Hungarian Stew with Noodles-Pörkölt

Hungarian Stew with Noodles-Pörkölt

This meal right here speaks to me on so many levels… Because it reminds me of my childhood.

In case you didn’t know from following me on Social Media and this blog, I am Hungarian born in Romania. I am very lucky to have grown up enjoying the wonderful cuisines of both of these neighboring countries. Many of the dishes are the same and some are completely different and special in their own ways. This Hungarian Stew recipe is inspired by all the variations of stew that I grew up with. What’s so special about this stew? It’s that Hungarian paprika and the memories it brings.

Paprika is a staple in Hungarian cooking. Essentially, it is made of ground dried red peppers or chilles and it comes in sweet and spicy varieties. It is great for cooking chicken, beef, pork… Anything you wish. Let me know if this is relatable to you but, my family often enjoyed lard on a slice of fresh bread, sprinkled with salt and paprika. Added a cup of tea and called it breakfast a few times a week. I call it a taste of communism. 

For this recipe, I used the Szeged Sweet Paprika that I found at my local market. I used the sweet variety in this recipe. Looking for a spicier meal? Then sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper or use the spicy paprika for a full spicy effect.

There are several specialty stores in the Metro Detroit area for authentic European spices. I would happily share those with any of you. Just send me a message!

Overall, this is an easy recipe to make. It takes a little bit of time to prepare the vegetables and the meat, but it isn’t too bad. Is Sunday supper scheduled at your house? Make this for your family!

For this recipe, I used a mix of stew beef and pork because I like the different textures the two provide. They both become extra tender in their own way and give the stew great flavors. The Country Style Pork Ribs have a bone or two in there and I make sure not to waste those. I add them to the stew and remove them when its done cooking and before I add the sour cream.

Hungarian Stew with Noodles-Pörkölt
Hungarian Stew with Noodles-Pörkölt


The recipe is versatile and can also be made without the sour cream. Try it with beef only and serve it with a crusty slice of bread for dipping. Yum! My mouth is watering as I type this.
As written, the recipe makes a large batch. This is a freeze friendly meal. Prepare fresh noodles, rice or potatoes and add the sauce for an easy weeknight meal. While I like this freshly made, I think it tastes even better as leftovers. All those flavors and spices come together really nicely. I used Rigatoni to serve with this batch.
Because I love dessert, If you’d like to pair a traditional Hungarian dessert with this meal, check out my recipe for Plum Dumplings.


Hungarian Stew with Noodles-Pörkölt

A delicious Hungarian Stew to warm you right up this fall and winter. 

Course Dinner
Cuisine Hungarian
Keyword Stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Hannah Hiller


  • 1 large red pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ lb pancetta or bacon cubed
  • 1 ½ lb stewing beef cubed
  • 2 lb country style pork ribs cubed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup white wine or rose
  • 48 oz of beef broth


  1. In a large Dutch oven like pan, on medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add the pancetta. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the pancetta is browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. To the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil then add the meat. You will have to do this in multiple batches. You don’t have to brown the meat too much just cook enough to have a little crust, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate and set aside.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Make sure to scrape up the bottom really well. Let the wine cook and continue scraping (I use a wooden spoon). The mixture will get thicker as it cooks, from the flour. Pour the mixture over the meat that’s sitting aside.
  4. To the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic. Cook the garlic for one minute just until fragrant.
  5. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about five minutes until they are soft and translucent.
  6. Return the meat to the pan along with the pancetta and the diced tomatoes.
  7. Add the beef stock and add all the spices and bay leaf.
  8. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least one hour. I cooked this batch for an hour and 15 minutes.
  9. Whisk in the sour cream, then remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Prepare the noodles as per the package instructions and serve with the stew.
  11. Garnish with fresh parsley.
  12. This is a one pot meal. I used a 8.5 quart Dutch oven to make it.

Recipe Notes

Alternatively, this stew could be served with rice as well. Scratch the sour cream and serve it with mashed potatoes and a pickled vegetable.

Recipe developed by Hannah Hiller of Detroit Is For Foodies

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