Prime boiled beef with horseradish sauce-Tafelspitz mit Meerrettichsauce



Tafelspitz (literally meaning tip (of meat) for the table) is boiled beef in broth, served with horseradish. It is considered to be the “national dish” of Austria and is equally popular in Germany. Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, was a great lover of Tafelspitz. According to the 1912 official cookery textbook used in domestic science schools of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, “His Majesty’s private table is never without a fine piece of boiled beef, which is one of his favorite dishes.”

Preparation Time Cooking Time Serves
30 minutes 90 minutes 4 persons


*1kg(2lb) beef ( traditional Standing Rump or Top Round, but a similar piece also works)
*1kg(2lb) diced or sliced vegetables (Carrots, onions, celeriac, kohlrabi, leeks)
*salt, pepper, bay leaves, allspice

For the gravy
*1 fresh horseradish, grated
*1 cup heavy cream
*30g (2 tbsp) butter
*30g (2 tbsp) pastry flour
*1 fresh lemon

For side dish
400g(1lb) green peas, cooked with some salt and butter

Potato dumplings for 4 persons >Potato dumplings <

Tafelspitz – Prime boiled beef with horseradish sauce

Start cooking the beef. Take a large stockpot and add the beef and the diced vegetables.

Fill up with clear cold water, so the beef is completely submerged.
Set on the stovetop and heat at medium high heat.

Add the bay leaves (3 or 4) a tablespoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and some allspice.
You can also add lovage for more flavour.

Boil for 60 to 90 minutes. Boil the peas in a second pot in-between.
Take a skewer or a large fork and check from time to time if the meat is already soft.When the meat is tender, take it of the water and place on a plate or dish, for cooling down.

Take a second stockpot and pour the broth through a large strainer to separate the vegetables and spices from the broth.
For the bohemian version of Tafelspitz the vegetables would be grated now and added to the sauce, but in that version no horseradish is used, you can experiment with both versions of the sauce if you are interested in this dish.

Preparing the gravy
Set a middle sized saucepan on the stovetop and add the butter. Heat over medium heat till the butter is completely melted. Stir occasionally.

Add some of the flour and stir till a paste of flour and butter forms. If it is to wet add some more flour. Be careful don’t brown the mixture.

Pour in 1- 1,5l of the broth (4 till 6 cups) and stir heavy with a whisk for 4 or 5 minutes till a smooth sauce forms.

Add the heavy cream and stir again till smooth.

Cook for 10 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid and thicken the gravy. Stir occasionally.

Add a dash of lemon Juice, the grated horseradish. Spice with salt to taste and add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir again to distribute the spices.

Cut the beef into slices and reheat the meat in the saucepan with the gravy.
Serve together with the beans and dumplings on the individual serving dishes.


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