Slow-Simmered Hungarian Beef and Onion Stew Recipe

Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Hungary with this traditional recipe for a Slow-Simmered Hungarian Beef and Onion Stew. This dish, known for its deep, comforting flavors, combines tender beef, aromatic vegetables, and a rich blend of spices, including the quintessential sweet Hungarian paprika. Perfect for a cozy dinner, this stew brings warmth and satisfaction to any table. Follow this step-by-step guide to create a hearty meal that celebrates the essence of Hungarian cuisine.


  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (or 2 tbsp of lard, and optionally, some kolbasz for added flavor)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700 g) stewing beef, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Water, as needed


  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Dice the bacon (or lard), chop the onion and green bell pepper, mince the garlic, and chop the tomato. Cut the beef into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Render the Bacon: In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp. If using lard, heat it until melted. (If including kolbasz, add it now and cook until slightly browned.)
  3. Sauté the Vegetables: Add the chopped onion to the pot with the bacon fat and sauté until the onion is translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, chopped green bell pepper, and tomato. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the Spices: Stir in the sweet Hungarian paprika, caraway seeds, and bay leaf. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn the paprika.
  5. Brown the Beef: Add the beef pieces to the pot, season with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is well-browned on all sides.
  6. Simmer the Stew: Add enough water to the pot to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary to keep the ingredients submerged.
  7. Season and Serve: Once the beef is tender, remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste. If the stew is too liquid, you can simmer it uncovered for a few minutes to reduce to your desired consistency.
  8. Serve: Serve the stew hot, ideally with a side of crusty bread or over a bed of egg noodles or potatoes to soak up the rich sauce.

Enjoy your slow-simmered Hungarian Beef and Onion Stew!

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