Chef John’s American Goulash One of my all-time favorite comfort food meals growing up was the beef goulash they served in my school cafeteria alongside a slice of buttered white bread and a carton of milk. Little did I know that it wasn’t really goulash, but an Americanized version, invented to stretch a small amount of beef into enough food for a not-so-small family. This is one of those very simple dishes that does not taste simple–perfect for your weeknight dinner rotation.
Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and ground beef. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until browned, about 5 minutes. Cook and stir until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, Italian seasoning, and bay leaves.Advertisement
Cook and stir until flavors come together, about 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and marinara sauce. Rinse out the jar with 1 cup water and pour into the pot. Add soy sauce, stir, and bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer to let flavors intensify, about 30 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a simmer. Add macaroni; simmer, stirring occasionally, until just barely tender, about 12 minutes. Check for doneness after 10 minutes.
Remove goulash from heat. Discard bay leaves; stir in parsley and Cheddar cheese. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired.
Per Serving: 336 calories; protein 18.9g; carbohydrates 25.1g; fat 17.3g; cholesterol 58.1mg; sodium 1168.9mg. Make your own Italian herb mix with any desired blend of oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, and basil.