Köcsögös Bab – Bean Stew In a Jug

“Köcsögös Bab” is a variant of the traditional Hungarian bean soup (or stew) cooked over an open fire in a ceramic jug. In fact, this dish is more about the technology of its preparation than the recipe itself. The essence of the preparation process is that for the entire 2.5-3 hours of cooking, the jug should absorb the heat of the fire from only one side.

The history of the dish dates back to the time when farmers worked in the fields all day long. For lunch, they brought a ceramic jug with the ingredients for their lunch already prepared: meat, vegetables, and beans. When they started to work, they poured water on the ingredients and let them cook by themselves next to the fire in the jug for a few hours – just ready for lunch!

Here we show a variant that can also be prepared without a jug and a campfire.


500g kidney beans
250g smoked pork (e.g. knuckle)
250g beef (e.g. leg meat)
2-3 onions
4-5 cloves of garlic
A few pieces of carrots, beets, celery
Salt, pepper
Paprika powder
Spicy paprika cream (e.g. Csípős Huszár or Pokoljáró) and sour cream as desired

Optional: Tomatoes, Paprika Paste, Green Peppers, Bay Leaves, Cumin


1. Soak the beans in cold water overnight.

2. Fry the onions and vegetables in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

3. Sear the meat in a separate pot and let it brown.

4. Put all the ingredients, including the beans, in a thick saucepan, cover with water and set over low heat. Stir every now and then.

5. Cook for 2-3 hours or until done.

6. Cover with sour cream and chilli sauce and enjoy!

+Recipe for those who have a pitcher and campfire:

Layer all the ingredients into the pitcher, starting with thicker cuts of meat, followed by the meat, veggies, and beans, mixed together. Place the pitcher near the fire so that only one side is touched by the flames. Cook for a few hours – done!