HUNGARIAN PORK PORKOLT (pörkölt) & NOKEDLI (homemade pasta) RECIPE

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Yesterday, I decided to make this dish for dinner. We had a pork shoulder in the fridge, and I hadn't made it in years. So I thought why the hell not. At around 4pm, I put it on the stove, went to walk the dog, and came back to a wonderful, amazing smell, immediately reminding me why I love this recipe so much. Then I shared in on my Insta stories, and asked you guys if you wanted the recipe. I didn't think it would have much success, because it doesn't look like the most trendy, exciting meal of all times... But apparently you people have an eye to spot under-the-radar deliciousness, because litteraly 100% said YES. So here we go!

Unless you're Hungarian, you're probably not familiar with this dish. It doesn't look very sexy, (after all, it's a stew) but I swear, it is AMAZING. Porkolt (pörkölt in Hungarian - pronounced purr-cult) has two of the main Hungarian cuisine staples: Paprika and pork. That being said, you can make the exact same recipe with either chicken or beef. To me, porkolt is the exact definition of comfort food. It's the kind of meal that tastes like your mom made it for you.

Fun fact, my mom likes to cook this outdoors, on an open fire, in a full-on witch pot... Which gives it an intense, woodsy, almost smoked flavour. But since I live in LA in a tiny studio, and not in the woods, I make mine on the stove... And it's just as delicious. It's also super easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients. Here's exactly how to make it:

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Ingredients for Porkolt (pörkölt)

  • 2lbs of pork shoulder

  • 2 onions

  • 1/2 cup of butter

  • 3 tsp of Hungarian paprika

  • 2/3 cup of dry red wine

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Water

Instructions for Porkolt (pörkölt)

Cut the pork in small cubes, about an inch wide. Set aside. Chop the onions very finely and throw them in a pot with the melted butter. Cook at medium-high heat, until the onions are translucent and a little golden. Then add the meat and stir, making sure to get all the sides of each cube. Lower the heat to low and add the paprika. Stir and quickly add enough water to just cover the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer at low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

After an hour, add the wine and stir. Cook for another 2-3 hours, or until the pork is suuuuper tender and soft. You want it to basically melt in your mouth - 50 Cent style. While it's cooking, you want to make sure that there's always enough water. Don't hesitate to add a bit here and there to make sure there's enough sauce and the pork doesn't dry out.

When the porkolt is almost ready, you can start making the nokedli. Nokedli is often called "Hungarian dumpling" although I have no idea why. It's just pasta, guys! No stuffing inside, which is what a dumpling is, BTW. I have no clue why it's impossible to go to a Hungarian restaurant, even in Budapest without seeing them called "dumplings". Like WTF?! As you can see, I'm feeling ver strongly about this - ha!

But seriously, nokedli is the BEST thing you can eat porkolt with, although it's also good with mashed potato. It's a little special in the sense that it's not a firm dough like most pasta, it's actually cooked almost liquid. Here's how you make it:

Ingredients for Nokedli

  • 2.5 cups of flour

  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder

  • 3 eggs

  • 3 tbsp of melted butter

  • 3/4 cup of milk

  • 1 tbsp of salt

Instructions for Nokedli

Mix together all the dry ingredients, before adding the eggs, milk and butter. Mix until you get a uniform paste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to boil (on high heat). One by one, drop teaspoons of dough in the boiling water. I usually fill the spoon halfway, the little dollops of dough are well cooked inside. Once the nokedli start rising to the surface, it means they're technically ready, but I like to leave them there for a minute, just to make sure they're firm and well cooked throughout.

One tip: avoid overcrowding the pot, or you'll be left with a big heaping sticky mess. You want them to be able to float around freely. I usually do a dozen at a time. Pick them up with a ladle and place them in a bowl. Add a bit of butter to the nokedli when they're all ready, to avoid them sticking together. Serve immediately, topped with the porkolt.

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And that's it guys! There you have it! One of the most popular Hungarian dishes is now yours to cook! And I can't repeat it enough, it's absolutely delicious! Would love to know what you think if you make it, obviously! You can always leave me a comment below or DM on Instagram @thehungarianbrunette.

Have a great weekend guys!

Love, Jenny xx