Pork stew with rice / Bácskai rizseshús

Bácskai rizseshús is a simple pork or (in some regions) chicken stew cooked with rice.  I usually use pork shoulder because it’s fattier than pork leg, but you can choose lean meat if you prefer that. The base of this dish is the “trinity” of the Hungarian pörkölt: lard – onion – paprika. The recipe calls for some wax peppers and tomatoes, so if I cook it out of season when fresh vegetables are not available, I turn to my frozen packs of pepper and tomato, which are much tastier than primeurs.

Regarding the rice there are those who cook it seperately and only combine with the stew in the end, while others add rice to the meat and cook together. No matter which method you decide on, I strongly recommend you to toast the rice before cooking as it adds richness and a nutty flavour to the dish. You can toast the rice in a dry pan or in some oil or lard, and it’s ready when it turns light brown and gives off a nutty fragrance.

Bácskai rizses húsphoto: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

  • 500 g pork shoulder
  • 250 g rice
  • 2 wax peppers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 big onion
  • 1,5 tsp. sweet ground paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. lard

Cut the pork into small cubes, then chop the onion. Slice the peppers and tomatoes. In a pot heat up 1 tablespoon of lard and sauté the onion. Add the pork and fry until all sides turn white. Scatter ground paprika over the meat, throw in pepper and tomato pieces, and pour in 200-300 ml of water. Let it cook until pork gets soft (it takes about an hour). Add more water if needed.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Bring 600 ml of water to a boil. Place the remaining lard in a pan and toast the rinced rice until light golden brown. Add rice to the pork stew, pour in the boiling water, stir it and wait until stew comes to the boil again. Cover the pot and put in the oven  for about 15-20 minutes. If the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the oven and let the dish cool a bit. Serve with pickles.

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