Savanyú vetrece is an old-school Transylvanian beef stew, however, some recipes refer to it as a soup. So, you can choose whether you cook a ragout or a soup depending on how much water you add to the food. Seasoning is common to both dishes, stew and soup are flavoured with white wine, mustard, lemon juice and zest. If you don’t like beef, you can use pork instead. Savanyú vetrece, if it’s cooked as a ragout, is usually served with polenta or braised rice.
- 700 g (~1 1/2 lbs) boneless beef or pork, cut into strips
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) smoked pork fat, chopped
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp summer savory (optional)
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 medium tomato, peeled and diced
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) dry white wine
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 2 heaping tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp flour
- pinch of lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
In a heavy bottomed pot fry bacon until it’s crisp and releases lard. Add meat and stir-fry until all sides turn white and get some color. Stir in finely chopped onions and garlic, and stir-fry for further 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and summer savory. Add diced tomatoes and bay leaves, pour in white wine and 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) of water. Cover the pot with a lid and over low heat slowly cook until tender (during the cooking add more water to keep the food covered).
Once the meat is tender, in a small bowl mix together mustard, sour cream, flour and 50 ml (~1/4 cup) of water. From the stew add some hot cooking liquid to the sour cream mixture, then pour it into the ragout while stirring constantly. Add lemon zest and cook for further 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and flavour the stew with lemon juice. Serve it with braised rice or polenta.