My Mother’s Goulash

My Mother's Goulash


Yields or Serves:  

[Total: 0   Average: 0/5]

My Mother’s Goulash

A couple of weeks ago I had this primal craving for my mother’s goulash. I hadn’t had it for over 30 years, but was able to recreate it in no time. It really hit the spot! This goulash is more like what people think of as American Chop Suey that we all had in the grade school cafeteria. My mother made her goulash with elbow macaroni but I prefer mine with penne noodles.


3 Cups Elbow Macaroni or Penne Pasta

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Pounds Ground Sirloin

1 Large Chopped Onion

1 Seeded & Chopped Green Bell Pepper (Optional)

2 Chopped Celery Stalks

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

5 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

29 Ounces Tomato Sauce

14 ½ Ounces Diced Tomatoes

1 Cup Water

1 Ounce Grated Parmesan Cheese

The trick to avoiding mushy macaroni is to undercook the pasta and then shock it in cold water. Then finish cooking in the sauce. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Yes, I do know that this is considered blasphemy by Italian cooks, but it works here. Drain again and then set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the now empty Dutch oven over a medium high heat just until smoking. Add the beef, 1 Teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper and cook. Break up the pieces with your spoon until all of the liquid has evaporated and cook for 12 minutes. The meat should begin to sizzle. Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil in the once again empty Dutch oven over a medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. The vegetables should be soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, water and cooked ground beef. Bring to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the pasta. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan. Transfer to a serving dish. Serves 6


    Victoria has been cooking and writing recipes since she was a a young girl. Originally from Nebraska, her appreciation for culinary technique took off when she moved to Lyon, France. Victoria is published in Hearst Newspapers, Greenwich Free Press, New Canaanite, and more.

    Explore Similar Recipes

    Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

    Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

    Asparagus Prosciutto Rolls

    Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls

    Crunchy Sheet Pan Pork Chops

    Crunchy Sheet Pan Pork Chops

    Streusel Coffee Cake

    Streusel Coffee Cake