The Substitute Teacher’s Speech(Recipe: American Goulash)
Goulash was a popular school lunchroom meal and home kitchen meal back in my day. Ground beef was cheap, very cheap. So we ate a lot of it.
One day in 5th grade, a classmate innocently mentioned something about eating goulash and how much he liked it. Unknowingly, he struck a nerve with the substitute teacher who felt compelled to hammer into our little 10-year-old brains the difference between American Goulash and Hungarian Goulash. Perhaps she was of Hungarian heritage. Perhaps she had just learned about both versions and longed for a chance to share her knowledge. Whatever the reason, she seemed to drone on and on. As you might imagine, the subject matter wasn’t considered riveting by those of us who were still awake to hear the entire diatribe.
Fast forward 48 years. The substitute teacher’s speech still rings in my ears. Let me make this perfectly clear. The version I’m sharing with you today is American Goulash and doesn’t resemble, imitate, mock or replace Hungarian Goulash.
Dear Mrs. Whachamacallit,
I listened to you.
Y’all come see us!
yield: 10 to 12 servings
A one pot meal that’s easy to put together and is great as leftovers.
I substituted a gluten-free pasta for wheat pasta and had good results. If you want this dish totally gluten-free, read the label of your soy sauce. Most of it contains wheat, however, gluten-free soy sauce is available. The acidity of tomatoes in sauce tastes somewhat bitter. To offset, I included a tablespoon of sugar.
2 large sweet onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef (85/15)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced or crushed tomatoes (I used crushed because I had it on hand)
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon seasoned salt (I used Morton Season-All)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups macaroni pasta, dry (I used a gluten- free corn elbow pasta. Wheat flour elbow pasta can be substituted.)
Add onions, garlic and ground beef to a large soup pot. Stir and cook until all the pink is gone from the meat and the onions are tender and translucent.
Add next 8 ingredients. Stir well.
Cover and let sauce simmer 30 minutes.
Add macaroni pasta. Cook until pasta is done.
Taste for seasoning and adjust.
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