Hungarian cooking is a whole lot more than goulash (gulyás) or chicken paprikash (paprikás). There is almost 2000 years worth of history with hundreds of evolutionary recipes as new types of spices and vegetation were added into the regional food preparation.
Hungarian Pork Stew
Recipe Submitted By: Marie Simon Gowan
Check out her FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/HungarianHeritage
One of the purposes of this website is not just to give you recipe after recipe of any of the Slavic Nations, including Hungary, without giving you, the reader, some background of a specific dish or some interesting facts about their cuisine. One fact about Hungarian cooking and baking is that it is never boring or bland and is always colorful and with many variations. One thing for sure that contributed to Hungary’s culture is it’s geography. Her forests are abundant with wildlife, the climate and rolling hills are perfect for growing grapes and fruit trees, and soil chemistry so perfect for growing which support an abundance of grain and vegetables. Her lands have no lack of rivers filled with a variety of fish. As I have mentioned, there are hundreds of distinct recipes but the Hungarian cuisine contains what major chefs and cooks consider the Four Pillars: Pörkölt, Gulyás, Paprikás and Tokány. What I find interesting is that non Hungarian-Americans generally think of as Hungarian goulash (gulyás ) is actually Hungarian pork stew (sertéspörkölt) – a delicious classic main dish pork stew for lunch or dinner.
Pörkölt (Sertesporkolt) can be made from a wide variety of meats including pork, beef, veal, lamb, wild game and chicken. It can even be made with fish such as carp or with tripe. Gulyás may contain a variety of root vegetables, pörkölt is generally limited to the addition of tomatoes and green peppers. The MAIN difference between sertesporkolt and gulash is that sertesporkolt is a stew so it contains much less liquid – gulyas is a soup. Also, sertesporkolt does not contain potatoes or dumplings, although dumplings may be served with Sertesporkolt but not in it. The key difference between pörkölt and paprikás is that paprikás is finished with sweet or sour cream mixed with a little flour whereas pörkölt and gulyás never contain either. Also, paprikás is usually just made with either chicken or veal.
Marie writes; Sertéspörkölt is a Hungarian pork stew. The word “pörkölt” translates to stew. This stew can be made with pork, beef, lamb or chicken. Pörkölt and Paprikás are made in a very similar manner. The main difference is in the finishing of the dish. Paprikás is finished with sour cream.
- 2 lbs or more pork shoulder.
- 2 large onions diced
- 1 or 2 wax peppers, the heat you prefer
- bacon grease for browning meat and onions
- 1 diced tomato or Hungarian lecso if you have (a few Tbsp of lecso)
- garlic, finely chopped (if you like garlic)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Good Hungarian Paprika - several tablespoons
- Meat broth or water to cover (reserve some for later due to evaporation)
- Cut meat into bite sized pieces for searing.
- Heat bacon grease
- Brown meat in small batches. Just get a sear on the chunks
- Remove from heat and put aside on a plate (best to do small batches so to brown properly).
- In the same pot used for the meat browning drop in the onions to begin cooking.
- Cook onions until translucent
- Add peppers, garlic and tomato to soften.
- Add meat, stir well, remove from heat to add your seasonings (Paprika can burn, so it is best to add while off the heat)
- Put back on heat, cover meat with just enough broth/water to cover the meat
- Bring to simmer and cover the pot partially.
- Keep at a low simmer for at least two hours. Stirring occasionally, add additional broth as needed. You would want some evaporation as this is where the flavors develop.
- Taste and add salt and pepper toward the end of cooking if needed.
- Meat will be fork tender at the end of cooking.
If you make this Pörkölt and choose to finish with sour cream, you actually have a Paprikás. Either way, the dish is delicious!