Monday, August 5, 2013

Grandma's Goulash



My husband is not a big pasta eater. And by not big, I mean, he hardly touches the stuff.
He likes macaroni and cheese and he'll eat lasagna.  But, in general, he doesn't care for most dishes with pasta in them.  And this is hard for me because I love everything about pasta and pasta dishes.  You can do so much with it and it is a very affordable ingredient. And it's filling! So, over the years, I've worked hard to get him to enjoy eating it more...not with much success.  However, Gene always talked about his Grandma's goulash. He had no idea how she made it but he had good memories of it and it has pasta in it so I have tried several variations of it in our 20 years together. None of those recipes really quite measured up...until this one.  
And that's when I realized I was taking a very simple and humble recipe and making it much more complicated than it needed to be. This recipe is simple and guess what? Gene said this tastes just like what his Grandma made. The only difference is instead of a macaroni noodle, we're using small shell pasta. But feel free to use whatever pasta shape you have on hand.
Note: This is not a traditional Hungarian Goulash. We'll just call it an American Goulash but it's what his Grandma made and called goulash. Hope you'll enjoy it!
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup small shell pasta, cooked (measured before cooking)
grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
Note: Please add in additional veggies your family enjoys! 
Green peppers, diced tomatoes or mushrooms would all be great additions.

Directions:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown beef along with onion and garlic.
Drain excess grease.
Stir in tomatoes (with juices) and tomato sauce. 
Season with sugar, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
Stir well and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Then add in cooked pasta and stir. 
Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4.

Enjoy!

Like this recipe? Check out my Chili Mac

81 comments:

Eileen said...

This is so funny.....my mother made this all the time, but we called it "American Chop Suey"! I guess different family backgrounds lead to different recipe names!

Anonymous said...

Patsy: I first ate this goolash in Kansas in 1973. The community was Swedish so therefore they called it Swedish Goolash. I have been making it ever since. They used chili powder instead of Italian Seasoning. Thanks for sharing.

Susie said...

Tomato juice? Not sure if you meant sauce?

Thank you!

Brandie S. said...

Haha! That is true. I like that name too! And I explain that this is our Americanized version since I know there are a lot of Eastern European versions that require all kinds of different ingredients like smoked paprika, etc. I think a goulash to many Americans is really just a tomato based concoction of ground beef and noodles and a whole bunch of different ingredients thrown in. The veggies changed depending on what was growing in the garden, right? :)

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Great recipe, I make something very similar based on my moms recipe as a kid, but we call it "Tomato Surprise"! I have no idea why it's called this, but that's the name. It's one of our favorite quick dishes for dinner. Looks great Brandie!

Brandie S. said...

Yes I did Susie! Thank you for catching that! I was trying to say tomatoes (with juices) but I didn't explain it the right way in the directions. :)

Susie said...

Thanks for clarifying!

Wayne said...

This is a time proven recipe. Time, I mean I have eaten it for over 75 years. Only difference is we had always used elbow macaroni. I was going to make this Sunday but we were out of elbow macaroni. We had shell but you know how it is, got to make it the way mom did :)

Linda Timms said...

My family had goulash all the time, but we put the uncooked pasta in with everything, and simmered til done. We also added frozen or canned mixed veggies. It's great with cornbread.

Anonymous said...

My mother made this too, but used jar spaghetti sauce and also called it goulash. I have forgotten about it...so thanks for posting it...I will be making it soon and will try your version.
Bonnie

Dana Fritz said...

My fiancee and I were just talking about how our Moms would make "goulash" and it was a pasta dish with basically meat sauce. We love the stuff. I have thrown the whole thing in a casserole dish and melted cheese on top under the broiler for "something different" that we call Not-sagna. I love these meals that Mom made!

Anonymous said...

Tis is what I grew up with and have always called it goulash. My mom made it and it was also a popular school cafeteria dish.We never used anything but elbow macaroni and in my childhood I had never even heard the word pasta. It was just either macaroni or spaghetti. I once had a boyfriend from Connecticut and he called this Amercican Chop Suey. Guess it is just a geographical thing.

Tammy Rosenfeldt said...

My grandma called it macaroni or hamburger hotdish, but then everything with macaroni was called hotdish.

Luvpurple said...

This is basically what I grew up eating, we also called it goulash. My grandma, who was an excellent cook and knew how to stretch a dollar, made this a lot. And anything she used canned tomatoes in also had a bit of sugar. Plain, simple, but filling food for hard working farmers!

Anonymous said...

We had this and our family called in Slum Gullion. Of course in the bad old days you never drained the grease from the hamburger - yummmm.

BattyMom said...

We eat one called "Slum Gully" - 1 lb. Ground Beef, 1 onion minced, 1 lb. ANY shaped pasta, 1 can diced/stewed/crushed tomatoes. My adult children request it when they visit and my still-at-home daughter's friends tend to appear *just* in time for dinner when we are serving it. We also serve dishes called Dog Food, Cat Food, Lava, Train Wrecks, Car Wrecks ... but that is another story entirely. :)

Pushindazees said...

I love the version of this that Stouffers makes but I think they call it beef and macaroni. I was determined to figure out to make it and mine comes close but also has a little chili powder and celery salt instead of the Italian Seasoning, but not so much that it tastes more like chili. Also a touch of sugar to go with the tomato. Love this stuff and its called goulash around here too.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I have not heard of slum gullion since I was a kid in Ohio (way too many years to count). My Dad used to make it although not exactly like this recipe. How I loved it, but have no idea of the recipe today. Very sad.

Maryann Dubbs said...

I love trying out the recipes you post. You make me look like a good cook. Thank you for sharing, you have an amazing collection of recipes. I have been looking for a good Goulash recipe with lots of flavor and not much Macaroni.

Karan Cox said...

My Grandma made the best goulash. She used spaghetti and it was baked after she mixed it all up. I sure wish I could make it like she did. She had shown me but gosh I was 10 years old when she passed away and I never did get it to taste like hers. Guess it was the extra love she put in it that made it so good.

Donna V said...

AMerican Goulash

Bradley Brandon said...

Yummy. I can't wait for that. It's look so delicious. That's why I start to make it.

Joan said...

Slumgum ... or slumgullion is what my father called it. My mother called it 'dinner.' Either way, it is the same recipe. We all loved it. The only difference in ours and yours is that we also added in a cup of celery when browning the meat and onion. My husband even asks for it every once in awhile.

Oh, and I just found your blog, thanks to your post on Christy's blog. I just subscribed.

Carolyn said...

We called it Johnny Marzetti. I think it's the same and it was always made with elbow macaroni! So good!

Joan said...

'Slum Gully' ... only a thread away from "slum gum' and slumgullion' which were what my father called it.

QuiddityRox said...

My 97-year-old grandmother stretched her hamburger with loads of pasta to feed about 10 kids each summer vacation! I loved it then and do now. She called it slumgullion. I thought it was a Baltimore invented word!!

Tricia said...

My Country (E. Ky) mother used to make this recipe for me & my four siblings (we grew up in Ohio) using her home-canned tomatoes & juice. She never used garlic back then but she did add the sugar. We used to eat this with her delicious home-made biscuits. Mom will turn 84 in two days & still cooks for herself & one of my brothers who live with her. He brags about all the good meals she serves. I live in central Virginia & will be visiting her in October. Can't wait to taste her cookin'. Enjoy your blog & recipes, Brandie.

Kathie Anne McCorry said...

My grandmother used to make goulash for my dad. She didn't use tomato sauce just crushed tomatoes, and onion, elbow mac, hamburger and not sure of salt and pepper. My family was odd. Dad had ulcers, and between my mom and grandmother they cornered the market on diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Then, my brothers were fussier still. I never really learned to cook till my adult years so I LOVE these recipes. I live alone so I save most for church suppers and bible studies. Thank you for all the great and hard work you do daily to put these recipes out here for the rest of your fans.

Tania said...

Wanted to reply to a particular comment--Karan (above), who was talking about not getting the same taste as her mom's, and referring to the love. I can attest to that. I've made my vegetable soup exactly the same way my mom taught me years and years ago--but it has never come out like hers, so I'm sure it was the extra love she put in it. My oldest daughter has said the same about my "good chili" and "spaghetti." She says she makes them exactly the way I showed her, but they still aren't as good as mine. Also, a couple of years ago, I had all 3 of my daughters at home for one day, so I did it up with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits, gravy and sweet tea. All 3 of the girls said it was the best chicken I had ever made. I was so excited to have them all home at the same time, I was practically dancing around the kitchen while I made dinner! They said I sparkled while I was cooking!

Luvpurple said...

LOL@ Johnny Marzetti. That was goulash with corn added at our house!

I just love adding corn to recipes, especially Mexican. Is this off topic?

hjurgelis said...

This is almost exactly what my mom makes. She just calls it meaty pasta. So many names for one tasty meal. Love it though!

I have a blog link-up on Fridays, called Free to Talk Friday, I hope you'll come and join. It's open now at dreamingofperfect.weebly.com Please come link up this post and others =)

Thanks!
Hannah J

Nancy L. Bowen said...

My family has made this for years and we have always called it "goulash." Since marrying my husband, we have added some hot Italian sausage to the hamburger to give it a little more "bite." Tastes great!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother taught me to make this almost exact same dish we called hamburger hotdish or red hotdish. She added corn and usually used her canned tomatoes. I still make it often, it is a family favorite. Almost always better as leftovers, even cold.

Trigger said...

Instead of sugar, my dad would add a big ol'squirt of ketchup to make it a bit sweet. He would also add in corn to it. Thanks so much for posting! I had forgotten about this and how wonderful it was!

Anonymous said...

I started reading this and I thought I had wrote this, you have totally described my husband and I !!! He really won't eat goulash but the kids love it but he will eat what you said above and beef stroganoff. I love pasta and I remember when I was real little my Dad making this and always loving it. Thanks for the memories and the recipe!!

Anonymous said...

We make our goulash similar, but with a pasta mix (spirals, elbows and ALWAYS wagon wheels if we can find them). We brown the ground beef in Worcestershire sauce too - yum!

Mandee said...

If I made this two days ahead would that work? Any Tips? Thanks.

Cindy said...

I grew up on a similar recipe that my mother called "Slumgolian". How it got that name, I have no idea, but it was so good. I still fix it to this day and my hubby loves it. I use ground beef, elbow macaroni, tomato soup, garlic salt and chedder cheese. I love it and it's so good the next day as well. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

rbud57 said...

yes, I was going to say as I read down the comments - I've made this for 40 years or so, call it goulash, and I use tomato soup in mine. Cindy just barely beat me to it, haha! I also add canned diced tomatoes, or stewed, or chopped fresh if I have them. I make it with onions and green peppers, and a little chili powder. And macaroni. I use good old tomato soup for a lot of things, actually. Probably compares to the sweetness of the sugar in your recipe, which I never have put in.

hpru said...

We used tomato soup and a can of kidney beans in my mom's version.....

Ellamae Wilkinson said...

I have made this for years and years,and we call it scroodles.

Anonymous said...

This is the same receipe I grew up on but my Mom would cut up a couple slices of bacon and saute it with the onion. Sometimes if there was some leftover I think it tasted better the next day.

Anonymous said...

I've made goulash for over 40 yrs & I use the small sz sea shells. I also add minced garlic, bell pepper, celery, sweet corn, salt & pepper, my favorite tomato sauce ( Hunts seasoned tomato sauce for meat loaf), and my secret ingredient " ROTEL" (diced tomatoes & green chilies) that I use in my Spaghetti sauce too & in my homemade Chili. Can't live with out my Rotel ! I even use it in my Lasagna!

Nettie said...

Omg...my mouth if watering looking at the finished dish...looks absolutely delicious!

Nettie said...

Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

My Mom made this, however she used tomato paste with tomato sauce. Also she never put in garlic. I will have to try that. If I remember right, (because I became lazy and started using jarred sauce) she would put in tomato sauce and paste then add water and let it simmer down. Also, if I remember right hers was better. Maybe I will try to make without the "jarred" sauce. She served it with brown and serve rolls. She called it Hungarian Goulash. She was from New England, I wonder if the name each call it would have something to do from where you lived. I have never heard of some of the other names. Also my daughter makes this, but she adds olives. Though it is good, it is not like Mom's.

mmlssoucy said...

So many comments bring back so many memories! I grew up in New Hampshire. My mother made this often. She made it with elbow macaroni and her canned tomatoes and no garlic. She did use onions and if she had peppers, she would use them. She had 10 kids to feed, so it was a good dish to feed a lot of mouths. We called it American Chop Suey. I didn't hear Goulash or Slumgullion until I went to college. Now, I make it with Italian sausage and hamburg, black olives and different kinds of pastas. I usually make my own sauce or a combination of jarred and my own sauce. My daughter and grandkids love it. I haven't made it in a while. I think it's time to make it again and invite the kids over! Thank you for sharing this recipe and inviting so many comments and memories. :)

Anonymous said...

This is my Mom's recipe for goulash and its my favorite, I grew up in California but she got the recipe from her Mom who was raised in Oklahoma. I'm glad this is making its rounds online!

Anonymous said...

I agree, we love ours the next day! :)

Susie said...

This is a dish I have been making for many years my only change is catsup, along with the tomato sauce and no Italian seasoning, this is something my husband loves and he isn't much on pasta, we have 5 children which they are all grown now I made this when they were all home and they loved it as well.A big pot full filled them up and if there was any left, it is better the next day.

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried this, but it looks like the italian traditional "rag├╣"! delicious

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Haven't heard Slum Gullion in years. That is what my Dad's family called it. Make it all the time.
He was from Oklahoma and I am a Ca. Girl and call it Goulash!

Anonymous said...

it wont last 2 days unless you lock it up

Anonymous said...

I add some chopped green pepper too.

rubyduby61 said...

My mom used to call this muscachillie and it was delish.

Lhynn Nevarez said...

I have always called it goulash..and my grandmother who was Italian made the same..my husband is hispanic and he says one day he would cook and make mexican goulash...well it was same as above but had green beans in it too!!..Delicious all the ways!

Jennie said...

My grandmother always made her version of goulash with bacon instead of ground beef. My grandfather also called it slum gullion! We're from SW Indiana. It is a favorite at our home as well.

Anonymous said...

My Mother In-Law used to take her left over spaghetti and add a can of crushed or diced tomatoes and corn to it and back it in the oven with cheese on top. She called it spaghetti more...It is a great way to use your left over spaghetti in a different way...Her family all loved it...

Anonymous said...

My mom called it goulash also, during the winter she used tomato sauce but during the summer she used tomato juice so it was a lot lighter meal

Anonymous said...

I have made this before, very similar to yours. My mom taught me and we also use the shell pasta. The difference is we brown the pasta some and put in sauce to cook. Over the years, I came up with a easier version that taste good. I use a prepared sauce that has mushrooms and other spices in it. Thank you for posted this, I have not made in for awhile.

Anonymous said...

My husband makes this as well..but always adds red kidney beans..

Anonymous said...

I'm from Australia ... and this is basically what we would call 'bolognaise' ... as in 'Spaghetti Bolognaise' since we would typically serve this sauce with spaghetti, but I'm not adverse to using different shaped pasta myself. Amazing how the same thing can be called so many different names, depending on where you are from!

Anonymous said...

This is what my mom called it too. Were are from Ohio. But, the cafeteria ladies called it goulash or beef a roni.

Tonia said...

My mother-in-law calls it Johnny Marzetti too. It's my father-in-law's favorite meal. He would literally eat it every day if given the chance.

Tonia said...

I'm so glad I clicked on this recipe as I was sending your coconut poke cake to my sister. I'm adding this to my menu for next week as it's something my entire family will eat, picky 4 year old included. I LOVE any dish that brings a little nostalgia along with it, so thanks for giving me that today.

My mother-in-law makes this and calls it Johnny Marzetti. My father-in-law would eat it every day if he could.

Laura P said...

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart I love your blog and the way you set everything up for a recipe it makes it so much easier for me as I am a visual learner, I love your recipes too .....very wonderful and helpful

D said...

Goodness,, comments still coming about the 'goulash'! We all have such fond memories of eating it as kids, or making something similar for our own families. When our children were small there were many variations of the recipe, It depended on the season and the ingredients on hand. However if the finished product featured anything containing tomato and pasta it was called Cowboy Chow, and promptly gobbled up! (and this started out as a search for Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake...guess that is tomorrows project!)

Marti @ SewLicious Home Decor said...

This looks so good....I'm going to try it out! :) Thank you for sharing it!

Marti

Kim Honeycutt said...

Call it whatever you will, just call me when it's ready!! Yum...Pinned it to try!!

Kellie M said...

I have come to the realization that goulash is different in every family. I grew up eating goulash that is made with ground beef, pork n beans, tomato sauce and rice. It is delicious and so very very cheap to make....also cleanup is a breeze cuz it is all made in one pot...WIN. lol.

Anonymous said...

I grew up on this and still make it today. The only difference is I use tomato juice and chili powder. This is comfort food in Iowa!

Terrie Wolken said...

My Mom made goulash all the time but she always used bacon in hers. We all loved it.

Anonymous said...

I started by loving Stouffer's Macaroni, Beef and Tomato casserole. Then I made it myself. It's basically the same recipe as above, except no sugar, and LOTS of garlic salt and truly LOTS of ground pepper. We make it with macaroni - and let it simmer for at least an hour. We both just love it. We call it SLOP!

Brenda Updike said...

I make this all the time, but I use tomato soup , diced tomato's, green peppers, onion and I add a can of manwich sauce , gives it a little kick .

Jo Ann Zavala said...

My mother made it sometimes adding canned corn. She called the dish
slogamahop. i loved it went she cooked it. hmm, hmm, good,

LINDA N. said...

I love these good American traditions! My mother made this and added a can of corn and called it Glop. One night she didnt have corn but my sister and I were craving it anyway, so she added a can of cut green beans instead. My sister and I named this version Glop Junior! Of course mother always used elbow macaroni because it was cheapest back then, and the amount of ground meat varied on that week's budget. With some homemade biscuits it was a wonderful, filling dinner and easy on Mother, too.

Tonya Ferrell said...

Yummy, we used to call this red macaroni. Mom would use bacon instead of beef and add onion and garlic to the pan drippings. The tomatoes, tomato juice and cooked macaroni. Wonderful memories.

Terri N said...

My Mom and Grandmother used to make this all the time. Actually I just made this last week. I hadn't put onions in it, but will have to try that. Kids love it and it is so easy. Going back to old school, goulash and fried potatoes. Nothing better than that!!

Anonymous said...

American Chop Suey it is according to New Englanders

Sammi Proske said...

Going to try this tonight. Hoping it's sweet!

Anonymous said...

My grandmas recipe...sometimes she added celery...