Tafelspitz is the perfect meal for a Sunday roast-even that the beef is boiled and not roasted. You can start cooking in the morning, go on about your day and have a beautiful meal in the evening. Whenever I came home from my adventures, my mom prepared it for me. And she still does.
The Tafelspitz itself is very easy and straight forward to make, same goes with the boiled salted potatoes. But the one thing that makes our Tafelspitz so special is the sauce.
It basically is a classic sauce béchamel but refined with the broth from the beef, spicy horseradish, and apple sauce. So you have the heat of the horseradish and the sweetness of the apple sauce, which gives it the perfect balance.
And for us, the meat and potatoes have to “swim” in the sauce. Add some Preiselbeeren Jam (Cranberries) and it’s perfect, and we are back in the foodie heaven 🙂 I really hope you will enjoy it too.
Which cut to use for Tafelspitz?
In Austria and Germany, it’s quite easy to get the right cut of beef for it- just ask the butcher for a Tafelspitz or Brustkern.
However, as every country has their own cuts, I simply ask the butcher which meat to use after explaining what I want to do with it.
And so far the closest is a beef brisket, as it also has some fat on it which is great for the broth. And you can always cut off the fat when you serve it.
How to prepare an authentic Tafelspitz?
It actually is pretty straightforward.
You need to simmer the beef for around 3 hours in water, your vegetables and the spices.
Please make sure that the water really is not boiling like when you cook pasta, as your meat will most probably get tough from it.
The key ingredient for the broth is lovage.
It’s a herb that belongs to the parsley family. If you cannot get it, you can substitute it with celeriac leaves, which will also enhance the flavour of the broth. As I cannot always get lovage, I started growing it in a pot and at the end of the summer I freeze it to always have it handy.
I added the wikipedia link for you if you like to know more about it.
Anything else for a great broth?
There is also a trick with the onion- it will give your broth the colour and some more roasting aromas.
All you need to do is you have to make sure that your pan is really hot and then you place the onion with the open sides on it and get it really brown.
And then you spike it with the cloves before you add the onion to the meat.
Oh, and to save some washing up, add some tin foil to the pan – You’re welcome!;-)
Onions on a piece of tin foil
I have so much broth left!
Nothing beats a homemade broth! When you make this dish, you will also receive a fantastic homemade beef broth which you can use for all kind of meals like as a base for soups or a fantastic Risotto. Or when you make a creamy stir-fry, you add a bit of broth for some extra flavour. I always freeze my leftover broth in portions, so I always have it handy when I need it.
What do I serve with it?
I included in the recipe below our horseradish and apple sauce, based on a classic béchamel. As mentioned earlier, this sauce is the key for an amazing Tafelspitz dinner.
Add some boiled poatoes and some cranberry jam and you will be in heaven.
Simply boil the potatoes just before you start with your sauce and everything will be ready together.
I have leftovers!
If you happen to have some leftovers, you should try out the Gaisburger Marsch– a hearty German stew with the Tafelspitz, potatoes, beans and spätzle. It’s absolutely incredible and done in an instant. Or a beef salad.
You see, when you put the effort in once to cook this beautiful dish, you will be able to get so much more out of it which makes it also an ideal candidate for my food for days section.
My wine recommendation
The classic rule would say to have a red wine with it as it is a red meat, however, I like to bend the rules every now and then and would recommend a nice glass of Chardonnay with it!
Perfect for a Sunday roastmoderate
- 1 hours
- 3 hours
- 4 hours
|1.5||kg of beef brisket Tafelspitz|
|½ root celeriac|
|1-2 Tbsp salt- add it at the end|
|4 sprigs lovage|
|3 juniper berries-slightly crushed|
|2 bay leaves|
|3 l water|
|Horseradish- Apple Béchamel|
|40g all-purpose flour|
|100 ml||broth -fresh from the Tafelspitz|
|salt & ground pepper|
|2||pinches of nutmeg|
|150 ml||apple sauce|
|3||Tbsp (60-80g) creamy horseradish|
|on the side:|
- big Pot
Steps of preparation
- In a big pot, place the beef and fill up the pot with 3l water and bring to boil.
- Peel the celeriac and carrots.
- Cut the leek, celeriac, and carrots in thumb size pieces and put in the big pot with the beef.
- Add the spices except the cloves.
- Place a tinfoil in a pan and bring to high heat.
- Cut the onion in half (do not peel it) and put it in the pan to brown. The onion needs to get really brown, nearly black. Take it out of the pan-careful, hot– and spike it with the cloves. Put the onion halves in the Pot to the other items.
- Let it all simmer on low heat for around 3 hours.
- The meat should come off a meat fork with ease, and the broth should have already a really lovely taste. Add salt to taste.
- Take out the meat on a board and put a strainer over a medium-sized pot.
- Pour the broth with the veggies over the strainer in the pot to get the broth.
- Cut the meat in thin slices and put back in the medium-sized pot with the broth.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan
- Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don’t let it brown — about 2 minutes.
- Add 100ml of the milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens.
- When the sauce has taken in the milk, add another 100ml of it. Repeat until all milk is fully used
- Add the broth and the nutmeg
- Lower the heat and let it simmer, so the sauce can thicken.
- Stir occasionally
- Add the horseradish, apple sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Around 30 minutes before the meat is cooked, you can start to make some salt potatoes.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them in small cubes and cook them in plenty of salted water until they are cooked.
- Depending on the size of your potatoes, it can be 20-30 minutes
- Serve the Tafelspitz with the horseradish béchamel, salted potatoes and Preiselbeeren.
Sometimes I cut the carrots for the broth in bigger pieces and serve them as a vegetable with the Tafelspitz or I add them to the broth the next day
Can I freeze the broth?
Absolutely! I always freeze it in portions, so I can add it simply where I need it.
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