A Taste of Hungary: Porkolt (Hungarian Stew)

This December, I finally took my whole family (children and their spouse/significant other) to my husband’s motherland in Budapest, Hungary. It was my third trip, and this time, I spent much more of my time enjoying the tastes and smells of the local cuisine, and paying more attention to the nuances of their dishes. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a very accomplished chef when it comes to Hungarian food, but it’s always good to go back to the source to learn some new tricks and variations to make familiar dishes just a little more special.

My first attempt at a reproduction back in my own kitchen was a beef porkolt – a perfect cold weather dish that just hits different with the fresh homemade paprika we brought back home with us. While I’m sure any paprika would work, I’m just tickled at what I ended up with and wanted to be sure to save it for myself and anyone else who’s looking for a hearty, saucy, bowl of happiness around the holidays!

Porkolt (Hungarian Stew)

Recipe by paleosherryCourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: EuropeanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 lb beef roast, cut into 1-2 in pieces

  • salt and pepper (to taste)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil or bacon grease

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into long thin strips

  • 2 tbsp red wine (sub 1 tbsp vinegar for Whole 30)

  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock (divided)

  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 3 tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika

  • 1/4 tsp marjoram

  • Sour cream for topping/serving


  • Season steak pieces with salt and pepper. Add oil to large frying pan and brown steak pieces on all sides in batches. Set seared steak aside when done.
  • Add more oil as needed to pan and add diced onions and cook until golden and translucent.
  • Add wine and 1/2 cup beef stock to pan with onions, mixing and scraping the bottom of pan. Cook for another minute or two, then set aside to cool
  • In a large pot, add seared steak, onion mixture from pan, diced tomatoes, paprika, and marjoram.
  • Pour in more beef stock until there’s just enough to cover the meat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour, stirring periodically.
  • Add the green pepper, recover and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Serve stew over noodles or cooked potatoes, and top with sour cream

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