, beef stock, and water.
- Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until carrots are al dente, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- Add the pasta and stir to prevent it from sticking together.
- Simmer until the pasta is al dente, approximately 15 minutes, and serve.
- I have not added any salt to this dish, as the beef stock and tomato paste have plenty of salt. Adjust to your preference.
- Like so many soup recipes, this one is actually better the next day.
- You can use any small soup pasta in this one. If you don't have any, feel free to use elbow macaroni. (You could also use a large potato in place of the pasta. In that case, add it when you add the tomato sauce, beef stock, and water.)
- Serve this with any hearty roll (buttered, of course) and a side salad.
Please let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks!