Simple and Easy Pörkölt (Hungarian Stew)

This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my privacy policy.

This pörkölt is a delicious Hungarian meat stew cooked in a savory onion sauce. It is simmered until it reaches juicy and tender perfection that will make it fall off your fork and melt in your mouth!

If you love a recipe that warms you up and fills your belly, then this pörkölt is it! Add in this salad, rolls and carrots and you have a meal that is hearty and filling that the whole family will love.

A pot of cooked pörkölt.

What IS Pörkölt?

Pörkölt is a traditional Hungarian dish. It comes from the name pörkölini, which means “to roast.” This beef stew is traditionally served over egg noodles, but it can be served over rice or mashed potatoes. You make a sauce to pour over the meat and simmer it for almost 2 hours. That’s how the beef ends up so tender and juicy! The sauce has a bit of a kick because it uses Hungarian sweet paprika.

This recipe is so hearty and filling. It only takes about 15 minutes to prep, and the rest of the time, it’s just simmering on the stove. So it really isn’t time-consuming, and you end up with something delicious at the end of it all! Stews are a great meal for the family and go with just about any and all sides, especially vegetables. Try this out. It is SOO GOOD. 

Ingredients You Need to Make Pörkölt

The name makes it sound complicated but it’s actually pretty simple. And so are the ingredients! See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all of the measurements.

  • Olive oil: This is what you will sear the meat in before cooking it in the sauce.
  • Beef: You can get a cut of chuck roast or stew meat for this recipe.
  • Salt and pepper: You will season the meat before putting it into the sauce.
  • Onion: I used a vidalia onion and thinly sliced it.
  • Tomato sauce: This is the base of the sauce.
  • Beef broth: The beef broth is used to cover the meat.
  • Hungarian sweet paprika: This adds a spicy kick to the recipe. If you don’t want the spice then use normal paprika instead.
  • Vinegar: The vingegar adds a slight tangly taste.
  • Bay leaf: You only need one bay leaf to season up this sauce.
  • Sour cream: This is just to garnish the top. One dollup for each serving.
  • Wide egg noodles: This dish is traditionally served on egg noodles but you could also serve it on rice or mashed potatoes too!

How to Make Pörkölt

This recipe is really simple! Cook all of your sides while it’s simmering on the stove and you’ll have a delicious, hearty meal ready to go in under 2 hours!

  1. Brown the meat: Add oil to a large pot, and heat over medium high heat. Add the cubed beef to the hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides until seared and no longer pink. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Using the same pot, add the sliced onions, and cook for about 8 minutes or until golden. Add a little more oil if needed. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, vinegar, bay leaf, and prepared meat. 
  3. Cover and let simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until meat is tender. 
  4. Allow to cool and prepare noodles: Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare and boil the noodles. Before serving, taste and add salt and pepper if needed. The stew should be nice and thick. Serve with egg noodles and a dollop of sour cream on the side.
2 pictures showing how to sear meat and add in the sauce ingredients to mix together.

Do I Have to Sear the Meat?

Yes! The key to getting your pörkölt to be juicy and tender is to sear it before you cook it. When you sear it, you make a caramelized crust on the edges of the meat. This creates a tender texture and seals in the meat’s delicious flavor! I know it’s tempting to skip this step but don’t… It really does make a huge difference in how this recipe turns out!

A bowl of pörkölt on top of wide egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream on top.

How to Store Leftovers

This pörkölt makes fantastic leftovers and can be heated up and eaten the next day for lunch and dinner. Here is how you store it until then.

  • In the refrigerator: Once the pörkölt has cooled then place it in an airtight container in your fridge. (Store it separately from any egg noodles or potatoes). It will last 3-4 days.
  • Reheat: You can reheat this in the microwave! Cover it and cook it on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Simple and Easy Pörkölt (Hungarian Stew)

3 from 2 votes
This pörkölt is a delicious Hungarian meat stew that is cooked in a savory onion sauce! It is simmered until it reaches juicy and tender perfection that will make it fall off your fork and melt in your mouth.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds Beef (chuck roast or stew meat) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 sweet onion (Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth (enough to cover the meat)
  • 4 Tablespoon Hungarian Sweet Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup sour cream, divided (a dollop for each serving)
  • 16 ounces wide egg noodles

Instructions
 

  • Add oil to a large pot, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the cubed beef to the hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides until seared and no longer pink. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside.
  • Using the same pot, add the sliced onions, and cook for about 8 minutes or until golden. Add a little more oil if needed. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, vinegar, bay leaf, and prepared meat.
  • Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  • Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare and boil the noodles. Before serving, taste and add salt and pepper if needed. The stew should be nice and thick. Serve with egg noodles and a dollop of sour cream on the side.

Notes

Traditionally, Pörkölt is served with egg noodles, but you can also serve it with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles of choice.

Nutrition

Serves: 6

Calories357kcal (18%)Carbohydrates59g (20%)Protein12g (24%)Fat9g (14%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat4gTrans Fat1gCholesterol64mg (21%)Sodium947mg (39%)Potassium440mg (13%)Fiber5g (20%)Sugar4g (4%)Vitamin A2511IU (50%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium46mg (5%)Iron3mg (17%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Hungarian
Keyword Pörkölt
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

Read More Posts by Alyssa

facebook twitter pinterest instagram

Categories

Comments

Leave a reply
  1. 3 stars
    I’ve made this recipe for years from Betty Crocker. This needed a lot of brown sugar to cut thru the tartness off the paprika. Maybe cutting it to 2 TBL would help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating