German Austrian Specialty Tafelspitz

german tafelspitz

Find out how to make the  German Austrian Specialty Tafelspitz, which means literally the point of the table. It used to be the favorite meal of Austrian Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph, and this dish was part of every meal. It is therefor a national recipe in Austria but it is very popular in Germany too.
Tafelspitz is a special cut of beef, and not a pot roast. You would need a custom-cut fresh piece of the hind part of beef (comparable to the American tri-tip, also called silver tip). A substitute can be fresh beef chuck brisket but not corned brisket.

Here is a little secret on how to get of a juicy Tafelspitz:
Heat the water to a rolling boil before you place the piece of meat in the water. This is causing that the pores of the meat will seal right away and the meat’s liquids stay inside. The tafelspitz is served normally with boiled potatoes and a horseradish or chives sauce. Below the recipe you find the recipe for a horseradish sauce. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients Tafelspitz

2.5 pounds (1200g) of either fresh beef brisket, silverside or sirloin
750 g beef bones
enough water to fill in a pot, about 5 L
salt about ½ tbsp for every Qt. water
1-2 leek, cut in slices
10 whole black or white peppercorns
2 juniper berries, 2 bay leaf
3 whole medium size carrots, peeled, cut in pieces
1 small-medium onion, peeled and cut in half
3 sprigs fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions Tafelspitz

1. In a pot bring water to a boil (about 5 liter); wash bones, add into the water and bring it to a boil. Remove skin and tendons from the Tafelspitz meat but keep the fat layer.
Add meat with bay leaves, pepper corns and juniper berries and let it simmer on low heat for 2-2.5 hours.
While the boiling process take off the foam several times.

Don’t peel the onion but cut it in 2 halves and in an old pan fry it without grease or oil until the cutting edges are getting brown.
Cut vegetable in cubes and add it together with the onion to the meat. Let it simmer another hour, until the meat is really tender. Test: If you take a fork and softly poke it into the meat, the fork should go easily into the meat.

2. Remove the meat from the broth and sieve the broth; put the meat back into the broth and let it there for 15 minutes.

3. Cut Tafelspitz in slices, and serve the slices on warm plates, add the salt now and sprinkle chopped chives over it.

4. Serve with boiled potatoes (peeled and cut in half) or “Bratkartoffeln”, fried potatoes, and a Chive Sauce, and if you like, that’s what they do in Austria, serve it with apple sauce.

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Horseradish Sauce

Ingredients and Cooking Instructions 
30 g butter
25 g flour
375 ml broth from the Tafelspitz
120 ml heavy cream
20 g fresh grated horseradish
1 tsp lemon juice or to taste

– Melt butter in a pan.
– Add flour and while stirring fry it slightly to get a light yellow color (this is a so called “Mehlschwitze”).
– Pour in the broth, whisk very well. There shouldn’t be any clumps.
– Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 min uncovered. Stir frequently.
– Add grated horseradish.
– Spice with salt, pepper, sugar to taste. Add lemon juice.

When cooking Tafelspitz you always get a wonderful broth which you can use as the base for another soup. Add some German soup noodles, a vegetable mix or use it for a a risotto – the possibilities are many.


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