16 July, 2012

Hungarian Beef Pörkölt (Slow Stew)

This is a typical Hungarian dish. You can make it from poultry, beef, mutton, vension or, as the most preferred in Hungary, pork.
I cannot imagine that there is family in Hungary which does not cook this meal. Everybody has the best recipe, everybody knows how to cook it to get the best flavour. 

My mum learnt lots of recipes from a cookbook written by Ilona Horváth. She is a kind of Julia Child for us, except that she was not on TV. Her book which includes all the most typical recipes has been published since 1955. There must be one copy of it in every household. 
My version belonged originally to my mum - she was not very happy that I 'borrowed' it long time ago - and was one of the very few books I brought to Australia when I came here the very first time. 
So if I want to cook something really Hungarian, I do not need the internet but this book only. 

This recipe is from Ilona Horváth or how my mum cooks it. And now on me too.


600g beef for slow cooking (leg or shoulder)
2 tbs oil or 30g lard / duck fat
1 large brown onion
1 tsp Hungarian sweet ground paprika

Cut the meat onto 2 cm cubes. 
Finally chop the onion. Sauté the onion in the fat, and remove it from the heat. 
Add the paprika and meet. Return to the heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously. 
Season with salt. Pour it up as much water as much covers the meat but no more. Pörkölt is always cooked is short liquid.
Cover, and leave to cook for approximately 2 hours. 
Replace any of the juices that evaporate with a little warm water if necessary. 
Instead of water, we can add red wine as well. 

Although potato is the typical side dish for it, we eat with smashed cauliflower.

- Always buy the meat at the butcher. The prepacked meat in supermarkets usually does not have enough fat which is so important in this dish.
- Use real Hungarian sweet ground paprika. It gives more colour and flavour than other types. You can buy it online: Herbie'sEbaySzegedi Paprika
- You can buy lard in big supermarkets. I prefer duck fat which I get at Coles or at the butcher.

Enjoy :)

Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.