Rácbab – Serbian bean stew

by | May 14, 2021 | Meat dishes

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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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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