As a child, one of my absolute favorite comfort-food meals was goulash. Though its far from the traditional Hungarian recipe, the version I loved was a hamburger and macaroni mixture first introduced to me at my nursery school.
This past week, which has been one of the busiest work weeks I’ve had in ages and also has been incredibly cold and snowy in Chicago, has been a perfect goulash week. I’ve made it twice and, although, JiT had never experienced goulash before, he gobbled up every bite!
This version is a bit spicier than the one I enjoyed so much as a child. The addition of chili powder, garlic and soy sauce add some pizazz. To keep things healthy, I made with a mixture of ground lean beef and ground turkey, and used whole wheat macaroni.
It takes an hour to 90 minutes to prepare…the longer you let the mixture sit covered, the more of the juices will be absorbed into the macaroni for a thicker, richer dish. But its all in one pot, so cleanup is simple and the leftovers are fabulous for lunch the next day (if you have any).
Serves 4 – 6
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion (or about a half-cup of frozen diced onions…time saver!)
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup V8 juice
2 cans diced tomatoes (with garlic, if you can find)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. Lawry’s season salt (more to taste)
1 tsp. chili powder (more or less to your taste)
1 Tbs. soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (regular is fine too)
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, brown beef and turkey over medium-high heat until cooked all the way through, breaking up as it cooks. Drain any fat. Add onions and continue cooking until tender (about 5 min). Add tomato sauce, V8 juice, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, season salt, chili powder and soy sauce. Cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes.
Add macaroni to pot and stir well. Replace lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until macaroni is tender. Turn off heat and let the pot sit covered for an additional half hour or so, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Spoon into bowls and add salt & pepper to taste.