Hungarian sour beef sirloin with bread roll dumplings

hungarian sour beef sirloin

 🍴  Servings: 4

🥣 Category: Beef

💪 Difficulty Level: 4/5 

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Hungarian sour beef – “Vadas marha zsemlegombóccal”  – is a Hungarian recipe traditionally made with meat and a lot of vegetables. It is a traditional slow-cooked dish with a spicy sauce of mustard, carrots and other vegetables. It is usually served with bread dumplings, sometimes with pasta. The most popular version is made with game, beef or pork, but poultry is also a possible alternative. It’s not complicated at all, so don’t hesitate, just cook!

Sour Beef from pork or meat of game animal?

The slightly sour, slightly sweet, pleasantly spicy sauce is cooked differently by almost everyone. Moreover, contrary to its name (In Hungary, the name of the dish: “Sour sauce with the meat of a game animal“), it is not usually made from game meat. Beef and pork are also excellent ingredients. Some people let it rest in a mixture of carrots and vegetables, while others age it in an onion and mustard marinade. You can also serve sour beef with spaghetti, bread roll dumplings or potatoes. If you don’t have a tried-and-true recipe yet, or it’s not the right one, you can try this.

About bread roll dumplings

The bread roll dumpling is a side dish to many Hungarian dishes. This side dish is traditionally served with the dish “Szalontüdő” (a sour ragout of pork heart and lung) and with various beef dishes with sauces. If we are not able to prepare it, we serve our sour beef with mezzi gomiti or gomitini rigate pasta.

Bread roll dumplings, as the name implies, should be made from dry buns, bread rolls or sourdough bread. If not, we will struggle with fresh baked goods because we will be unable to properly toast the bread cubes and it will absorb the liquid ingredients in a different manner.


  • 1 kg of sliced beef sirloin
  • 50 g of diced fatty bacon
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1/2 celery root
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of mustard
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • few drops of lemon juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp of duck fat

For bread roll dumplings:

  • 4 buns or bread roll (4 slices of bread)
  • 4 eggs
  • 350 ml milk
  • 400 g of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Salt & pepper the slices of meat. Heat the duck fat, and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the fried bacon from the pan.
  2. Pre-fry the meat slices in the remaining fat (2-3 minutes on both sides), then remove. 
  3. Pour sugar into the pan and let it caramelize until light brown.
  4. Add the chopped onion. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the sliced vegetables and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine, sliced garlic, bay leaves, and mustard. Season with salt and add back the pre-fried slices of meat. Cover with water or broth. Cook until the meat is tender (for approx. 2 hours). Remove the meat slices and thoroughly puree the ragout. Stir in sour cream and lemon juice and cook for 2-3 minutes. Our sauce is ready!
  6. Prepare the dumplings: bake the diced rolls at 180°C (350°F) for 20-25 minutes or until crispy. Let cool. Whip eggs with the milk. Stir in flour until lump-free. Season with salt, pepper and tarragon. Add in the cooled roll cubes, mix and let sit for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the dumplings, formed with a tablespoon, for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Serve our phenomenal dish: dumplings, the beautiful sauce and the tender slices of beef. Yummy!!!

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