When the Viennese talk about beef, they mean boiled veal or Tafelspitz, the king of the beef dishes.
There is practically no more delicious proof of how firmly the Austrian cuisine is rooted in the heart of Europe than one of the most typical of Viennese dishes: boiled veal, or Tafelspitz. Good-quality beef, a few vegetables, aromatic spices, and plenty of water to cook in are the vital ingredients. The same ingredients as when the French are creating their “pot-au-feu” or the Italians their “bollito misto”.
How to make it:
Slice the unpeeled onion in half widthways and fry off the cut surfaces without fat until fairly well browned.
Put around 3 litres of water into a large saucepan. Add the root vegetables, leek, halves of onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Add the washed meat and bones and, depending on the type of meat, allow to cook until softened in gently simmering water, which will take around 2 1⁄2 – 3 hours. Add more water as required and skim off any foam from the surface.
Season well with salt, but only after a good 2 hours.
Once the meat has softened, remove it from the pan and keep it warm in some of the liquid from the soup. Season the remainder of the soup again with salt to taste, and strain it (optional). Serve with semolina dumplings or frittata and freshly chopped chives as a starter.
Slice the boiled beef by cutting on the bias and arrange on pre-heated plates, or serve in the hot soup in a decorative soup tureen.
Serve with roast potatoes, a bread and horseradish mix, green beans in a dill sauce, or creamed spinach and chive sauce. If the root vegetables are to be served at the same time, cook some of them separately to be served al dente.
Cooking time: approx. 2 1⁄2 – 3 hours