Similar to a goulash, pörkölt is another Hungarian dish that is great to have on a cold day. The two dishes have similar ingredients, but pörkölt is more like a stew so the consistency is thicker. The one I had contained beef, spices, and (of course) sweet paprika. It is super savory and can be prepared with any number of meats – pork, mutton, venison, etc. Meat is typically diced in this type of stew and is boneless. To eat it on its own would be too salty (and possibly unfulfilling), so that’s why it’s normally ordered with sides.
I ate my pörkölt with röesti burgonya, which are potato pancakes. These miniature bite-sized ones were a great accompaniment to the meal. They were crispy and golden brown and made up for the time I was drooling over the ones at the Christmas market, but didn’t get to eat due to the sheer size and travelling solo.
Another option that could accompany a pörkölt is nokedli. Hungarians refer to this side dish as dumplings, but it’s more like a spätzle. It’s made with semolina or egg, are small little chunks, and can go with soups as well. It’s bouncy and firm, like a pasta. Talking to several locals, it seems like this side dish is quite popular.
And of course, you could always have a simple side of rice to complement the flavours of the delicious stew. Overall, it’s a very hearty meal that I enjoyed while I was in Hungary and if you’re looking to try a new dish, this may be the one. I think I actually prefer this to goulash. It just seems more satisfying to eat. 🙂
Of course, I couldn’t leave Hungary without trying one of their local beers. So to wash the savory meal down, I tried a Hungarian beer called Soproni.
I am by no means a beer connoisseur, but it was a great drink to have with the meal and it was refreshing!
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