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Borsos Tokany a Hungarian Pork Stew

Borsos tokany is an easy and delicious Hungarian pork stew, flavoured by lots of black pepper it also features bacon & a sour cream sauce.

The dish takes about an hour to cook and prepare, however only 15 minutes of that is active cooking and preparation time making it a really low maintenance meal.

Classic Hungarian Pork Stew

This dish may not be as famous as Hungarian goulash or even chicken paprikash but it really is an ancient old school classic Hungarian recipe.

For many that is where their knowledge of Hungarian cuisine ends, but this easy pork stew is one of the mainstays of Eastern Hungarian and Transylvanian food.

I know it as borsos tokány and in Romania it is called tocană.

It is a recipe that is often thought of as the forerunner of the classic Hungarian dishes of marha porkolt and birkapörkölt mutton stew. Just like that dish it is a “family” of recipes rather than a singular entity.

Often cooked with beef, game, and chicken, my version uses pork and it is the simplest variant.

Pork, bacon, black pepper and a silky smooth thickened sour cream sauce.

You need this recipe in your life because it’s delicious, it is simple peasant comfort food at its very best.

If you absolutely must have paprika, then check out my pork paprikash recipe!

Portrait close up image of a Hungarian Pork Stew called Borsos Tokany served steaming hot with fresh parsley

Frequently Asked Questions

What cut of pork should I use?

I always cook this pork stew recipe with what Hungarians call tarja. It is a gloriously fatty piece of meat from the upper portion of the shoulder of the pig.

I believe that my American readers will know it as Boston butt or pork butt.

In the UK it goes by many names, everything from shoulder to blade and collar to pork hand & spring.

It is often rolled as a joint in the UK. But if you ask your butcher for some fatty pork from the top of the shoulder you will be fine.

But do not be tempted to use a lean cut of pork like loin because it will dry out.

Can I use bacon rashers?

Yes, but this recipe is much better with thick-cut bacon rather than rashers.

If you do need to use bacon rashers you will need to add a splash of oil to the pan before you begin cooking it to prevent it from burning before it starts to render the fat.

Can I use a nonstick pan?

The secret to this recipe is the bloom or fond, that’s the sticky bits stuck to the bottom of the pan because they are vital to flavour!

Just take a look at the colour of the water after I pour it into the pan in the video that will be floating around on your screen somewhere.

Portrait overhead image of a Hungarian Pork Stew called Borsos Tokany served on a black plate with nokedli noodles

Serving Suggestions

If you want to go full-on Hungarian with this meal you can serve it with buttered nokedli. A Hungarian dumpling or “noodle” that is ubiquitous across the region in various guises.

They are essentially a little bit like buttered noodles or gnocchi, both of which would serve as a decent substitute.

I have gone super indulgent and served my borsos tokany with rakott krumpli in the past.

A dish of layered potatoes with smoked sausage, boiled eggs and a sour cream sauce. A Hungarian version of the potatoes dauphinoise if you like!

You are not mistaken, the name of my site appears in that recipe name!

Sticking with the potato vibe, this is also delicious with some salty straw potatoes.

Landscape image of a Hungarian Pork Stew called Borsos Tokany served with nokedli dumplings on a black plate

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan, not nonstick if possible.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
Square image of a Hungarian Pork Stew called Borsos Tokany served with nokedli dumplings on a black plate
Yield: 2 Servings

Borsos Tokany Recipe Hungarian Pork Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This Hungarian pepper pork stew is called borsos tokany and is a rare Hungarian dish that features no paprika and it tastes amazing!


  • 350g (12 oz) Pork Collar or Blade
  • 125g (4 oz) Thick Slab of Fatty Bacon
  • 75g (½ Cup) Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1-2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • ¼-½ Tsp Salt
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Water
  • 50g (3 Tbsp) Sour Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Flour


  1. Cut the bacon into batons 5mm (¼") in profile and 2.5-3cm 1(-1¼") long.
  2. Add the bacon to a 28cm or 11" frying pan over a medium high heat and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Cut the onion into a 5mm (¼") dice.
  4. Chop the garlic as finely as you can.
  5. Add the onion to the pan with the bacon and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Cut the pork into batons 1.5cm (½") in profile and 4-5cm (1½-2") long.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add the pork and season generously with salt.
  9. Turn up the heat and fry for 5 minutes.
  10. Pour in the water, add the pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  11. Stir, add a lid and cook for 45 minutes.
  12. Mix together the sour cream and flour.
  13. Stir the sour cream mix into the sauce and cook the flour out for 3-4 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 794Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 229mgSodium: 1457mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 69g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Erzsebet Hegedus Greb

Sunday 25th of September 2022

I am making it right now, for my sons birthday tomorrow. All my four sons love Hungarian cooking.

Brian Jones

Monday 26th of September 2022

Superb, jó étvágyat :D

Michael Avig

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

Very good recipe! I reduced out most the water, went heavier on pepper and served over nokedli. Big hit!!!

Brian Jones

Friday 29th of April 2022

Glad you liked it Michael.

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