Sunday, June 12, 2011

Goulash: A Spicy Way to Use Leftover Ground Meat

I love goulash! It's a great way to use up leftover ground meat.  You can use ground beef, lamb, veal, or a combination to make this dinner.  I think I've used ground pork, too.  My love for goulash began when I was a kid and my mom made a dish called "American Chop Suey," which was shell pasta, ground beef, onions, canned tomatoes, and spices.  Later on, I started calling it "goulash" because it reminded me more of Hungarian goulash than it did chop suey.  (Who was it that said if you order chop suey, you get what you deserve?)

This recipe began as one of Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals.  But, I've been making it for years and now it's very different.  The basic ingredients are the same, but I've changed the spices and ratios.  The original recipe is here, but it won't taste nearly as good as mine! ;)  This is a great comfort food, and it's easy to make if you've got some random leftover ground meat in the freezer.   

Goulash! Also a great way to use radishes

I consider goulash a fabulous excuse to consume great quantities of paprika.  The dill and sour cream balance it out without making it bland.  The sauce is creamy and spicy (depending on how much paprika you prefer).  The radishes add an unexpected crunch and cooling aspect, I think they work really well!  For the desired effect, you need a lot of radishes. I added more after I took the picture. 

Some of these amounts are pretty subjective.  The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of sour cream, but I wanted my sauce to be thicker, so I ended up adding a few spoonfuls more.   I also added more hot and regular paprika when I added the beef broth and again when I added the sour cream and tasted  the sauce. 

Goulash with Pasta, Red Pepper, and Radishes
Heavily adapted from Rachael Ray
Serves 2

1/2 lb - 3/4 lb ground beef, veal, lamb, or a combination
1/2 lb tubed pasta (I used Wegman's tortiglioni - which looks nothing like the online images of tortiglioni)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp paprika (or more!)
1 tsp hot paprika (or more, depends on how much heat you like)
2 tsp ancho chili powder
3/4 cup beef broth (all of the canned kind that I looked at and College Inn brand contain MSG.  I used Pacific Natural Foods organic beef broth - no MSG!)
one 7 oz can tomato sauce
1/3 cup sour cream (if you're careful, low fat can work, just don't overheat it!! I used full fat this time)
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
A good bit of chopped dill.  I probably used almost 1/4 cup.
2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
4 - 5 good sized radishes, julienned.  Use more radishes if they're puny. 

1) Boil the pasta according to package instructions for al dente (it's going into a pan of sauce later, so you don't want it to be too soft).  Drain and set aside.
2) While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan that will be large enough to hold all the ingredients, including the pasta.  Add the meat, paprika, and chili powder. Mix well and cook over medium high heat until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes).
3) Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and bay leaf.  Cook for 10 minutes. 
4) Add the broth and tomato sauce and mix well.  Heat it through. 
5) Fish out the bay leaf and stir in the sour cream, dill, and parsley.  Add a few more spoonfuls of sour cream if you like your sauce thicker.  Mix thoroughly and taste the sauce.  Add more paprika and/or hot paprika if you want. 
6) Add the pasta to the pan and mix everything very well.  Serve in deep bowls and top with chives and plenty of radishes!


Elizabeth said...

Looks wonderful. You are so creative!

Scienter said...

Thanks! :)

Michelle said...

You have somehow made an inherently ugly meal look lovely! :D

Scienter said...

Thanks Michelle! I wish I had some pics of the first time I made this, it was pretty unappetizing.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...