Goulash – my spin on this Hungarian dish

Goulash originated in Hungary and is popular all over Europe. It’s easy to prepare and great for using up assorted vegetables you might have in your refrigerator because the ingredients are not fixed and very flexible.

Goulash requires beef (or any meat you prefer) and tomato  and  I don’t consider anything else mandatory. Go with whatever fresh/frozen vegetables you have on hand and it will work fine. I usually have all the following available but if I don’t I just adjust.

  • 300-400g beef mince ( 10-14 oz)
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, finally chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup small macaroni or penne
  • 400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml (6 oz) chicken stock
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/4 dried)
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley (or 1/2 dried)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions just until soft. Add the garlic and peppers and cook a while longer. Add the beef and cook until browned. Add all remaining ingredients – for the stock start with 150ml of the stock. Cover and simmer gently stirring often especial as the pasta begins to absorb the stock as it will tend to stick. The water is the only real variable – you never seem to have just the right amount to get the past tender without making the Goulash soupy. If the pasta isn’t done but the dish is drying out add more stock or water, if the pasta is tender but the dish is too runny cook a while longer uncovered. Holding back some of the original stock is what I recommended as it’s easier to keep adding some if necessary.

Serve the Goulash in soup bowls and enjoy.

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