Borsos tokány / Pepper pork ragout

by | Jun 21, 2016 | Meat dishes

Tokány is the ancestor of the pörkölt, it was made without paprika and onion for centuries. In Transylvania stew is called tocană. Tokány can be prepared from pork, beef, chicken and turkey, or even game meat,  and similar to stew it can also be cooked in a Hungarian kettle. The simplest version of this ragout is borsos tokány, which is seasoned with a lot of freshly ground black pepper and thickened with a sour cream-flour mixture. Other types of tokány differ from it only by adding further ingredients such as gherkins, frankfurters, sausages or marjoram to the ragout (e.g. hentes tokány or Transylvanian beef ragout )

Borsos tokány / Pepper pork ragout
Borsos tokány – Pepper pork ragout – photo:


  • 1 kg (~2 1/4 lbs) boneless pork
  • 70 g (~2 1/2 oz) bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 wax pepper, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 100 ml (~1/2 cup) water

In a non-stick pan fry the bacon until crispy. Add finely chopped onions, then a bit later add finely chopped garlic and sauté in the bacon lard until translucent. Add the pork cubes and over medium heat brown them. Salt and pepper, and pour in water, just enough to cover three-quarters of the food. Add sliced wax pepper and tomato, cover and slowly simmer. Add more water if needed, tokány should have a nice sauce. Meanwhile whisk together flour, sour cream and 100 ml/ 1/2 cup of water. When the meat is tender, stir the sour cream thickener into the ragout. Adjust salt and pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve with noodles or rice.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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