When I was about 10, or maybe a little younger, my mom taught me how to make her Goulash recipe. Once I learned, I would come home from school, before the folks were home, and surprise my parents by having goulash in the oven when they got home. I was a very talented 10-year-old.
I was very excited to make Goulash. We ate it probably twice a week (not including leftovers) when I was between the ages of 10-13. It never got old for me. Mom probably seriously regretted teaching me how to cook so young. Even though I learned more things that year, like Manwich and other fine dishes, we still ate Goulash. And now you can too:
Now, doesn’t that look like it will hit the spot? The best part is–it’s super-duper easy. So you can teach your 10-year-old how to cook it and he or she will promptly run you out of ground beef, tomatoes, and other household food staples. And note, when I say ground beef, I use real cow beef. Because some things aren’t meant to be messed with.
1# Ground beef
1 qt. tomato sauce
1 lg. can peeled whole tomatoes
1 bag elbow macaroni
American processed cheese product singles
Preheat your oven to 350. Brown your hamburger and boil your noodles (in separate pots, but I have faith that you can complete these two steps simultaneously). While that’s going, get out a casserole dish and cut up the tomatoes. Throw them and the juice in the dish. Pour the sauce in the dish. Unwrap your cheese slices–you’ll need 8-9 for a rectangle dish like the one I have pictured. Once your burger is browned, drain it and throw it in the dish. Drain your noodles once they are done and throw them in the dish. Mix well until it’s all casserole-like. Put the cheese slices on top (cover it all!) and pop that deliciousness in the oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your top to get. Then eat!
Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that sounds good, but I bet I could make it better.” You may be contemplating putting a little onion in with the beef, or using real cheese instead of mystery almost-dairy on top. You might even feel adventurous and use spaghetti sauce instead of regular tomato sauce, or seasoned canned tomatoes. Or worse, you could be looking through your spice cabinet picking out a few things to give it a little pizazz.
Remember how I said some things are just not meant to be messed with? This is one of them. It’s perfect the way it is, and I guarantee you, whatever monstrosity you decide to create by putting your own spin on it will end terribly. Your oven may even burst into flames in protest. So leave it be, cook it, enjoy it, and share with everyone.