My Mother was a very busy woman when I was a kid. My brother and I grew up in Colorado on a ranch and my Mother wore many hats, if you will. In other words, she had many jobs. When I was very young, she cooked for the hired men on the ranch, making huge man pleasing meals everyday at noon. She raised a garden, chickens, ducks and she sometimes drove a truck during harvest or feeding cattle, if needed. She had to have some quick meal ideas to fall back on. She went to work when I was in the 5th grade as a secretary at the small school that we attended, so she was always very busy. Goulash, as it was called in our family, is one dish that my Mother would make on really hectic nights. It is typically a hamburger, tomato and macaroni dish that is easy to make and you only need about 30 minutes in which to prepare it. I loved this meal as a kid. Mom sometimes added cheese to the top and she often made biscuits and cooked green beans from her garden to go along with the meal. I hadn't made this dish for quite awhile when I made it a couple of weeks ago. My daughter was overjoyed! As a kid, she loved it as much as I had when I was young. It's still a great dish, easy to prepare and full of flavor. Chopped bell pepper can be added to it as well as cheese, if desired. I know that a lot of families have a similar recipe, maybe going by a different name. Does your family make this tasty dish?
NOTE, 2012: I'm adding this note to my post since this has become such a popular post. I grew up in the 1950's and 60's, and that was a very different time than now. When my mother went to work, she still made dinner every day after she got home from work. People cooked back then; it was a priority. We didn't have fast food places in our nearby town, so we spent our meal time around the family dinner table. Quick, economical meals like this were a lifesaver for many moms. Good memories.
This recipe is my submission to March's "Family Recipes: Memories of Family, Food and Fun", which is hosted by me this month. If you have a family recipe that you'd like to share, please send it to me by March 31st. Check out all the rules here. Any dish that's a family favorite with memories attached will work. We would love to hear from you. This event is hosted by Shelby, from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch, and Laura, of The Spiced Life, and myself. March is my month to host. Don't forget!
MY MOTHER'S GOULASH
from Lynda's Recipe Box
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, diced- either red or green(optional)
1 -15 ounce can small dice tomatoes
1 - 15 ounces can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups dry macaroni, cooked according to package directions
salt and pepper to taste
cheese for topping, if desired
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni. While pasta cooks, brown the ground beef that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Drain beef well and remove meat to a bowl. In 1 tablespoon oil, cook the onion and bell pepper if using, until softened. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar. Add the ground beef back to skillet. Cover and cook about 15 minutes. Remove lid and add cooked macaroni. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Toss well and add cheese, if desired. Enjoy!