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Recipe courtesy of Eva's European Sweets

Hungarian Placki (Potato Pancakes with Spicy Tomato-Beef Sauce)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 20 pancakes
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Hungarian-Style Tomato-Beef Sauce:

1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large Spanish onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

One 12-ounce can diced tomato

One 12-ounce can tomato puree

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and ground pepper

Potato Pancakes (placki ziemniaczane):

6 to 8 large potatoes, grated

1 large onion, grated

2 eggs

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and ground pepper

1 1/2 cups oil 

Sour cream, for serving

Chopped fresh parsley, for serving


  1. For the Hungarian-style tomato-beef sauce: Place the ground beef in a large skillet. Brown the ground beef and put on the side. In a different saute pan, add the vegetable oil and heat. Add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the green and red bell peppers and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, paprika, crushed red pepper, garlic, cayenne and the browned ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Please note that the sauce can be made in advance.
  2. For the potato pancakes (placki):Combine the potatoes, onion, eggs and flour in a large bowl and mix well. Add salt and pepper. The mixture will be on the thicker side. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Place 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil, and flatten down gently with a spoon. Turn the heat to medium. Cook until the are golden brown on each side.
  3. To serve, place 2 tablespoons of sauce on top of 2-4 pancakes and garnish with a tablespoon of sour cream and parsley.