When I was a young lad, being raised by my grandparents, we would occasionally go over to my Uncle Pete’s house for the evening and occasionally have a big supper over there. They had a large family, at the time about 4 boys and 2 girls, so having company over and feeding everybody could be quite a chore. My Aunt would put out her version of “goulash” which was primarily ground beef, tomato sauce, pasta, (normally elbow macaroni), and LOTS of spice. That, and fresh bread with butter on it was supper.
I literally fell in love with that dish and, for me, it was the best thing about visiting over there. Believe me, I know what “real Hungarian Goulash” is – and that this wasn’t “real goulash” – but it was to me then, and to this day when I hear the word “goulash” I think of hers.
Dave’s Western Goulash
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (I prefer ROTEL)
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water
2 large onions, chopped
2 lb lean ground beef (we like the ground sirloin from Albertsons)
2 cups rotini, uncooked, (or favorite pasta)
1 lb. Bag mixed frozen mixed frozen vegetables
In a 12” Dutch Oven over a full spread of coals, brown the ground beef. (Break up the meat while browning). Spoon off any grease. Add the onions to the pot and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir well. Add frozen mixed veggies now. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Move about 6-8 coals on top at this point. Add the rotini, (or your favorite pasta), stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to sit about 15 minutes more before serving. Serves 8 adults.
Of course, this dish can be prepared on the stove top OR on a grill with suitable cast iron cooking gear.
The inspiration for this recipe was from a combination of a Paula Deen recipe “Bobby Deen’s Favorite Goulash”, which I found adapted for DO cooking over on the “Dutch Oven Madness” blog a few days ago. Of course, Paula and I may be from near the same generation, but we are worlds apart in our sense of taste, so it just had to be “Westernized” and kicked up a few notches. 8)
If you took away the bag of frozen mixed vegetables, you would have something very, very close to what my Aunt used to serve from her stove top.
After being in triple digits this week, the “mini-heat wave” is finally starting to break well enough to do some more outdoor cooking. I plan to cook up a mess of “Dave’s Western Goulash” using my cast iron “Combo Cooker” on the grill some time inside the next week, and will try to remember to snag a couple of photographs to add here.