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

99 comments :

  1. 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!

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    1. 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? :)

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  2. 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.

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  3. Tomato juice? Not sure if you meant sauce?

    Thank you!

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    1. 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. :)

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    2. 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.

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  4. 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!

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  5. 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 :)

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    1. 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.

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  6. 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

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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.

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

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  10. 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!

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  11. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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!

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

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  12. 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. :)

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

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  13. 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.

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  14. 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.

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  15. 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.

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

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  17. 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.

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

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    1. 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.

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  19. 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!!

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  20. 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.

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  21. 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.

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  22. 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!

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  23. 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?

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    1. I add some chopped green pepper too.

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  24. 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

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  25. 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!

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  26. 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.

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  27. 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!

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  28. 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!!

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  29. 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!

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

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    1. it wont last 2 days unless you lock it up

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  31. 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.

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  32. 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.

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

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

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  35. 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.

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

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  36. 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!

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

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  38. 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.

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  39. 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. :)

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  40. 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!

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  41. 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.

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  42. I haven't tried this, but it looks like the italian traditional "ragù"! delicious

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

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  44. 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!

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  45. 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.

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  46. 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...

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  47. 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

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

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  49. 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!

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  50. 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.

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  51. 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

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  52. 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!)

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

    Marti

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

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  55. 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.

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  56. 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!

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

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  58. 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!

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  59. 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 .

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

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  61. 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.

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  62. 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.

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  63. 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!!

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  64. American Chop Suey it is according to New Englanders

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

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

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  67. I have basically the same recipe except I add some sliced mushrooms and I use diced tomatoes with hot chilies, now that my kids aren't eating it. I also use elbow macaroni.. Our name for it is SLOP! We love it!

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  68. My mom made this growing up too but she put pickled jalapeño juice in it. Kinda sounds weird but it gives it a good flavor!

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  69. My grand-ma's was much like this... Seems everyone makes a version: elbow mac, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, 1 can or canned corn.. cook elbows, brown ground beef & drain, add all into a casserole dish. Top with your choice of cheddar cheese or whatever you like.. bake at 350 till hot & cheese is melted..(not long).. I have so many fond memories of this! ty for posting!

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  70. This recipe sounds great! My Mom made goulash often when I was growing up, and its still one of my favorites!

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  71. My family called it goulash if it had tomatoes, and slumgullion if it had gravy,slumgullion was what you made with leftover roast dinner, sort of like hash, but the left over gravy went into the frying pan at the end. If not enough potatoes to make it strech then maccaroni got added. If it was made with pasta (any kind could be used but it was usually elbow)it was goulash, unless it was just tomatoes and maccaroni then it was oddly enough tomatoes and maccaroni. We ate it that way a lot, sometime we got a bit of fried bacon, or some celery or onions with it, but mostly it was a can of crushed tomatoes and a pot of maccaroni.

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  72. From Massachusetts and called it American Chop Suey. After draining macaroni I add tomato soup to pasta before adding to sauce. Worked in one restaurant that called it escalloped hamburger.

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  73. Our New England family called it American Chop Suey. I make it with tomato soup as my mom did. My picky kids love it!

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  74. We all love this recipe -- I have been making it for 47 years and my daughters also make it -- was called goulash here in the Northeast but later the "kids" pinned it as Macaroni Surprise!! I always make 2 lbs of macaroni -- any kind and lots of meat -- lasts for days -- freezes well and tastes even better the next day!

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  75. reading these comments really brought up memories from my childhood. We were born in south, lived in north for 16 years and then some of us migrated back down south.My mom was a stay at home mother of five so she and my dad stretched groceries to feed seven on their budget. my mom also called this goulash. She however did not use the sugar, cheese, or Italian seasoning(this made it Italian instead of goulash). She did add some grn pepper and 1 TBsp ketchup for sweetness. My dad also cooked- about 8 times a year and he is the one that introduced us to SLUM GULLY (as he called it). He had my mom cook a very large chuck roast in the Yankey pot roast style with onions, carrots, potatoes in gravy. The next day he would take left overs and chop the veggies and meat. He then put this in a large pot and added assorted vegtables. Lima beans, onion, corn, English peas, ect. cooked until vegies were done. this was very thick. He served it over egg noodles. His version of American Chop Suey was sliced strips of pork marinated over night in soy sauce, worstershire sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.The next day in a large stock pot he would pour in some beef stock and chicken stock. (we didn't have pork stock and this worked fine). he then rough chopped some onion, celery, broccoli, water chestnuts, bamboo slices, carrots, Chinese bean sprouts, and sliced about 1/2 small cabbage and simmered all while in a skillet he cooked the pork. then he added pork to stock pot with the marinade, thickened the sauce and when it was done, he served it over rice. this was very good and I've never had in a restaurant but this was his chop suey, not a tomato based pasta. Just telling our version of the dishes. Barefootingal.

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  76. Just ran across your blog. I have to laugh. Your recipe is almost identical to mine, I just add a little chili powder (no more than a teaspoon) and corn. It's my husband's favorite all time food. There's a big pot of it in the fridge at the moment so he can "graze" (his term, not mine) when the mood strikes. Still giggling!

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  77. I grew up in western NY and we called it goulash, too. My mother made it with tomato paste and sauce - she didn't like tomatoes. I can't make a large enough pot of this for my husband. Anything with tomato sauce and he's there. Me, too!

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  78. My mother used this same basic recipe. On spaghetti night, we had it on spaghetti noodles. If she added the macaroni - always elbow because we didn't know about all these other types -, she called it raviola. If she put cut-up potatoes in it, she called it goulash. Amazing how different each tastes. My hubby's favorite is with potatoes. I bet your husband would like it too. Just cut the potatoes in chunks and boil them till they are partially done, getting rid of much of the starch. Then add them to the meat-tomato mixture and let it simmer till the potatoes are done. They will soak up the juice...and as my hubby says, "It is so good you can't sit still and eat it."

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  79. I live in the south and Goulash here the pasta is not cooked separately it's all cooked together and there is soy sauce added & sometimes worcestershire sauce is added as well. Most of the time sugar too and its always elbow noodles.

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  80. My mother used to call this dish, "Glop". She was from the Berwyn area of PA, so I don't know if that's what they called it there. It's still "Glop" to me and my family in CT.

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  81. My grandmother made this, too! Usually with elbow pasta...but, she added corn put it in a casserole dish and placed sliced cheese on top (American.. whatever!!) and baked till the cheese melted. YUM!! I gotta go make some now :)

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  82. Love this stuff - my Mom (originally from Kansas) called it "Slum Goo". She did something a bit different and stirred in a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and then topped it with sharp Cheddar cheese. YUM!

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  83. Happened to come across this recipe when searching for goulash recipes and decided to try it since it it looked so easy to make and I had all the ingredients at home. I didn't deviate at all from this recipe and it tasted Delicious with a capital D. My husband couldn't get enough. Thank you for this great recipe!!!

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  84. Glad it was hubby approved! Hope it becomes a regular recipe in your rotation.

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