Batch Game

So, I think (I hope) that this morning I had my last foray out of the house for a while.

Yesterday The Kid and I went around to a couple of stores to round out our pantry and get a couple things to help us while away the time during our social distancing and self-imposed isolation.

I really wanted to get a couple packs of ground beef for two dishes that we all love and gives us leftovers—a hamburger/rice patty and a pot of American goulash, a noodle dish full of mushrooms and pasta also known as American chop suey and slumgullion (?).

Yesterday we went to Lowes Foods.  As you might expect, the meat aisle was pretty bare.  They had ground bison, wild boar, veal, and lamb.  They also had wagyu beef, at ten bucks a pound; no thanks.  But, there was no 80/20 hamburger meat.

Wagyu cow at photo op.

So this morning I ran to my local Carlie C’s where they butcher their own meat.  I thought my chances might be better to find what I needed.

I was right.

My mom made goulash when I was a kid, and I always loved it with a dollop of sour cream.

As I learned to cook, I refined the recipe with herbs, mushrooms, and lastly, roasted garlic. 

So, I think I’m done going out until we need to restock supplies.  Petey and The Kid don’t think I can stay home.  I really, really want to prove them wrong.  There’s nothing left that we need.

Although a couple pints of ice cream would be great…

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at

Roasted Garlic American Goulash

1 lb. 80/20 hamburger

12 ounces mushrooms

1 onion

2 heads garlic

1/2 teaspoon bacon fat or vegetable oil

2-14 ounce can tomatoes

1 1/2 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup sherry

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme + 1/2 teaspoon

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped + 2 sprigs

2 teaspoons kosher salt + pinch

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper + pinch

1 pound cavatappi pasta, uncooked

Roast garlic:

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut heads of garlic on half horizontally.  Lay in piece of foil about 9 inches square. Place on top, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, rosemary sprigs, pinch of salt and pepper.  Wrap, and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool a bit.  Extract all the garlic meat and set aside.

Put hamburger into large heavy pot with a cover.  When it’s just about cooked through, add onions, mushrooms, salt, pepper, and remmaining herbs.  Cook until the veg have released and then cooked out all their liquid.

Add garlic and stir to combine.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and mix in.  Cook until the paste has darkened, and started to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Add sherry, stir to pull up all the stuff on the bottom of th pot.  Cook until the sherry cooks in.

Pour in tomatoes and juice.  Add beef stock.  Stir in pasta. 

At this point you can bring to a boil and either take off heat to sit covered for 60 minutes, to eat later or finish now.

If you’ve let it sit, 15 minutes before service, put it on a medium burner, gently stirring frequently, so that all the pasta cooks to opaque.

To finish right away, cook covered on medium for 10 minutes, then uncover and cook for 10-15 minutes more when the pasta is fully cooked, and the sauce has thickened and is coating the pasta.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Mexican crema.  Serves 8.

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