Classic Goulash has Hungarian roots but, like most dishes, it has evolved over the years as each cook put their own spin on it. This Beef Goulash is my version, and I like to use lots of vegetables to make it a one dish meal. Lean ground beef, lots of fresh vegetables and a perfect blend of seasonings are simmered in a rich tomato sauce. Add the pasta to the same pot and let it cook until tender and the sauce is slightly thickened. Top with sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese and dinner is served.
While admittedly this is a departure from classic goulash, it's a very popular family friendly variation that I serve quite often. Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list, you likely have the vegetables you need in your crisper looking for something to make with them. If you don't have carrots, no worries just leave them out. No celery? Skip it. This beef goulash dish is incredibly versatile making it a frugal moms best friend. It's a terrific choice to serve at game-day or race-day parties in place of chili, and it only requires one pot, which really makes clean-up super easy. I also like to use twisted elbow "hidden veggie" macaroni to get even more nutritional goodness into my goulash. It's a stove top casserole of sorts, and the add-ins can be adapted to suit your family's preferences.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 small red bell pepper diced
- 1 small green pepper diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled & diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- olive oil
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 [14.5 oz] cans tomato sauce
- 1 [14.5 oz] can fire roasted tomatoes
- 12 oz dry elbow/twisted elbow macaroni [3 cups]
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tbsp dark chili powder
- 2 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- At the end:
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- grated cheddar cheese & sour cream for garnishing
- In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute the diced bell peppers, onion, carrot and celery in a few drizzles of olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Add the ground beef. Season again with salt and black pepper. Cook until no pink remains then drain any excess fat from the pan.
- Add the minced garlic. Saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- To the pan add the Worcestershire, tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes and seasonings.
- Stir in the pasta and water. Simmer covered over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked to al dente.
- Uncover mix in the chopped parsley and thicken with tomato paste, if needed.
- Serve with a sprinkle of grated sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
b) Tomato paste can be used to thicken at the end of cooking, if needed.