In order to understand the Plachutta phenomenon, one must know that boiled beef has for centuries occupied a very important role in Viennese cooking. This is documented, among other things, by the fact that there is even a special Viennese method of partitioning the cow, a system that distinguishes more sections of meat than any other in the world. Thus, the Viennese have cuts of beef with curious names like “weisses Scherzel” (eye of round), “Kruspelspitz” (parts of chuck), “Tafelspitz” (cap of rump), and “Hüferschwanzl” (tail of rump). They are all boiled, usually along with root vegetables, and the result is delectably juicy braised beef.
Master chef Ewald Plachutta, formerly one of the city’s top chefs, at some point had his fill of the “haute cuisine” scene and decided to devote himself to beef and Viennese cuisine. Now the city has three Plachutta restaurants, all of which specialize in the art of preparing Vienna-style boiled beef and bringing it to the table in copper pots, served with such classic accompaniments as fried potatoes, creamed spinach, chive sauce, and apple-horseradish cream. Ewald Plachutta’s cookbooks, which have become standard works on Austrian cooking, are available at all of his restaurants.www.plachutta.at