Baked Carp with Sour Cream Sauce (Rácponty)

  • Serves

    serves 6

Carp's meaty flesh stands up well to the bacon and sour cream sauce in this dish. Bluefish makes a good substitute if carp isn't available.


  • 6 medium yukon gold potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
  • Salt
  • 12 lb. smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1⁄4"-thick slices
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 whole carp, cleaned (about 5 lbs.)
  • 2 tsp. hot paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. flour


Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°. Put potatoes into a medium pot, cover with salted water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain. Peel potatoes while still warm; let cool. Slice potatoes crosswise into 1⁄3"-thick slices.

Step 2

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6–8 minutes. Arrange potatoes, overlapping slightly, in bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Top with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and bacon with its fat, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste between layers. Pour butter over top.

Step 3

Make crosswise incisions in skin of carp (on both sides) spaced about 1" apart from the tail to the head, just barely cutting into the flesh. Sprinkle carp all over with paprika and salt to taste; place on top of vegetables. Bake until carp is three-fourths cooked through and potatoes and tomatoes are beginning to brown, about 40 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, whisk together sour cream, flour, and salt to taste in a bowl. Remove carp from oven, pour sour cream mixture over top, and bake until vegetables are golden brown and carp is completely cooked through, 20–25 minutes more.

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