Dominican Style Goulash that’s utterly delicious!
Coditos con Carne is a Dominican Style Goulash and Hamburger Helper. It’s grass-fed ground beef that’s seasoned to perfection and then mixed in with elbow pasta. It’s a one pot dish that can feed a village. Not to mention, it tastes great the next day making for some yummy leftovers.
Carne con Coditos is hands down one of my sister’s favorite Dominican dishes. It’s a pasta dish that’s extremely comforting and filling. It honestly makes me so happy to see her light up anytime that I make this dish. When I was younger, my grandmother made this at least once a month. It was a great way to stretch out another favorite – Carne Molida.
Carne Molida is ground beef that’s marinated, stewed, and then braised in a tomato sauce. It’s a Dominican Style Picadillo. It’s a dish that’s heavily featured in a variety of ways such as: Lasagna, Beef Empanadas and Pastelitos, Pastelon, and more! Pretty much, anything that calls for a ground beef filling. The issue with Carne Molida is that it’s expensive when trying to feed a large family.
Whenever Carne Molida was on the menu, it always felt like everyone took an extra serving of the meat because of how delicious it was. My grandmother would fret saying that she could never make enough to make it last. As a result, when funds were tight or whenever she had to make a meal stretch – she’d make Carne con Coditos. Keep in mind that this dish is also sometimes called: Coditos con Carne.
Think of this as a Dominican Style Bolognese. The meat sauce is infused with classic Caribbean flavors due to the Dominican orégano, onions, peppers, and cilantro. It’s an explosion of goodness that will have people fighting for seconds.
You can make this dish in a variety of different ways using a variety of different pastas. I personally like to use elbow pasta with ridges or even rotini pasta. The ridges are key in my opinion, since they hold onto the sauce the best. The rotini with its swirls also helps trap meat, thus giving you a bit of pasta and carne molida in every bite. Talk about balance!
As with all of my recipes, here are some tips and tricks that I swear by to help you make it perfectly each time!
Tip #1: Use fresh onions and peppers for maximum flavor
Tip #2: Don’t be cheap with the sauce. Make it extra saucy so that the pasta doesn’t come out dry
Tip #3: Cook the pasta just shy of al dente since the steam from the meat will finish cooking the pasta once you combine the two
Tip#4: Feel free to enjoy with cheese or hot sauce in the end
Coditos con Carne is also a dish that I LOVE to enjoy with perfectly fried tostones. The sauce meat and pasta combo with the tostones is truly something that’s out of the world.
And now for the recipe!
- 1 lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
- 1 lbs Cooked Elbow Pasta - Al Dente
- 1 White Onion Diced
- ½ Cubanelle or Bell Pepper Diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves Diced
- 1 ½ tbsp Chicken Bouillon Cube or Kosher Salt
- ½ tbsp Sazón con Achiote
- 1 tsp Dominican Orégano
- ¼ tsp Cumin
- ½ cup Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Tomato Sauce
- Cilantro *optional
- Olive Oil
- 1 ½ cups of Water
- Season grass-fed ground beef with diced onions, peppers, garlic, bouillon cube or kosher salt, Dominican oregano, sazon con achiote, and cumin. Mix until well combined. Set aside
- Heat deep-sided skillet over medium high flame and add 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Add ground beef and brown on all sides. Make sure to smash meat with the back side of a wooden spoon to break up clumps
- Once eat has browned evenly, add the water and any left over marinade. Let simmer and stew until water evaporated. Feel free to continue breaking up any ground beef chunks
- Once the water has evaporated, taste and adjust for flavor. If meat is chewy, add more water and braise again. When water has evaporated, add tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Mix together until well combined. Set flame to low
- In a separate pot, bring water to boil with kosher salt. Then add elbow pasta and boil 1 minute of al-dente. Cook times will vary depending on brand of pasta
- Drain pasta and then add to ground beef - carne molida. Gently fold into the sauce until the pasta is well combined. Turn off flame and garnish with chopped cilantro. Feel free to enjoy with shredded or grated cheese