Classic Pork Jelly Recipe Jump to recipe

Classic Pork Jelly Recipe

Making retro pork jelly is a typical Hungarian habit: it must be made this dish every year during winter time, because there is no winter without a cold, meaty jelly.

We reveal what is the secret of the perfect pork jelly, how is made and what meat we need. 

We answer all the questions what is linked to this dish such as how long does the jelly harden, why does the jelly harden, why doesn’t the jelly harden.

Pork Jelly is a divisive dish, many like it, but many are unwilling to taste because of “strange, shaking” look.

The jelly was originally made mostly in country side, and mainly to use parts of the pork that could not be preserved with salt, nor was it used to make sausages. 
In the old days, it was a basic thing that nothing could be wasted. 

Nowadays it is made from several types of meat, but originally the nowadays unusual pork parts were used everywhere for jelly in Hungarian villages like pork tails, ears, nails, knuckles, and sometimes the good smoked meat. What each pork jelly has in common, is that it has a lot of bone, cartilage and pork skin in it, which hardens the broth so beautifully.


Classic Pork Jelly Recipe

Cooking method: Boiling
Recipe keys: JellyPork
Difficulty: beginner
Prep timeCook TimeRest TimeTotal Time
15 min 180 min 180 min 375 min
Servings: 8 person
Calories: 652kcal
Best season: winter

How long does it take for the jelly to harden?

The time for the jelly to harden, it is up to the amount of the broth. On average, the jelly hardening nicely within 2-3 hours. It is important to keep it in the fridge and not in the freezer, as the jelly will freeze if it is too cold for it.

What makes jelly gelatinous?

The gelatinisation of the jelly is caused by the collagen emanating from the cartilage, skinned meats, so no gel-forming additives are needed.

Why doesn’t the jelly harden?

Sometimes the jelly may not set, the reason is very simple: the jelly does not set if the meat we cook is not sufficiently greasy, cartilaginous or is not enough the pork skin, or if there is too much juice in it, and the collagen from the pork is too diluted.
If we keep cooking it helps usually, but also helps if you add a little gelatine to the dish.

How many days does the jelly last?

The guarantee of jelly is roughly the same as that of a simple meat and vegetable soup, the only difference being the jelly-like state of the dish.
The pork jelly is safe to eat for an average of a week if is kept in fridge, but it is easy to check by tasting. If has a sour taste, then it is spoiled.



  1. Pour to cover cold water over the cleaned meat in a large cooking pot.
    Bring to a boil and skim off the foam.

  2. Season with salt, add the  peeled garlic cloves, onions, peppercorns, and cook slowly over low heat.
    We need to do this to get a clear pork jelly finally.

  3. Simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat easily comes off the bone, and the bones and skin will release gelatine from them.

  4. If the meat is tender, turn off the heat, leave the pot aside to cool to work more efficiently with the ingredients.

  5. As reached room temperature, with a strainer separate meat from the juice.

    Separate the meat from the bones in a bowl. Remove all the bones, including the small ones.

  6. We can now make a test to see if we were successful in making the jelly.
    Place a small amount of the pot’s juice on a small plate and place it in the fridge for ten minutes. If it hardens, we’ve succeeded, if it doesn’t, we’ll have to add food gelatine.

  7. Divide meat in bowls, then ladle broth to cover.
    I used some square plastic bowls with lids to keep in the fridge without taking up too much space.
    Let it set in the fridge.

  8. If the pork jelly hardened, we can serve it. If necessary, or if would you like, remove all of the fat layer above.
    Serve cold, cut into more giant cubes and sprinkled with Hungarian sweet paprika.

  9. Serve with salty, sliced red onions, sprinkled with vinegar on top, and with fresh bread.

    Enjoy, Good Appetite!

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