How To Make A Hungarian Beef Stew (Marhapörkölt)

Beef - Paprika Powder - Onions - Salt - Tomatoes

Below I will be showing you how to make a Hungarian beef stew (marhapörkölt), the way Tünde cooks it. This meal is very simple to make and is more about the quality of meat and watching over the cooking process.

Although the ingredients are basic, not every Hungarian can afford the good quality beef. Hence why this meal is normally only served on special occasions such as Weddings, School Graduations and Birthdays.


How Tünde Makes Beef Stew (Marha Pörkölt)

STEP #1 - Prepare the ingredients. Get your large 1Kg piece of beef and remove as much fat from it as you can. Leaving a little bit of fat is okay, but leaving too much will make the beef chewy/rubbery when cooked. Now wash and roughly dice the beef into 1 Inch pieces and then roughly chop the yellow peppers, onions and tomatoes into 1 Cm (or less) chunks.

Beef Stew Ingredients

Preparation: Remove as much fat as possible before dicing the beef into chunks

STEP #2 - Light up a gas hob to a medium-high heat and then put a large empty saucepan on it (ideally between 8 and 12 Inches).

STEP #3 - Put 1 Tablespoon of Oil inside the large saucepan, add the 3 chopped/diced onions and then fry them. Brown them off slightly whereby their edges are slightly brown but at the same time they are just about to caramelise (turn a little slushy and not crisp anymore) - See right photo above.

What is a Medium Heat? - Medium Heat is when the gas flames circle the half-way point between a saucepan's dead centre (middle) and a saucepan's edge.

What is a High Heat? - High Heat is when the gas flames circle the edge of a saucepan without going over the saucepan's edge.

What is a Medium-High Heat? - Medium-High Heat is when the gas flames circle between Medium Heat and High Heat; which is usually about 1 CM away (small saucepan) or 1 Inch away (large saucepan) from a saucepan's edge, depending on the size of the saucepan.

STEP #4 - When the onions are ready: Put the chopped/diced tomatoes and peppers into the saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of red paprika powder and then 1 cup of cold water. Leave the whole thing to boil for 10 Minutes before then adding the chunks of beef.

Beef Stew

Leave the onions etc to boil for 10 minutes (middle photo) before adding the beef

STEP #5 - You now leave the whole beef stew to cook (boil) for around 90 Minutes, adding more water as it evaporates and becomes shallow and testing the meat's tenderness (softness). Do not forget to stir the stew every so often, especially towards the end. And when the beef stew is ready, serve it with separately cooked potatoes and gerkins for example. Here is Tünde's finished beef stew.

Cooked Beef Stew

Tünde's cooked beef stew, served with potatoes, which tasted fantastic.