Thursday, January 5, 2012

You Bet Your Goulash I'm Hungarian!

Don't be embarrassed. This is just my night shirt.

In honor of my Hungarian heritage and the need for a quick dinner that would utilize my ground beef, I decided to make some (faux) gulyas while googling pictures of the Gabor sisters. I think it was a success, the goulash and the googling, so I'm going to share the search results and my recipe with you.
The Gabor Sisters. Um, Kardashians who? Also, did you know Eva wrote a memoir titled Orchids and Salami because that's all she kept in her fridge? OMG never been so proud to be Hungarian!

Now before I begin, I realize this probably brings up a number of questions for you. One such question might be, ANOTHER recipe? what the hell is this, some crappy food blog? No, no it's not. As you know, this blog is about all the things I think and say and do that I find interesting and fascinating. Surely, you are fascinated by stories of the things I cook, no? Another question I'm almost certain you are asking yourself is, wait a minute, this chick isn't Mexican? Don't feel bad. People make this mistake all the time. If you'd met me in person, my gargantuan stature would have given me away.

Now, back to the recipe. I actually got the idea from my very non-Hungarian friend, coworker, and soulmate Susan. I said, Sus, what can I make with ground beef besides hamburgers or meatballs? She said, I just dealt with this myself when my husband brought home a refrigerator box full of ground beef. Then we laughed. Then she told me to make goulash.

Susan's husband in the same cart he used to bring home the ground beef. Via

Traditional goulash is not made with ground beef, and it is also not usually made in 20 minutes. Hence why this recipe is faux. I needed fast and simple that day, but generally I do try to stick to tradition. See below.

Just a normal day making for realz goulash

So, based on Susan's suggestions, this recipe and its comments, and my own taste, this is what I came up with:

1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium/largeish red onion - chopped or sliced (I would have used yellow if I'd had it)
some form of garlic
16 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika (the recipe said teaspoons, but I read it wrong. I think teaspoons wouldn't have been nearly enough. The more paprika the better!!)
1/4 tablespoon smoked hot paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt (maybe more? I actually don't know)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (16 ounce) package noodles (egg noodles would probably be best, but all I had was some pasta. this would be tasty over rice or mashed potatoes too)
beef, chicken, or vegetable broth as needed

First I got the water going for the pasta. While waiting for it to boil, I heated a bit of butter and olive oil in the pan, and once hot, I sauteed the onions until soft and then added the beef and sprinkled it with a generous amount of garlic powder. (If you use fresh garlic, add it to the onions for the last minute or so of cooking before adding the beef.) While the beef was browning, I mixed the tomatoes with the remaining ingredients (except the pasta, obvi). I added the mixture to the beef and let it come to a boil. It seemed too thick, so I eyeballed what looked to be an appropriate amount of beef broth to thin it out without making it too thin. As I let that simmer away, I boiled the pasta. Once it was done, I drained the pasta and served it up with big spoonfuls of beefy goulashy business on top!

I think the whole thing took 20 or 25 minutes. If I had let it simmer gently for a long time, it would have been even more delicious. But, if I had done that, I probably would have needed more liquid in the sauce. So keep that in mind if you decide to do faux goulash slow and low style. Also, you could add all kinds of things to goulash, like vegetables and potatoes. Nothing says Eastern Europe like starch on starch!

Happy eating to you!


  1. Kelly great pictures. I am going to try this recipe. How many times can I make taco's or spaghetti and meatballs? Love Mom

  2. In college, I totally asked Tiquette if you were Mexican. As I recall, I didn't actually want to ask you to your face because I was worried you'd be offended. haha! I guess I should have guessed your height was a good non-Mexican indicator. But let's face it, you do have a lovely perennial tan and long flowing black locks. The fact that you're hungarian (and making Goulash AND spelling it gulyas) is even more awesome than I could have imagined. *kick*

  3. My Aunt Tina, who was so Hungarian that she was shot in the leg at 16 when she was escaping from the communist takeover, used to make goulash. I loved it, but never got a recipe from her. My impression was that she just put whatever was in the fridge into the pot. :-) I am definitely going to try this recipe. Thanks!
    Aunt (not Hungarian but married to one) Debbie

  4. Mom, if you want to make it stand out from spaghetti and meatballs even more you could try serving it with dumplings. It wouldn't be as easy then (unless you know how to make dumplings easily), but it would be even more tasty I bet. Aunt Debbie - whoa your Aunt Tina was very Hungarian! I bet goulash can take many forms as long as paprika is involved.

  5. Made the goulash yesterday. Yum! Couldn't use onions, so I used some frozen tricolor peppers instead. Since I didn't have any pasta or rice on hand, I used couscous. It worked well, too. Thanks for the idea!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...