Hungarian Beef Stew



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

La Varenne Pratique

By Anne Willan

Published 1989

  • About

This stew includes potatoes so no accompaniment is needed, though small dumplings or spätzle may be added.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 oz/60 g piece smoked bacon, cut in lardons
  • lb/750 g onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • lb/750 g lean beef for stewing
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 cups/500 ml water
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 1 lb/500 g potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 in/2.5 cm dice
  • 4-6 small hot red cherry peppers, trimmed (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F/175°C. In a casserole, heat the oil and fry the bacon lardons until lightly browned and their fat is rendered. Stir in the onions, cover and cook over very low heat stirring often, until very soft and transparent, at least 20 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the beef and cut it in 1 ½ in/4 cm cubes. Finely chop the garlic with the caraway seeds. Stir the beef and garlic into the onions with the water. No seasoning is needed at this stage.
  3. Cover and cook in the oven until the beef is tender for 1 ½-2 hours. If the onions start to stick, and more water.
  4. Add the tomatoes, green pepper, and potatoes, with cherry peppers, if using. Season to taste with salt, adding black pepper if you like. Cover and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender and the meat is very soft, 20-30 minutes. Taste the stew again; it should be thick and rich. If adding small dumplings or spätzle, drop them into the stew a few minutes before serving, keeping the lid on to let them cook through properly.