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Classic Goulash
March 16, 2011

I'm grateful for this recipe because it reminds me of a dish my mother made in the mid-1940's in Denmark after the war when we finally could get enough cheap meat with our ration coupons to do it. This recipe has nothing whatever to do with anything I think of as goulash, whether Hungarian, Austrian, German or even Danish, but it was a way to use ground meat for something other than meat balls. My mother's concoction was called Red Indian Hash because of the colors added by vegetables (nothing to do with Native Americans either!), and everybody loved it, served not with macaroni in it, but with mashed potatoes on the side to absorb the lovely gravy. She grated carrots and turnips and any other root vegetable she had and cooked them along with the chopped onions. She might add a few beans or peas as well. Any ground meat was fine - beef, veal, pork, mutton - whatever we were lucky enough to have. Canned tomatoes did not exist then, so she had to moisten the mix with stock (usually vegetable stock with an addition of yeast extract - no soy sauce then) and chop a tomato or two if she could spare them. With everything available to us now, just think what we could do with a pound of ground meat, matching veggie flavors and herbs and aromatics to the type of meat. Thanks for reminding me of what can be done! and of how rich we are now. . .

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