From the Farm

FROM the FARM: Goulash a short recipe with a long history

Phil Potempa's weekly farm column recipe
2013-01-30T00:00:00Z FROM the FARM: Goulash a short recipe with a long historyBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, 219.852.4327 nwitimes.com

This week's up and down weather has been a carbon copy example of the same weather trend we've faced all along this winter.

One day, it's rainy, with temperatures in the mid 60s.

And the next day, the thermometer dips to the low teens with ice and snow.

It's no wonder my dad spotted what he described as "a very confused robin" in our back yard at the farm.

It left my dad wondering how this robin was able to find any worms to dine on this time of year, considering these earthbound delights are the primary diet for these feathered signs of spring.

In this instance, my dad said the robin was busily foraging for birdseed that had dropped from one of his backyard feeders.

The weather was a topic of discussion when I joined my parents and other friends for lunch recently with our friend Jeanette Wobith, who celebrated her 86th birthday last week.

Jeanette, who is very active with our American Legion Post in our town, told me she served her "simple goulash" recipe recently when she hosted the weekly luncheon for her pinochle club.

"Goulash" is the Hungarian version of a stew with beef as the primary meat, using rice or noodles as the thickening ingredient rather than potatoes. Though traditionally seasoned with paprika, Jeanette's "simple" version doesn't include it and uses a ground beef base. The name "goulash" comes from the Hungarian word "gulya," meaning "herd of cattle." And "gulyás," is the Hungarian term for "herdsman." 

Jeanette emphasizes her secret is to use her own fresh canned tomatoes from her garden, and add some sugar to "cut the acid." In a pinch, store tomatoes or cans of crushed tomatoes can substitute.

Jeanette's Simple Goulash

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 1/2 cups (measured dry) elbow macaroni

4 to 5 cups crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Other seasonings as desired

DIRECTIONS: In a large skillet, cook onion until soft and add ground beef to brown. Drain some of the excess drippings if desired. Cook elbow macaroni according to directions on the box. Drain prepared pasta and add to ground beef, with tomatoes. Stir to combine, adding sugar and seasonings, as desired. Adjust seasonings to taste and continue to cook over medium flame to allow ingredients to get acquainted. Makes 12 servings.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or 219.852.4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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