Although I believe the recipe has its origins in Hungary, this version was passed along to me by my great aunt, who was Czech. I’ve made a few modifications over the years, mostly driven by the increasing availability of what were once hard-to-find ingredients. I usually use pork to make it, but you can really use any combination of stew meat and vegetables. This is also one of those dishes that benefits from making up ahead and allowing to sit overnight in the fridge.
- 3 lbs pork loin or shoulder, or beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1” cubes
- 2 tsp salt
- 5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 slices thick bacon, cut into ½” pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tomatoes, diced (or one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
- ½ head cabbage, cut into 1” pieces
- 2 tsp caraway seed, toasted and ground
- 3 tbsp good quality paprika (I use 1 tbsp Hungarian Sweet for flavor, 1 tbsp Hungarian Half Sharp for heat, and 1 tbsp Smoked Spanish for smokiness)
- 2 tsp marjoram
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup vinegar
- Sour cream for serving
- Mix meat cubes with 2 tsp salt and minced garlic. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, and up to four hours.
- Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is browned and fat is rendered. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set to the side, leaving the fat behind in the pot. If there is less than 3 tablespoons of fat remaining, add enough butter to make up the difference.
- Increase heat to medium high, brown the meat in batches, ensuring that it’s not overly crowded in the pan. As each batch is finished browning, remove and set aside.
- After the meat is all browned, add the onions to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the white wine to deglaze the pot, stirring to release the browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol.
- Return the meat and bacon to the pot. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, cabbage, ground caraway seed, paprika, marjoram, and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 45-60, or until meat is fork tender.
- Add the vinegar and cook for another couple minutes.
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.