Transylvanian sour beef stew (Savanyú vetrece)

transylvanian sour beef stew

 🍴  Servings: 4

🥣 Category: Stew

💪 Difficulty Level: 3/5 

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The method of making the Transylvanian sour beef stew – in Hungarian: “Savanyú vetrece” – was already described in the 16th century. Goulash or stewed food, which is most similar to the Hungarian “tokány” (striped meat stew, without paprika). It contains sour cream, smoky bacon, and meat. It can be eaten with rice, potatoes with parsley, or potato noodles, for instance.

The variety of Transylvanian cuisine

Transylvania has traditionally been the motherland of various peoples due to its physical position. Numerous Jews moved, bringing a variety of civilizations with them. Eastern Armenians and Saxons also made their home. This blending of the populations resulted in a continuous renewal of the cultural circulation and an unparalleled impetus in the region’s growth. From a gastronomic perspective, this blending also brought enrichment because each people group added their preferred dishes and spices. As the majority country for centuries, the Hungarians skillfully blended the modern with the traditional while never sacrificing their own style.

Typical dishes

The traditional, increased usage of fresh spices from the area is a distinctive feature of Transylvanian cuisine. There’s a specific cult around baked pastas and doughs, scones, and meals cooked with flour. Fruit soups and sauces are also more often on the tables of Transylvanian families. Additionally, there is a tradition derived from the food of Romania and the Balkans wherein various vegetables are included into meals with greater boldness.

Various and special spices

There is an amazing range of green spices in Transylvania; they are often flavored with caraway seeds, juniper berries, coriander, rosemary, marjoram, dill, tarragon, and parsley. Although they are used less frequently, sage, saffron, and oregano are still acceptable. Mustard and horseradish are consumed individually too, in addition to seasoning. In Saxon cooking, horseradish was especially well-liked, and throughout the winter months, horseradish with cream was a staple meal. Pepper, sweet, and hot paprika are used in Transylvanian cooking, but only in appropriate amounts and situations.

Make your sour beef stew!

Try this amazing recipe if you’re looking for unique flavors. It’s delicious and pleasantly sour; your family and friends will like it! My favorite cut of beef is beef shank. I adore how the tender, high-collagen beef melts in my mouth after cooking. Of course, there are a thousand ways to customize this meal, so go ahead and try them all! If you avoid beef, it enjoy your sour beef stew!

Ingredients of sour beef stew:

  • 800 g beef (shank, neck, etc.)
  • 100 g fatty smoked bacon
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • a little milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika powder
  • juice of half lemon


  1. Melt the diced bacon and fry until crispy.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion. Fry until translucent and soft.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Pour in 50 ml water and leave to cook.
  4. Add the diced beef and fry over a high heat until the meat turns white. Pour in a cup of dry white wine. Allow the alcohol to evaporate. Season with paprika, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until meat is completely tender. Add water during cooking if necessary.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and sprinkle ragout with flour. Mix well. Combine the stew with the sour cream. Cook for a few minutes. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little milk.
  6. Finally, stir in the mustard, cook for a minute and remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir again.
  7. Serve the sauce with parsley potatoes, for example, and enjoy your meal!

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