Viennese Boiled Beef: Wiener Tafelspitz


1 Tafelspitz (steak beef), approximately 2.5 to 3 kilograms)
300 g of roots (carrot, celery, beet, parsley root)
200 g of onions (with the peel)
1 piece of leek
5 l of water
1 kg of beef bone with marrow
5 tablespoons of chopped chives
15 peppercorns

What Vienna Tafelspitz is

Alongside with Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz is the national meal of Austria. According to quite reliable sources, Emperor Franz Joseph I was a passionate aficionado of Tafelspitz and other kinds of beef. According to less reliable sources, the Tafelspitz was invented in the Hotel Sacher (which is also home to the legendary Sacher Tart), by the landlady Anna Sacher. Every time that high military officials dined with the emperor, Franz Joseph I was served before anybody else - he was the emperor, after all.

Following the rules of the court, he started to eat right away before the soldiers were even served their meals. Since nobody was allowed to continue eating once the emperor had finished, many dinner ended with a very hungry soldiers. Anna Sacher is said to have pitied them and created a meal that could be prepared "on demand", meaning that it could be boiled for many hours and quickly served as soon as everybody sat at the table. This meal was the Tafelspitz.

How to prepare Vienna Tafelspitz

Boil the water in a very large pot and add Tafelspitz, bones and peppercorns. Boil the mix like crazy, for something like two or three hours. If foam forms, remove it. Cut the onion into halves and roast it on a hot plate until it is lightly brown - add it to the soup for the colour (some people add saffron for the same purpose). Cut the roots and the leek and add it to the soup and meat. Boil the whole mix for another hour.

Remove the meat and cut it into thin slices. Pour the soup through a sieve to remove all the vegetables and roots. Serve the Tafelspitz slices on a plate, pour some of the soup over it and sprinkle horseradish flakes and the chopped chives over it. Sides are traditionally roasted potatoes and a sauce of apple chutney with horseradish.

More Austrian Recipes

Starters: Knoblauchcreme Soup - Wiener Suppentopf - Kürbiscreme Soup - Tomato Soup

Main Courses: Beuschl - Wiener Schnitzel - Kaspressknödel - Hasenpfeffer Venison - Goulash - Tiroler Knödel - Erdäpfellaibchen - Schwammerlgoulash

Desserts & Sweet Meals: Kaiserschmarrn - Topfenpalatschinken pancakes - Topfengrießknödel - Potato dough for Mohn- and Nussnudeln - Pofesen - Apple Strudel - Topfenschmarrn - Topfenstrudel - Wuchteln - Germknödel - Reisauflauf

Bread & Snacks: Bread base - Liptauer cheese - Erdäpfelkas - Obatzter

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