This goulash is not authentic by any Hungarian standards, but it is the goulash I grew up eating. It's my Grandpa's recipe or at least how I remember it. The main thing with his goulash was to include ground beef, bacon and pepperoni. My variations from the way Gramps used to do it were because I didn't want to dirty another pot (from cooking the pasta) and my oven is broken. Instead I cooked the pasta with all the other ingredients and didn't bake it in the oven at all.
Today would have been Gram and Gramps 53rd wedding anniversary, so in honor of them (they made it 41 years before Gramps passed away) I present Grandpa's Goulash recipe. I just hope I did it justice.
Adapted from my taste memory of Grandpa's recipe
1-1.5 lb ground beef
3/4 lb bacon, chopped
1/4 lb (4 oz) sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (32 oz) can tomatoes in puree, chopped
2 cups water
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
1 box (~13 oz) elbow macaroni
Parmesan cheese, grated (or shredded mozzarella)
In a dutch oven or large pot, cook ground beef on medium-high until no longer pink. Drain juices, then remove the beef and set it aside in a bowl. Cook the bacon in the same pot until crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Remove all the bacon fat except about 2 tablespoons worth. Lower the stove to medium heat and add the chopped onions. After the onions start to soften, add the garlic and peppers and stir. Push the vegetables to one side of the pot, then stir and cook the tomato paste in the empty space for about a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and stir everything together. Cover the pot, then simmer (stirring occasionally) for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is done. If the goulash starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, lower the temperature.
When serving, sprinkle goulash with some cheese.