Karjalan Paisti (Karelian Hot Pot) Recipe

Braised beef in a frying pan on a wooden table
OksanaKiian / Getty Images
Ratings (21)
  • Total: 6 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 5 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
610 Calories
35g Fat
10g Carbs
62g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Karelian Hot Pot or Karjalan Paisti in Finnish is a traditional meat stew from the region of Karelia (now split between Finland and Russia). It’s commonly made with a combination of pork and beef but other proteins, like lamb, can be used. Finnish hot pot is typically seasoned with black peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves.

Hot pots or hotchpotch, as they are also known, exist in every cuisine. These rich, vegetable-meat stews can include whatever is on hand, thus a “hodgepodge.” Some cultures use organ meats, pig ears and feet, and oysters, just not all in the same pot!

This Finnish stew is braised in a slow cooker so once everything is chopped it’s a real hands-off recipe. Serve Karelian Hot Pot, as the Finns do, with mashed potatoes and cranberry or lingonberry preserves on the side.


  • 1 pound beef stew meat, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound pork stew meat, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound lamb stew meat, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 8 whole allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water

Steps to Make It

  1. Brown beef, pork, and lamb stew meat on all sides in olive oil over medium-high heat. Place half of the sliced onions in the bottom of a slow cooker, cover with half of the meat, and sprinkle with half of the salt, peppercorns, allspice, and a bay leaf. Repeat the layers.

  2. Pour in 2 cups water, cover slow cooker and allow to cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours. Add up to the remaining 1 cup water if necessary as it cooks.