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)
610 Calories
35g Fat
10g Carbs
62g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 610
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 13g 67%
Cholesterol 204mg 68%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 62g
Calcium 118mg 9%
*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 (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.