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Traditional fillet of boiled beef

Classic Tafelspitz (boiled beef)

Although pork seems ubiquitous in Viennese cuisine nowadays, beef also has a long tradition hereabouts – as tastily proven by the Tafelspitz (boiled fillet of beef haunch).

Serves: 6


  • 1 round of beef, approx. 2 kg (with a little fat)
  • approx. 750 g beef bones
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 turnips/parsnips
  • 1 small celeriac
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 juniper berries
  • salt
  • chopped chives for decoration


Fill a large pot with about 5 liters of cold water. Wash the bones and boil in the water. Remove the sinew and skin from the beef but leave the fat on. Place the meat, bay leaves, peppercorns and juniper berries in the water and simmer just below boiling point on low heat for about 2–2 1/2 hours, regularly skimming off the fat.

Halve the unpeeled onion, and fry, without fat, preferably in old pan, on the cut surface until dark brown. Cut the vegetables into large cubes and add with the onion to the meat. Simmer for another hour until the meat is really tender. (Test the meat with a fork to see if it’s ready: the fork should slide in easily when the meat is ready).
Remove the meat, strain the soup, and put the meat back in the soup for a while. Take note: as long as the meat is sitting in the soup, don’t add salt, otherwise it will become red and dry up.

Slice the meat, and arrange on a warmed plate. Pour over a little soup, add salt to taste, and sprinkle with chives. Serve with extra-crispy fried potatoes, chive sauce and apple-horseradish sauce.

Those who want to get to know another version of the Classic Tafelspitz should try our recipe Tafelspitz aspic with lamb's lettuce!

Cooking time: Depending on the quality of the beef, 3–3 1/2 hours

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