Nana Recipe Wednesday–Hungarian Pot Roast

by Sarah on March 21, 2012

Wow, I made this more than a month ago so let’s see if I can even remember how it goes.  Luckily this was one of Nana’s recipes that I didn’t feel the need to do any tweaks to–it was just perfect as is.

Above is a photo of the entire Smith clan, along with various in-laws–the year, 1968–the place, Owatonna, Minnesota.  I was “in the oven”, as it were, and was unable to attend.  Nana is–of course–that devil in the blue dress, front and center with the crazy sunglasses on.

This is, overall, a simple pot roast recipe, but seasoned with some paprika and then the sauce spiked with sour cream.  Think chicken paprikash in pot roast form.

Just like any braised meat, season it with salt and pepper but for this one we’ll also go with a liberal coating of paprika.  On all sides, please.

And also like any braised meat, we’ll sear the hell out of it on high heat.  Turn on your fan if you have one.  Or open the back door or some windows at least.

Yep, we’re going to sear it on all sides.

Next add water (or stock) and bay leaf and let simmer a couple of hours, skimming off the foamy fat occasionally.  After the meat is beginning to get tender, add the rest of the ingredients and let cook another hour or so until all the vegetables are cooked and the meat is fork-tender.

Take out the meat and let it rest before slicing.  It makes it much easier to cut and also it won’t release all the juices all over the place.  10-15 minutes should do it.  Cover it with foil if you want.

Back to the sauce:  Add a small carton of sour cream.  I know it looks fattening but who the hell cares?  You only live once and how often are you really going to eat this dish?  Once or twice a year.  Come on.  Live a little.  It is fucking delicious.  Stir it through.

Meanwhile, boil some of those wide egg noodles and lay them down on a platter.  Chop some parsley and set it aside.  Slice the pot roast and lay it down on top of the noodles, arrange the vegetables around the meat, then ladle that decadent and delicious creamy sauce over it all.  Sprinkle parsley on top.

Eat it all and enjoy.

Nana Recipe Wednesday–Hungarian Pot Roast


  • 1 3-4 lb. chuck or rump roast
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-10 small whole white onions (I used 1/2 bag frozen pearl onions)
  • 8 small carrots, peeled
  • 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce with mushrooms (I used 16-oz tomato sauce plus 1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms)
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream


  • Season meat with paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Brown roast in a Dutch oven over high heat in oil on all sides.
  • Add water or an equal amount of stock and simmer over low heat for two hours covered until tender, skimming off fat occasionally.
  • Place onions, carrots and mushrooms around meat. Add tomato sauce, garlic and onion salt. Cover and simmer one hours or until the vegetables are done. Add half the parsley.
  • Before serving, remove from heat. Remove the meat and let rest before slicing, about 10 minutes.
  • Gradually stir in sour cream.
  • Serve with cooked noodles, with sauce spooned over meat and vegetables.

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