Braised Beef Hungarian style – Pörkölt



  • 1/2 cup pork lard or olive oil
  • 12 oz oxtail and beef, cut into 1-inch size
  • 2 onions, yellow, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups fine red wine, preferably from Villány Region
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • 4 green peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced crosswise
  • 2 riped fresh tomatoes, cut in half
  • Salt and Pepper freshly ground
  • Sour Cream, or Créme Fraiche
  • Gherkins and Nokedli for serving
meat with sauce in black bowl

You may heard of Goulash (Gulyas), which is a soup, but did you ever heard of Pörkölt? It’s a kind of ragu, made of beef, pork or other red meat, and a load of Sweet Hungarian Paprika, to make it tasty, sauce thick, hearthy and juicy. It usually cooked till the meat is fork-tender. Be carful  with the paprika, do not burn it, because it will ruin the Pörkölt, leave you with an unpleasant bittery taste. Mild, fresh green Hungarian peppers are essential to the flavor of this dish, but any other green, fresh paprika can be used as substitute.


  • In a large saucepan, preferably in a Dutch Oven, heat lard or olive oil to medium-high. Fry the oxtail until golden brown, seal all the side of the meat, to keep the juices in. This will take about 6 minutes.
  • Put the fried oxtails to a plate, return the pan/oven to the heat, and add the beef to fry, until golden brown. Stirring it constantly, caramelize the meat about 12 minutes.
  • Now, transfer the meat to the plate with the oxtail, and put back the pan/oven to the heat.
  • Add the onions over a tablespoon of oil, and cook it for 5 minutes, until the onion is glassy and tender. Stir in the garlic, cook for an other 2 minutes.
  • Important! Take the pan/oven off the heat, and add the paprika, stir it constantly, and when the paprika is absorved in the oil, add the wine, the peppers and the tomatoes.
  • Put the pan/oven back to the heat, and bring it to boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover it, and cook slowly until the beef is tender and the sauce is reduced till 1/3. It will take 2 1/2-3 hours. If you have a slow cooker, this part will be easy, just leave to it to do the job.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and serve it with a spoonful of sour cream or créme fraîche, and some gherkins on the side.
  • It goes well with “Nokedli”, the Hungarian dumplings, made easily in 5 minutes.


Bon Appetit!



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