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Old 12-06-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
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Smile Goulash? A Sort of Survey

I've always been curious about a dish which people in the mid-western and mid-southern U.S. call "goulash".

My family isn't Hungarian or Austrian (although my paternal grandmother was German) but I've always thought of "goulash" as a thick stew dish consisting of beef, onions, potatoes and spices (mainly but not exclusively paprika). Sometimes served over (ribbon-style) thin egg noodles; most often simply accompanied by chunks of a nice hearty toasted bread to sop up the beef gravy.

Since I moved to the southern U.S. almost 34 years ago now, I've encountered descriptions of goulash which are more akin cooked ground beef put in tomato sauce with elbow macaroni. Akin to the canned Chef Boyardee brand.

Obviously this is a regional (not to mention country!) difference. So I'm just curious, what do you consider "goulash"?

Fraidy

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Old 12-06-2006, 10:13 PM   #2
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What you described is something we call American Chop Suey. Others call it slumgullion or goulash.

I make the Hungarian/Austrian version of the dish.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:21 PM   #3
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Eastern European versions of goulash and American versions are not the same. Your understanding of goulash is an Eastern European version.

Now, the stuff you are talking about finding in the Southern US called goulash is sometimes called goulash but often times is more correctly referred to as slum gullion. We recently had a big discussion about this in the beef forum under the title "Goulash Recipes".

Being from the South I grew up thinking of slum gullion as being goulash (that's what they called it at school) ... now that I am older and read cookbooks I consider goulash to be the original Eastern European (Polish/Hungarian) stew varient.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:52 PM   #4
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The goulash my mom always made basically consisted of chunks of veal sauteed in butter with celery, onions, diced tomatoes, & white wine, finished off with sauerkraut & sour cream stirred in & then served over egg noodles.

I make the same dish, although substituting chunks of chicken for the veal. It's delicious & is one of our favorites.
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:17 PM   #5
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I'm Hungarian so my goulash is the Eastern European version.

The Southern version i.e., ground beef, canned tomatoes, some sort of large tubular pasta usually - I have heard it referred to as goulash - it's all good in my book!
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidKnot
Since I moved to the southern U.S. almost 34 years ago now, I've encountered descriptions of goulash which are more akin cooked ground beef put in tomato sauce with elbow macaroni. Akin to the canned Chef Boyardee brand.
Fraidy
Well Fraidy, like Andy M said, my Pennsyltucky parents called it slum gullion.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:38 AM   #7
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"Slum Gullion"?! "Akin to canned Chef Boyardee"?! OUCH, you guys!

For me it's both, and I love 'em both. My grandmother's (and she was from England, living in New York) is the one described as "Southern" and the one my husband introduced me to is the Hungarian version.

Once again I must say "a rose by any other name smells as sweet"!!
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:35 AM   #8
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I love goulash!! Both the European version and my mother's! It might be a mid-western dish, but she was in the Pacific Northwest (as were her parents), so it migrated! Her version was burger, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and tube pasta. Plus, different ingredients always seemed to be added that needed to be used from the frig... ;)
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:13 AM   #9
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I've just returned from Hungary and the goulash I had there was a soup rather than stew, with lots of paprika, beef, potatoes and carrot, Very good.

The goulash I've had at home is more like a stroganoff, thick and stew like.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:34 AM   #10
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My grandma always had goulash when the family showed up on the weekends. It was called the "the Usual". Ground beef, chopped onions, her canned tomatoes, S/P . I make it pretty much the same only I cut up several slices of bacon and reserve a Tlb. or 2 of the bacon fat and add to the ground beef for a good flavor. The added bacon makes a difference to us.
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