Pörkölt

Pörkölt is a Hungarian stew made from beef or pork. It is pretty simple, but very tasty. The flavors are made up of paprika, tomato, garlic and onion, and a few more herbs.

The moment I write this I am in Hungary and have already eaten Pörkölt several times in various restaurants. The taste is almost the same everywhere, but you still taste the secret of the chef. I wanted to make Pörkölt myself. Of course there are countless recipes on the internet, I made this version with the ingredients that I had at my disposal at the time. The result was special, just as I had it in a restaurant the day before.

Ingredients 4 persons
2.2 lb (1 kg) of beef or pork. (Beef: chuck or brisket – Pork: blade)
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
9 oz (250 grams) of smoked bacon strips
2 onions (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2.5 oz (70 grams) tomato paste
2 tablespoons of mild paprika
1 teaspoon of ground caraway seeds
1 teaspoon of dried marjoram
1 teaspoon of dried tarragon
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (250 ml) of red wine

Preparation
1. Fry the bacon strips in a pan, do not fry them too hard, they still have to be a little soft.
2. Set aside and put another pot on the stove and add the sunflower oil.
3. Fry the onion and garlic until they are translucent.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and mix the paprika, until it is properly dissolved.
5. Put the pot back on the fire and bake very gently for a few minutes.
6. Add the meat and brown it off. The paprika will turn the meat red, so go by feeling. Now add the bacon strips and make sure you don’t drain the fat, it adds flavor to this dish.
7. After a few minutes you can add the tomato paste, let it simmer for a few minutes to remove the tanginess.
8. Add all the dry herbs and the salt.
9. Finally pour in the wine.

Now put the pan on the lowest heat source you can find, make sure to stir regularly. Check every 15 minutes that it is not too dry, if necessary add a little bit of moisture (wine or water). After two and a half hour of simmering, the meat must be tender and almost fall apart. If it is still too tough, let it simmer for half an hour. After that check every quarter of an hour. If you still need to add more fluid after an hour and a half, use a light broth. It has to have a consistency of a thick sauce.

Serve with pasta, preferably orecchiette or long-grain rice.