Rácbab – Serbian bean stew

The Hungarian word rác is the archaic name of the Serbs who have been living in our country for centuries. Many Serbian dishes like gyuvecs, rácponty or rácbab have become a part of the Hungarian cuisine. The common feature of rác foods is that they contain onion, pepper and tomato, sour cream and ground paprika.

Rácbab is a Serbian stew made from boneless pork and cut wax beans, but it also works with chicken and green beans. The stew is thickened with flour and sour cream, and seasoned with tarragon. Rácbab is usually served with a slice of bread.

Rácbab - Serbian bean stew
Rácbab – Serbian bean stew – photo: zserbo.com


  • 500 g (~1 lb + 1 2/3 oz) boneless pork or chicken thighs
  • 500 g (~1 lb + 1 2/3 oz) cut yellow wax beans or green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 tbsp lard
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 wax pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp sweet ground paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 heaping tbsp sour cream

Heat lard in a pot, add finely chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add diced meat and sear until each side turns white. Stir in ground paprika, add chopped wax pepper and tomato. Season with salt and pepper and pour in water just enough to cover the food. Cover the pot and over low heat cook until the meat is almost tender. Stir regularly and add more water if needed.

Once the meat is nearly done, add cut green or wax beans and tarragon to the stew. Add water to cover the food again and cook until soft and tender. In a small bowl mix together flour, sour cream and 150 ml / 2/3 cup of water. Ladle out some liquid from the stew and combine with the sour cream mixture. Pour the mixture in the stew and cook for 3-4 minutes. Serve with a slice of bread.

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