Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 4: Lamb or Beef Goulash

    Coarse salt
½ Pound wide egg noodles
1  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ lb bacon or turkey bacon, chopped
2  pounds ground lamb or sirloin
1  tablespoon smoked paprika or substitute 1 ½ teaspoons each of sweet paprika and cumin
   Coarse black pepper
2  teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1  medium onion, chopped
carrots, diced
celery ribs from the heart, chopped
1  small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
2  cups beef stock or broth
½ cup sour cream
2  tablespoons unsalted butter
10 to 12 fresh chives, chopped or snipped

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the wide egg noodles while you make the goulash.

Heat a deep, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO to the skillet, then add the bacon and brown it up.

Drain off the excess fat, then add the lamb or beef to the pan and break it up with a wooden spoon.

Season the meat with the smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme. When the meat is browned, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the red bell peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and combine. Stir in the sour cream and simmer the mixture over low heat.

When the noodles are al dente (6 minutes), stir in the butter and chives. .

Serve the goulash over the dressed noodles.


This recipe is a variation on the Smoky Turkey Shepherd's Pie. It had some errors, so I just wanted to clear that up. It says to serve the goulash over the noodles dressed with the butter and chopped chives, yet the original recipe calls for sour cream in the potatoes. I lowered the sour cream amount to 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup: 1/2 for the goulash, and just the butter for the noodles. It also calls for 3 tablespoons of butter in the noodles. That seems excessive to me, so I cut it back to 2. You could just leave the butter out and it would taste just as good, and be friendlier to your waistline.

I used turkey bacon this time, just to see what it was like. It really didn't make a difference taste-wise, but there was a lot less fat to drain out. In fact, I used ground beef instead of sirloin, so I drained the fat out of the beef after it browned instead of before I added it. I have tried this recipe once or twice before, and I've never tried it with lamb. I really like lamb, so someday I'd like to try it; however, it is hard to find in a small town, so maybe I'll try it next year. I didn't have enough smoked paprika, so I used what I had of it, then added a little regular paprika and cumin. I like the smoked paprika much better. Rachel again calls for fresh thyme leaves and I used dry. I think those are all the changes I made to this one. It is very delicious, and again, makes a lot. Just a note: 1/2 lb of noodles is not enough for all the beef. So if you're making for a big group, go ahead and make a whole pound of noodles. If it's for a small group, just make fresh noodles to go with your leftovers.

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