Cooking On A Budget: American Goulash

Monday, April 23, 2012

American Goulash

I was surprised to find out from watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that not everyone knows what American Goulash is. This is a simple recipe to make; it's affordable and a dollar stretching meal. Serve with a side salad and perhaps some garlic bread to round out the dinner. This is a meal you can truly make and have on the table within that thirty minute time frame. You may elect to purchase a jar sauce, use up left-over spaghetti or marinara sauce. If you get the ground beef on sale - perfect! That's even more of a savings - the pasta on sale just adds to the fact that it is a great recipe on a budget meal. Depending on the amount of people you are feeding, you may want to cook 3/4 to a full box of either elbow or cellantani pasta and up the amount of ground beef. One pound of ground beef serves about 4 people.
  • 1 lb. or more ground beef 
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups of your favorite red sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. freshly minced garlic
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 box pasta (elbow is traditional) - cooked to manufacturer's directions 

In a deep non stick skillet over moderate heat, add in the ground beef. Salt and pepper the beef to taste. As it begins to brown, separate with a wooden spoon and keep stirring until it is cooked. If there is too much fat in the pan, drain it off. To the same pan, add in the onion and the garlic and cook over low heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add in the red sauce and the red pepper flakes. Stir and cook covered for about 15 minutes minimum to allow all of the flavors to blend together. Serve over the cooked pasta with sides of garlic bread and a salad for a complete meal. If you want to kick this dish up heat and flavor-wise, add in pinches of cayenne pepper or more red pepper flakes. If not, leave the red pepper flakes out entirely.

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