Almost any kind of meat can be used when making Hungarian meat stew (pörkölt). Most common are beef, lamb, chicken, veal and pork, but tripe and liver are also used. The key is, that the sauce should not be thickened. It should be flavorful and just barely cover the meat. There are different stew variations from region to region. In most parts of Hungary, pörkölt is made with beef or pork. The most often used cuts are the juicy neck, blade and breast. A traditional beef stew is prepared as follows:
2 ½ pounds beef
7 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 fresh tomato, peeled and chopped
1-2 fresh, medium size green peppers
4 teaspoons of Hungarian paprika, salt, caraway seeds
Slightly fry the onions. Lower the heat, add the paprika and stir it rapidly (so the paprika doesn't burn). Add the meat and add salt. When the meat is well browned, add a small amount of water (or stock), spices and herbs. Cover the pot, simmer, stir occasionally and add more water if necessary, but do not boil the meat; it should be almost fried.
When the meat begins to soften add the cubed green pepper and tomato and simmer until the meat is tender. Serve it with small 'Galushka' dumplings (see Chicken Paprikash for the recipe) and dill pickles on the side. Instead of 'Galushka' you can also serve the stew with boiled potatoes or noodles.
Adding a cup of Hungarian red wine makes this dish even more delicious.
Bon appétit! (Jó étvágyat!)