Saturday, April 14, 2012

Meat & Potatoes Goulash

For years I tried to decipher what my husband was telling me about a favorite dish his mother made - goulash.  Now to me, I think American goulash - as in a tomato-based sauce and macaroni noodle dish with a little ground meat.  He being Polish - well, he had a whole other picture in his mind that being a non-cook he could not describe in a way that I was understand.  

Finally, we had this discussion when visiting his parents and his mother cracked up laughing.  Her version of goulash, was to take about a pound of ground meat, and perhaps some fresh diced onions or mushrooms if she had the energy and had them on hand, saute them, add a packet of onion soup mix, water and flour to make a gravy, and serve it over mashed potatoes.  Having 12 children, she made whatever quantity needed from that 1 pound of ground meat and 1 packet of onion soup stretch to feed however many kids were home by adding water and flour to create gravy in any quantity and a huge batch of mashed potatoes.  That was her favorite fast and cheap dinner to make after putting in a day's work.

So I finally was able to create the right goulash for my husband and its a huge hit with my kids too - I can always be assured they will clean their plates.  I've played with it slightly over the years and it can be adjusted very easily to what you have on hand - here's what I made recently:
I boiled a bag of "B" sized red potatoes with the skins on.  I like the skins in my mashed potatoes and the skin is where a lot of the vitamins are.
Washed a small container of white button mushrooms.
Browned a pound of ground turkey.  Sliced the mushrooms and added those.
Added a packet of onion soup, pepper and about 2 cups of water and simmered until the mushrooms were cooked down a bit.
Then I whisked in a couple tablespoons of flour and brought it up to a boil until the gravy was the right consistency.
Mashed potatoes made with just a little butter and regular 2% milk.  Love those skins!

Serve it with a nice salad.  This travels and freezes very well.  I've taken it to large gatherings as its easy to make in large quantities and its always a hit.

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