Tafelspitz is a traditional Austrian dish that consists of boiled beef, typically made from the tender meat of the top of the sirloin. It is considered one of the classic dishes of Viennese cuisine and is often served as a Sunday family meal or on special occasions.
The name “tafelspitz” translates to “table point” in English, referring to the cut of beef from the tip of the cow’s tail to the middle of the back. This cut is known for its tenderness and flavor.
To prepare tafelspitz, the beef is simmered slowly in a pot with aromatic vegetables and spices to enhance the flavor. The beef is typically cooked until it is tender and can be easily sliced. It is then served with a variety of accompaniments, including root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and turnips, as well as boiled potatoes and traditional Austrian sauces like horseradish cream or apple-horseradish sauce.
Tafelspitz is often enjoyed with a side of clear beef broth, which is made from the cooking liquid of the beef. The broth is served in a separate bowl and can be sipped as a soup or used to moisten the beef and vegetables.
Here’s a recipe for Tafelspitz:
- 2.5 to 3 pounds (1.1 to 1.4 kg) beef tafelspitz (top of the sirloin)
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 5-6 whole black peppercorns
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Horseradish cream or apple-horseradish sauce (optional, for serving)
- Boiled potatoes and root vegetables (such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips) for serving
- Place the tafelspitz in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
- As the water comes to a boil, skim off any foam that rises to the surface. This will help to clarify the broth.
- Add the onions, carrots, leek, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and whole black peppercorns to the pot. Season with salt and a little freshly ground black pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the beef simmer gently for about 2 to 2.5 hours, or until it becomes tender. Skim off any additional foam that may form on the surface during cooking.
- While the beef is simmering, prepare the boiled potatoes and root vegetables. Peel and chop the vegetables into large chunks. Boil them separately until tender.
- Once the beef is tender, carefully remove it from the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for a few minutes.
- Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the vegetables and reserving the clear broth. You can serve the broth separately as a soup or save it for later use.
- Slice the tafelspitz into thin slices, cutting against the grain for maximum tenderness.
- Arrange the sliced beef on a serving platter and sprinkle it with chopped parsley.
- Serve the tafelspitz with boiled potatoes, root vegetables, and sauces like horseradish cream or apple-horseradish sauce on the side.
- Enjoy your delicious Tafelspitz meal with family and friends!
Note: Some variations of Tafelspitz may include additional spices or herbs, such as cloves, juniper berries, or thyme. Feel free to experiment with these ingredients to suit your taste preferences.