I Loves Me Some Goulash
It’s still the depths of winter here in Michigan. This is my least favorite time of the year. Winter has drug on and on and we just want a bit of spring. March is depressing as it is a bleak,
muddy, dirty snow, cold month, prolonging winter (at least that is my opinion). My recipe is below.
Comfort food is my response to my serious case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Goulash is a favorite remedy. In wintry weather, a hearty meal always hits the spot. I was wondering about goulash recently.
I know the version I make is different from a traditional Hungarian dish. So here is a little in-depth look at one of my favorite foods.
Goulash, a traditional Hungarian stew, has risen in popularity in the United States in recent years. Originally made with beef, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, and paprika, it was a filling meal for farmers to make quickly on the go.
Goulash in America is quite different from the traditional Hungarian stew. The original is quite basic, and sometimes served with a starch such as carrots or potatoes. American goulash is essentially a meat sauce, almost always served over elbow macaroni. Other variations include using ground beef, or serving it over rice or egg noodles.
Twists on a Classic
If you’re interested in goulash and want to make it your own, try one of these substitutions!
- try pork or veal instead of beef
- add root vegetables like sweet potato and parsnips for more flavor
- go veggie by swapping cannellini or kidney beans for beef
- save time and effort by making a baked goulash
As such a malleable dish, goulash can be adapted to a variety of diets. It can easily be made gluten-free, vegetarian (even vegan!), dairy-free, and more.
Still Not Sure?
If cooking seems too intimidating or complex, not to worry. Art of Cookery has plenty of cooking classes to cover the basics and the complexities of the art of cooking! Not local to Whitehall and surrounding areas? You can also book a private online lesson anywhere in the U.S.A. I (Chef Valerie) will help you grow and develop a deep sense of connection, both with cooking and the very food you make.
Life is hectic. If preparing a home-cooked meal is enticing, but you don’t have the time in your busy schedule, and you are local to Whitehall, check out our selection of retail food. Art of Cookery has a rotating weekly menu of both prepared foods and meal kits. We even have goulash! Whether you have a few minutes to cook a meal kit or just need to grab a quick bite, we’ve got you covered. Watch for a weekly new menu on our website, (click here) and also pinned to the top Facebook post for each weekly menu and order right away. The food is made per order and not in advance ideally. Although when we do make a batch to fill an order, we make extra and place it in fridge at the front entry for last minute grab and go pick ups.
We are closed for a bit of a break until March 10. But, so you can plan, here are the next upcoming classes:
- Sweet Pickled Beets, March 10 @12 noon. $38
- Traditional Bread Baking and Butter Churning, March 12, 1 pm. $29
- Jam Session (making and canning jam), March 14, 1 pm. $30
- Scones, March 17, 5 pm. $24
- The Art of Pasta, March 20, 1 pm. $20
- Old Fashioned Doughnuts, March 22, 5:15 pm. $24.
- 1 Dutch Oven w/lid
- 1 Stirrer Spatula, Wooden spoon, Pancake turner
- 1 Cutting board
- 1 Knife
- 1/2 tbsp oil EVOO is nice but any fat will do.
- 1/2 cup diced Onion
- 1/2 cup diced Bell pepper Using green pepper adds visual color but any works.
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced Add a 3rd if you love garlic!
- 1/2 lb ground beef See notes for alternatives.
- 1 14-15 oz can diced Tomatoes
- 8 oz water rinse can with it before adding. Can also use white wine or broth or a blend.
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Paprika Smoked, sweet, or regular.
- Salt and Pepper to taste Start with 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and adjust at the end.
- 3 oz Macaroni, dry or other small pasta (3/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh Basil Cilantro or Parsley work well too.
- 1/2 c shredded Cheddar Or other favorite cheese. Skip if making Vegan.
- In Dutch oven over medium high heat, add oil. Once heated, add onion, bell pepper, and pinch of salt. Sauté for 1 minute to flavor the oil.
- Add ground beef and garlic. Cook until meat is browned.
- Stir in tomatoes, rinse can with water and add water.
- Add chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a low boil.
- Add macaroni. Stir and bring back to low boil. Cover but stir frequently.
- Simmer for 15 minutes. Add additional water if the pasta needs more to cook through (different sized pasta require varying amounts of liquid.)
- Add basil and cook one minute more. Check for salt and pepper to your liking. Top with cheese.
- ¾ c. (3 oz) any small pasta like macaroni, uncooked
- 3 oz dry spaghetti, broken into small lengths
- ½ cup dry rice, cook an extra 5 minutes for white and 10 for brown
- 1 large or 2 smaller potatoes, washed and small diced
- 1 c. fresh or frozen gnocchi, or small pierogi
- Small batch of spaetzle
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (or 1 14oz can)
- ½ lb any ground or diced meat.
- 4 to 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 6 oz firm tofu (just add the salt, pepper, and half the chili powder with the tofu)
- 1/3 cup dry quinoa (can be used as a starch also)
- ½ cup bulgur
- 1 14oz can of beans
- ½ lb. any type of sausage (reduce the salt & pepper) (a strong chorizo would need you to reduce the chili powder also…taste and season at the end)
- ¾ to 1 cup cooked lentil (or at least soaked in salt water for an hour)
- 1/2 c. of one, or a blend of, shallot, green onion, leek, red onion; OR use ½ TBSP onion powder; OR 2 oz pickled pearl onion
- ½ c. of one, or a blend of, any color bell, poblano, jalapeno (will be hot), fine diced carrot, celery, fennel bulb; OR ¼ oz dried mild chilies; OR up to ½ tsp dry chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, diced: use of one, or a blend of, 1 ½ tsp pickled minced garlic, 1 ½ tsp garlic powder,1 ½ tsp minced dried garlic, 1 ½ tsp favorite seasoning
- Use: 1 14 or15 oz. can of whole, diced or stewed tomatoes and increase water to achieve 23 oz, food process fresh tomatoes to achieve 2 cups
- 8 oz tomato sauce and increase water/wine/broth to 15 oz
- 4 oz tomato paste and increase water so the total of water and paste equal 22 oz
- 15 oz (or close to that) jarred pasta sauce plus water to equal 23 oz
- 23 oz tomato juice
- 1 can tomato soup plus water/broth to total 23 oz
- If no tomato options available use 23 oz of a blend of wine, stock/broth, canned soup of choice, and/or bouillon and water (you may wish to include some cumin and/or paprika to kick in some flavor)
- Instead of 1 tsp chili powder & 1/2 tsp paprika, consider one or a blend of up to 2 tsp: cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, chili powder, or steak seasoning/rub blend
- ½ TBSP Italian seasoning, or skip all seasonings (including salt & pepper) and stir in half an envelope onion soup mix, or something similar, then taste at the end and adjust s & p.
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cilantro, parsley; chopped
- 1tsp of dried herb or herb combination like Italian seasoning
- Cheddar is very nice in this.
- Switch the cheddar out for any cheese you have/enjoy.
- In addition to the cheese, consider toping with other garnishes, like green onion tops, snipped fresh herbs, sesame seeds, everything seasoning, even bacon bits.