Karjalan Paisti (Karelian Hot Pot)

Braised beef in a frying pan on a wooden table

OksanaKiian/Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
534 Calories
25g Fat
5g Carbs
71g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 534
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 223mg 74%
Sodium 506mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 71g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 779mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(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. In the Karelian region it is traditionally served at family gatherings during Easter.

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, 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.