Viennese Tafelspitz by Ewald Plachutta

The Tafelspitz is a dish originating from Viennese cuisine; it’s name comes from Austro-Bavarian dialects, referencing the cut of beef used in the recipe. It consists of a whole cut of beef (Knöpfl, Schlegl, Schwanzstück), boiled with root vegetables in beef broth, then sliced against the grain and served traditionally with horseradish, the boiled vegetables, and strained broth.

At age 21, Ewald Plachutta was the Chef de Cuisine of the Hotel Astoria in Vienna, Austria. In 1968, at the Cooking Olympics in Frankfurt, he won the gold medal. In 1991, he was crowned chef of the year by Gault-Millau, and in the consecutive year, he was awarded the prestigious 3 toques. In 1993, he was awarded his star by the Guide Michelin. In short, it is thanks to Ewald Plachutta that the classical Viennese way of cooking beef had its renaissance in the 1980s and 1990s. Here is his recipe of the Tafelfpitz:

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:tafelspitz
  •  1 onion, with peel, cut in half
  • 2 kg Beef Fricandeau (or rump roast–No. 4 in picture) with fat and tissue
  • 3,5l beef bone broth
  • 10-15 black pepper corns
  • 200g carrots, sliced
  • celeriac, diced
  • parsley root, diced
  • ½ leek, diced
  • chives, chopped

 

Preparation:

Brown the two onion halves on the iron stove or in a metal pan without oil over medium heat. Heat up the beef broth in a large stockpot until it boils.

Briefly rinse and wash the meat under running lukewarm water. Then place the meat into the boiling beef broth, constantly skim off the uprising foam. Reduce heat, add peppercorns and browned onion and let it simmer at max. 80°C water temperature for 2 -2.5 hrs. Don’t boil anymore!

25 minutes before the meat has finished cooking add the root vegetables and leeks.

The beef is cooked once it easily glides from a long meat fork when pierced.

Lift the meat out of the soup and transfer to a cutting board. Slice beef against the fiber about the thickness of a finger, place in soup plates, and garnish with the cooked vegetables and some chopped chives. Strain some of the remaining soup over each dish.

Serve with freshly grated horseradish.

For the Beef bone juice:

Bring 3 kg of beef bone pieces to boil in cool water, then pour away the water. Repeat two more times. Boil the bones a 3rd time, but this time for about ½ hour to ¾ hour and keep the “broth,” discarding the bones.

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