Monday, April 2, 2012

Goulash (aka American Chop Suey)

We love this dish.  It's a hearty meal without any fanfare and is just plain good.  A little like a pasta dish and a little like a stew, I'm not sure I've had anything else quite like it.  Dave asks me to make it a lot, or forgets about it and when I say, "How about I make goulash?" he gets all excited.  Lean ground meat with pasta and a seasoned tomato-based sauce.  It's so good, filling and this recipe feeds a crowd.  I ended up splitting this up into three meals and giving one to Cindy and Keith this weekend since cooking dinner will be low on their priority list.  Oh, didn't I mention?  They welcomed sweet Jessie this past week.  Everyone is healthy, and I intend to share some meals with them to keep them that way.

A couple years ago, my mother-in-law, Madaline, gave me just about the best birthday gift ever.  My birthday was mid-week and I had a two-hour commute home from work.  Dave and I walked in the door after work to fine our fridge stocked with already made or easy to prepare dinners (as well as birthday cake and danishes for breakfast.  She made me (us) a week's worth of meals so I didn't have to worry about preparing something after a long day, or on my birthday.  This was the first dish we tried.  I had no idea what it was, but it was delicious.  I immediately called to say thank you and ask for the recipe.  Madaline wrote it on a recipe card and I've made it so many times since.  I've also learned that versions of this recipe also go by the name American Chop Suey.  I'm not sure where Madaline got this recipe, but I didn't make any alterations to her version.  Why mess with a good thing?  Don't be tricked by the timeline--once the pasta has cooked, you want to let the whole dish set up (it'll stay warm) for the extra 20-30 minutes.  That's the part that makes it really good.  Makes this, enjoy and share with friends.

Goulash (aka American Chop Suey)


1 pound lean ground meat
1 pound ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 1/2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
salt (to taste, up to 1 Tablespoon)
2 cups uncooked pasta (like elbow macaroni or small shells)

In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground meat over medium-high heat, breaking it up while cooking.  Drain off fat.

Add onions and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, soy sauce and salt.  Stir well, cover with lid and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Add the uncooked pasta and stir.  Replace lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir thoroughly, being sure to scrape up any meat or pasta bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Replace lid, remove from heat and allow to set for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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