Bulgarian Pork Stew (Kavarma)

We recently had a ski trip in Bulgaria, and in the evenings we managed to enjoy some Bulgarian cuisine. An incredibly diverse cuisine, a lot of Bulgarian dishes are similar to Greek or Turkish meals – moussaka, baklava, kofte, and a traditional salad that is very similar to a Greek salad. They also do some really amazing wine – I wish I had more of a chance to explore their wine regions.

Kavarma is a fantastic example of traditional Bulgarian cuisine. It uses fresh and flavourful vegetables and spices, along with healthy cuts of meat, usually pork. There’s no one true recipe; every region would have their own unique version, so use whatever you have in the fridge! You could add carrots, or celery, or omit anything you don’t like.

bulgarian pork stew


500-600g diced pork
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup white wine
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3-4 leeks
5 medium mushrooms
1 red capsicum
2 medium tomatoes
Salt and pepper


Combine the spices with some salt and pepper and dry rub the mix into the meat. Heat half the oil in a frying pan and once it is sizzling hot, brown the pork on each side for 4-5 minutes. Add the wine, lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside into an ovenproof dish.

Finely dice the onion, garlic and capsicum; roughly chop the leeks and mushrooms. Heat the rest of the oil and saute the vegetables for 5 minutes until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and ½ cup of water, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients into the oven proof dish, and stir well. Cover with lid, and place in 160°C oven for 1 hour.

DSC_0236 Serve hot from the oven with some garlicky roast potatoes or crusty bread.