Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hearty Goulash, revisited

My original goulash post has long been one of my post popular and most searched recipes. Its a regular in our wintertime rotation for its rich, meaty not-quite-spaghetti-not-quite-chili flavors. If you're looking for something anywhere close to the Hungarian original keep looking. Frankly, I'm not sure I've ever sampled a version that claims to be close to the Hungarian original. But, if you're looking for a more flavorful version of the one served at the daycare that I attended in the early 1980s (or you're simply craving some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food), you've come to the right place.

But I think I covered most of that in the original post. One thing about the original post, although the photography was much prettier (back when I was barely married, had no children and a great deal more time for that sort of thing), the actual recipe was rather fussy and hastily written. This was long before I attended culinary school and started doing recipe testing for a living. Looking back, that recipe bothers me (as do many others from the old days to be honest). I've been trying to do a better job lately making sure things are accurate and easy to execute (although a dear friend who alerted me to an error in one of my muffin recipes last fall that ended in salty disaster may disagree-- that error has been corrected, btw). Anyway, I thought it was high time I revisited this one.

The version written below is simpler, less ingredient heavy and actually more flavorful. The addition of mushrooms to the base ingredients really ups the umami flavor and simplifying the tomato ingredients results in more tomato taste without less sodium and fussing around. I also made sure to measure everything to a "t," so you really should have consistent luck with this one.

With 8 plus inches of snow on the ground, this recipe tasted fantastic last night. It probably tasted even more fantastic because I was quite ravenous when I finally got to eat mine at 9pm. You see, our family made a frantic emergency trip to the vet during the tail-end of the snowstorm last night. Zoey lost her footing coming in off the back steps and tore off a toenail, resulting in a bloody mess and a good deal of pain for her. Thank goodness it was nothing more serious and the vet was able to dress and wrap the wound. She's resting and recovering today, but it made for an exciting (and expensive) night. Once we were all back home, Lilly was in bed and Z was comfortable, the goulash was a welcome bite. Made even better by an extra couple hours left to sit on the back burner while we were out.

If you're still dealing with snow in your area, make a pot of this stuff and cosy up one last time before Spring arrives for good.

Hearty Goulash
Make 6 generous servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground turkey
3 Tablespoons tomato paste (about 1/2 a can)
1 28 oz. can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes
3 cups water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Season Salt
1 bay leave
1 1/2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and continue cooking and stirring until all vegetables are softened and mushrooms are starting to brown.

Add ground beef and turkey and continue to cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until meat is browned through. Drain off fat. Add tomato paste, stirring to incorporate and cook for about two minutes until tomato paste darkens in color. Add crushed tomatoes, water, chili powder, Italian seasoning, soy sauce, season salt and bay leaf and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add macaroni, cover pot and continue to cook at a low simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until macaroni is cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

At this point, the goulash is ready to serve, but the longer it sits over a low simmer (or even off heat), the more the better it will taste. Even better if refrigerated overnight, reheated and served the next day.

1 comment:

  1. I've never made goulash and I don't know why. This looks delicious! Especially in this gross snowy Boston weather!



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