Tafelspitz with Horseradish Sauce

Tafelspitz (Tellerfleisch) mit Meerrettichsauce
Originally from Vienna, Austria, this dish has gained great popularity all over the German speaking regions. Tender beef, boiled in a vegetable sud, is a light and delicious main course for many occasions.
Course Entree
Region Austria
Servings 6


  • 3 lbs boneless beef rump roast sirloin tip or bottom round (lean)
  • 1/4 cup matchstick strips of celery root
  • 1 medium-size carrot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium-size leeks washed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice or 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 medium size bay leaf

For the Horseradish Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 stick
  • 1/2 unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish well drained
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


For the beef:

  • Add celery root, carrot, leeks, parsley, salt, peppercorns, allspice and bay leaf to 2 quarts of water in a Dutch oven. Place uncovered over moderate heat and bring to a rolling boil. Ease the beef into a the pan and return the water to a simmer, skimming it occasionally to remove any scum. Adjust the heat so the water barely simmers, cover, and cook beef for 2 hours or until fork tender. Transfer the beef to a large heated platter, tent with foil and keep warm. Strain the cooking water and reserve.

For the sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Mix in 2 cups of the reserved beef cooking water. Increase heat to moderate and simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth. Mix in the cream, horseradish, lemon juice, sugar and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes longer, stirring often, until no raw starch taste remains.

To serve:

  • Slice the beef across the grain about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a large heated platter, overlapping the slices slightly. Or let cool and serve cold. Ladle the sauce into a gravy boat and pass separately.
Recipe courtesy of The New German Cookbook, Jean Anderson and Hedy Würz, 1993


Hint: Easing the meat into the rolling boil will seal meat's pores which keeps the meat's liquids inside. Enjoy this traditional dish!