Classic Tafelspitz - National Dish of Austria

Tafelspitz at Restaurant Plachutta
Tafelspitz at Restaurant Plachutta. Flickr user Weisserstier
  • 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings
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"Tafelspitz" is made by boiling tri-tip (beef) in water with root vegetables and spices until tender. It is a favorite dish of the Viennese kitchen and commonly served with applesauce-horseradish sauce (or Apfelkren) and fried potatoes, either as Bratkartoffeln or as Kartoffelschmarrn.

Tri-tip is a cut of beef at the base of the loin, close to the back leg, is triangular in shape and can be cooked as a steak. Alternative beef cuts to use for this dish: bottom round, sirloin or rump roast.

What You'll Need

  • 4 lb. tri-tip roast (2 kg.)
  • 1 1/2 lb. beef marrow bones
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 turnips or parsnips
  • 1 celeriac or several stalks of celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 allspice, whole
  • 5 juniper berries
  • Salt to taste
  • For Sauces:
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives
  • 6 to 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. grated fresh horseradish
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make It

  1. The roast should have a good layer of fat on it which can be removed after serving. Wash the tri-tip and the marrow bones and place in a large pot, bones first.
  2. Peel the carrots, turnips, and celeriac and cut half of them into large 1-inch chunks. Add them to the pot with the spices, but no salt.
  3. Cut onion in half (if it is a nice onion, you do not even have to peel it) and brown the cut half in a hot, ungreased pan until almost black. Add to the pot.
  1. Cover with water, then bring to a boil. Skim any foam, then reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours (at high altitude, this can be considerably longer) or until a fork pierces the meat easily.
  2. Remove the meat and bones to a plate and pass the broth through a sieve, reserving the liquids and throwing out the vegetables and spices.
  3. Place the meat back in the broth, add the second half of the vegetables, cut a bit smaller this time, and simmer until vegetables are tender (1/2 to 1 hour).
  4. Add salt to the broth just before serving, to keep the meat from drying out.
  5. The broth is served first, with the marrow bones and vegetables. You can add cooked noodles, pancake strips or rice if you wish.
  6. The meat is cut across the grain into thin slices and served with Chive Sauce and Horseradish Sauce. Salt potatoes or Bratkartoffeln or Kartoffelschmarrn and spinach or cooked cabbage (kale, etc.) is also commonly served.
  7. For the chive sauce, mix the sour cream with chives cut into rings. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. For the horseradish sauce, grate some fresh horseradish and mix it into a cup of unsweetened, softly whipped, whipping cream. Add salt as necessary.