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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and let simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until meat is tender.
- 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.
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!
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)
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.