Vasi pecsenye – Garlic pork butt from the Őrség

The recipe of vasi pecsenye comes from the Őrség, a historical and ethnographical region, which is also a national park, located in the most western corner of Hungary. The word őrség means guard in English; the region originally played a frontier-guarding role at the time of the Hungarian conquest. The Őrség is the homeland of many natural and cultural heritage treasures, among others some great dishes.

Vasi pecsenye is a pork roast soaked in garlic milk, coated with paprika flour and fried in oil or lard in a skillet on the stove. It’s usually made from tarja, a bone-in or boneless pork cut that comes from the upper part of the shoulder; it corresponds to Boston butt. If you prefer leaner meat, you can use boneless pork loin instead of pork butt.

Vasi pecsenye / Garlic pork butt from the Őrségphoto:


  • 4 thin slices of boneless pork butt or pork loin
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3-4 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil or lard for frying

Pound the slices very thin with a meat tenderizer. Cut 2-3 slits on the edges of each slice (since boneless pork butt and pork loin have a tendency to curl when cooked at high heat, cutting the slits will prevent this from happening). Place them in a dish, add crushed garlic and pour milk to submerge the slices. Cover the dish, put it in the fridge and let the meat soak in the milk overnight.

The following day drain the meat and discard the milk. Sprinkle both sides of the slices with salt and pepper. Combine flour and paprika, and coat the slices with this seasoned flour. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until hot. Add slices and fry them until both sides are crispy and golden. Place the slices on paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve with steamed rice or crushed potatoes.

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