Venison Goulash (Ozpörkölt)

  • Serves

    serves 4

In Hungary, the dish most of us think of as goulash is usually called porkolt, meaning stewed. Beef chuck or pork shoulder may be used in place of the venison in this version.


  • 2 lb. leg of venison, cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 14 lb. smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 12 Tbsp. hot paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 14 tsp. dried ground thyme
  • 14 tsp. dry mustard
  • 4 whole allspice
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, cored and chopped
  • 12 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine, preferably merlot
  • Salt
  • 6 medium yukon gold potatoes (about 2 lbs.), peeled; cut lengthwise into wedges
  • 14 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 slices crusty white bread


Step 1

Put venison and vinegar into a bowl; cover with boiling water. Put bacon into a large pot over medium heat; cook until crisp, 6–8 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, 6–8 minutes. Drain venison; add to onions. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until just browned, 8–10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water, paprika, thyme, mustard, allspice, juniper, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until venison is just tender, about 2 hours. Uncover pot, add wine and salt to taste, and cook until venison is very tender and liquid has thickened, about 1 1⁄2 hours more.

Step 2

Put potatoes into a pot; cover with salted water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until soft, 10–12 minutes. Drain potatoes and toss in a bowl with butter, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve goulash with potatoes and bread.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.