Keto Hungarian Pork Stew – Pörkölt
Keto Hungarian Pork Stew – Pörkölt
Hungarian Pork Stew or Pörkölt is another beloved dish from my childhood. I’ve decided to put my own twist on this keto stew and make this Hungarian recipe keto friendly. Keto Hungarian Pork Stew is thick, rich and absolutely delicious. It’s perfect for this chilly time of year. Best of all it’s low carb.
Pörkölt vs Goulash
You might be wondering why this is called pörkölt instead of goulash? Technically, they refer to two different things. Goulash or gulyás refers to a soup. The origins of which trace back to the 9th century when it was made by Hungarian shepherds.
Pörkölt refers to a stew, not a soup. With pörkölt, often the meat in browned and the onions are caramelized separately instead of just throwing it all into a big soup pot at once.
Traditional Pörkölt vs Keto Hungarian Pork Stew
This keto stew recipe is actually fairly traditional. Even more so than the Chicken Paprikash I made a few recipes ago. There are only three small changes I would make to turn this into a completely traditional Pörkölt. One, take out the smoked paprika and replace it with more Hungarian paprika. I just happen to like the bit of smokey flavor it adds to the stew. Two, instead of using red peppers use Hungarian wax peppers. I used red peppers so that most people following the recipe could find all the ingredients. Lastly, switch out canned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes. I used canned purely out of convenience. Make those three changes and you have yourself a completely traditional Hungarian pork stew. The only thing you have to do to make a traditional Pörkölt keto is adjust the amounts of onion and tomato. Less onion and tomato and you get fewer carbs. The meat and paprika are really the stars here so don’t worry about scaling back the two more carb-heavy ingredients a little.
Keto Pork Stew Techniques
I use a couple of tricks in this recipe to coax a little extra flavor out of the stew and really make it pop. Frying the onions in pork fat first really develops an amazing flavor and is a classic Hungarian culinary trick.
Secondly, briefly add the spices to the pan with pork fat to fry for a few seconds. This deepens their flavor and further develops the dish. This is also another traditional Hungarian technique. You have to be careful when doing this though. It is very easy to burn paprika causing it to taste bitter. The spices should only be in the pan for a very short time and only on low heat.
Lastly, I cut the pork shoulder into three parts. Then I sear the pieces on all sides in a hot pan. Searing takes advantage of the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is part of the reason why meat cooked on the grill has that magical flavor that doesn’t usually come from the kitchen. It’s responsible for the brown crust that forms on the outside of a steak. Searing the meat is a way to capture some of that delicious taste. The reason I don’t cut the meat into cubes is that I still want the meat to cook in the stew as well. By searing the meat but not outright cooking it, you straddle the line between gorgeous browned meat and the mouthwatering flavor of a slow-cooked stew. With this technique, you’re getting the best of both.
Give it a try
This keto stew is absolutely amazing and will be a great addition to your keto dinner rotation. I like to pair it with my keto mashed potatoes. One traditional way of serving pörkölt is with boiled potatoes so serving it with Keto Mashed Potatoes isn’t that far off the mark. I’d love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment or question below and I’ll be sure to respond.
If you like this, check out: Keto Chicken Paprikash
For a great side to go with this Keto Hungarian Stew, try this: Keto Mashed Potatoes