I was in the mood for comfort food tonight, so I searched the interwebs to find something warm and comforting that I could make in my Instant Pot, and came upon Simply Happy Foodie’s recipe for American Goulash. Now she gets all the credit for the base recipe, but in reading it over, I saw a few places where I could jazz things up a bit. And so I did. Here’s how I made it. (The recipe card is at the bottom. I keep that short and to the point.)
Sauté 1 pound of ground beef in your Instant Pot using the sauté function. I happened to have a bunch of quarter pound angus burgers that I had thawed out in my fridge, so that’s what I used. You could use a frozen beast, just as well. It will cook in time. I didn’t add any oil to this, since the burgers had some fat to them. It worked out just fine.
Add in 1 medium diced onion. I happen to really like sweet onions, so that was what I used. But I know for a fact that a white onion or a yellow onion or heck even a red onion would do just fine. Normally you dice things up into ¼ inch cubes, but I’m not looking and I won’t tell if you give it a more liberal approach.
Dice up three medium ribs of celery and add it to the Instant Pot. It really doesn’t matter how fine you go, since the celery will fade away into the Goulash. Maybe I should have said that when you were chopping the onion. It pays to read ahead.
Add in 2 bay leaves. These come from a laurel tree and I’ve always wanted to own one. If you think back to Roman times, they wore laurel wreaths around. Those were bay leaves. Seems a little silly, huh?
Once the onion is translucent, it’s time to season this up with some fresh garden herbs. I add 1 T of oregano, 1 T of basil and 1 T of thyme. All of these come out of my own gardens, and since its just starting April, these are herbs that I had lovingly air dried at the end of last season. (That’s super easy, just lay the herbs out on paper towels, spreading them out so they have plenty of room, then air dry them in your kitchen for about three days. Turn them over as you see fit. Don’t jar them up until they are very dry, or you’ll learn new things about mold. That can be fun, too.)
Dazzle your pot with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. I like Maldon salt which comes from a 135-year old family business on the coast of England and Black India Special Extra Bold Peppercorns mixed with Malaysian Sarawak White Peppercorns freshly ground in my hand grinder. It really doesn’t cost all that much more to buy the best, and frankly, you’re worth it. You’ll only use a little at a time, so the cost must be slices of a penny each time. Seems a little silly to pinch that penny, don’t it?
Now comes the garlic, make it 2 T, chopped. More if you’re warding off vampires, or is that werewolves? Better add a little more. You can never be too safe in this world.
Add in 2 T of Worcestershire. I have tried the store brands, but vastly prefer Lea & Perrins. I used to live outside Boston, and there’s this town out there called Worcester. It’s pronounced Woostah. So this is “Woostah-sheer” sauce. Now you know how to pronounce it. Amaze your friends. If you like, you can use fish sauce instead of Worcestershire. I like the Three Crabs brand the best. Fish sauce is a kissing cousin to Worcestershire sauce since both contain … FISH!
Chop 2 green peppers into half inch dice and add them to the pot. It’s ok if you only have 1, but life is just better with 2. Go ahead and sauté this for a few minutes. Look at how bright and green that green pepper gets!
Now comes the good stuff. Add in about ½ cup of red wine and let it cook off for a minute. Don’t use something you wouldn’t drink. I happened to have this little bit left over after drinking some wine over the weekend. That is an exceedingly rare occurrence around here. Not the wine. The leftovers.
Add in 32 oz. of bone broth. That’s 4 cups. I bet you’re like me and have jars of your homemade Instant Pot bone broth in the freezer. Now’s the time! You can let it sit in a sink of hot water, closed, until it loosens enough to pour right into the pot, or you could microwave it until it’s watery enough to slide on out. It doesn’t matter if you have beef bone broth, or chicken bone broth or pterodactyl bone broth. They’ll be delicious. (I’d avoid fish or seafood broth. That would be great with some garlic, lemon, thyme, pasta and some chicken, but that’s a different dish entirely.)
Put your glass lid (or any lid, or sheetpan, or frying pan) over the top of your Instant Pot and get the liquid hot. It doesn’t need to boil since we’re going to pressure cook this in a minute.
Add 2 cups of Cellentani pasta. This is made by Barilla and was in my local Walmart. I like it because it looks like elbow pasta, but has ridges like penne, and twirls like your kid sister’s ponytail. All those ridges and swirls hold on to the sauce you are creating. That’s a very good thing. If you don’t have that, elbow pasta will work just fine.
Stir your pot for the last time and put that spoon over on the side somewhere. Over there. Yes.
Add in a 14 oz can of tomato sauce, and a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with the green chiles in them. They’re not spicy, just savory. They’ll help flavor up the sauce a bit. Don’t stir these in, or the Evil Burn Warning might come get you.
Now close it up with the pressurizing Instant Pot lid, turn the sealing knob (gosh, how many times do I forget that?), hit Cancel to clear the sauté function, and press Pressure Cook (or Manual if you have it) and set the time for 3 minutes.
Once the time has expired, do a controlled quick release. I use the bowl of a spoon to slightly press the stalk of the pressure release knob towards the front and then release it. Do that several times until the pressure is not so forceful and then do a quick release with the rest. If you do this right, you won’t spray the Goulash all over your kitchen.
Open the lid, give that girl a stir and add in a half cup of chopped parsley. More is ok. That green vegetal flavor quickly dissipates in the heat to leave a nice freshness in the background of the dish. It’s really nice to add that brightness at the end to lift the dish.
Finally add in a 12 oz. bag of frozen whole kernel corn. This will balance out the sharpness of the tomato and savoriness of the sauce with a little crunchy sweetness. I like that.
Time to ladle it into bowls. I bet you can’t have just one.
I added some mozzarella cheese to my first bowl, but didn’t add that to the next three four. This juicy, tomatoey, herby, corny, savory dish has so many great flavors that I don’t think cheese adds a thing to it. I really enjoyed this recipe and will make it a bunch more, now that I’ve adjusted the recipe with wine, bone broth, and lots of fresh herbs. This will be easy to take to work for lunch and will definitely be a crowd pleaser with the kids. I bet they want the cheese.
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 medium diced onion
- 3 medium ribs of celery, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T of oregano
- 1 T of basil
- 1 T of thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 T chopped garlic
- 2 T of Worcestershire Sauce or Fish Sauce
- 2 green peppers chopped into half inch dice
- ½ cup of red wine
- 32 oz. of bone broth
- 2 cups of Cellentani pasta or elbow pasta
- 14 oz can of tomato sauce
- 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with the green chiles in them
- ½ cup of chopped parsley
- 12 oz. bag of frozen whole kernel corn
- Mozzarella cheese, if you like
- Sauté 1 pound of ground beef in your Instant Pot using the sauté function
- Add 1 medium diced onion, 3 medium ribs of celery, diced, and 2 bay leaves. Sauté until translucent
- Add 1 T of oregano, 1 T of basil, 1 T of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 T chopped garlic, 2 T of Worcestershire or 2 T Fish Sauce, and 2 green peppers chopped into half inch dice
- Sauté this for a few minutes.
- Add ½ cup of red wine and let it cook off for a minute.
- Add 32 oz. of bone broth
- Put your glass lid (or any lid, or sheetpan, or frying pan) over the top of your Instant Pot and get the liquid hot. It doesn’t need to boil since we’re going to pressure cook this in a minute.
- Add 2 cups of Cellentani pasta or elbow pasta, and stir.
- Add a 14 oz can of tomato sauce, and a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with the green chiles in them.
- Close it up with the pressurizing Instant Pot lid, turn the sealing knob, hit Cancel to clear the Sauté function, press Pressure Cook (or Manual if you have it) and set the time for 3 minutes.
- Once the time has expired, do a controlled quick release. I use the bowl of a spoon to slightly press the stalk of the pressure release knob towards the front and then release it. Do that several times until the pressure is not so forceful and then do a quick release with the rest.
- Open the lid, give that girl a stir and add in a ½ cup of chopped parsley and a 12 oz. bag of frozen whole kernel corn.
- You can top the bowls with mozzarella cheese if you like.