American Goulash

Goulash has always been one of my comfort foods. My grandfather (“Pawpaw”) made the best goulash in the world. Eating goulash always makes me think of him. While I don’t have his recipe, I did make up one of my own that tastes pretty good!

Obviously, I cannot call this “Hungarian Goulash,” because I honestly have no idea how to make that. I did put paprika in this, though, so èlvez!

American Goulash


  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 Cups Elbow Macaroni (or any other pasta you like)
  • 2 Cups Diced tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 Diced Red Pepper and 1/2 Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • Crushed Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley
  • 4 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Medium Sized Carrots, Sliced
  • 3 Stalks of Celery, Sliced
  • 1 Cup of Roasted Corn

Instructions (always read all instructions before beginning):

  1. Mice en place:  peel and dice entire onion; smash, peel, and dice garlic cloves; peel carrots and chop into round slivers; wash and chop celery; wash and dice tomatoes; wash and dice bell peppers; wash and chop parsley; tie bay leaves together with kitchen twine (or unflavored, uncoated dental floss); roast corn and cut it off of the cob (corn prep takes 45 minutes see recipe here)
  2. Brown ground beef in a very large saucepan.  Season with salt and pepper while browning. Once beef is browned, drain and set aside saving some of the grease to saute the onions and garlic.
  3. Saute onions.  Put a tablespoon of the beef grease into a medium sized skillet, and add the diced onions at a medium/low heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until onions are soft and translucent, and add them to the ground beef.
  4. Saute garlic. Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the skillet, and gently saute the chopped garlic on low for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the garlic. As soon as it starts to smell like garlic, it’s done. Add this to the hamburger as well.

Return the hamburger in the saucepan to the heat on medium, and stir in all of the paprika. Add in beef stock, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, diced bell peppers, carrots, celery, and tomato sauce; and simmer on med/low for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves, and add in the pasta and corn. Taste test sauce to see if any additional salt or pepper is needed. Add 1 cup of water*, and bring to a boil. Immediately turn down to low and simmer, for another 10 minutes (about 2-3 minutes longer than the pasta normally cooks according to package directions), until pasta is al dente. Serve with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

* For a thicker sauce, add 1 tablespoon of flour or cornstarch to the water before adding it to the goulash.


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food geek, nerd, mom, cancer survivor, weight loser, spaz, musician, writer, silly head, Jesus freak

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