Traditional Svíčková sauce, braised beef, Carlsbad dumplings


Svíčková is definitely number one in Czech cuisine. Everybody has their own version and of course, every Czech grandma makes the best one (according to their families). We invited over our friend Milan who took care of the sound, so Jan is speaking in this video. Unfortunately, only in Czech, but this recipe is here to help you through the process.

For 3 portions:

400g beef suitable for braising
100g bacon
2 carrots
100g celeriac
1 onion
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs vinegar
50g butter
300g milk
50g whipping cream
1 bay leaf
5 pcs allspice
1 sprig thyme
1 tbs mustard
300ml water
1 lemon
salt and pepper
2 tbs sour cream

Carlsbad dumplings

6 slices white bread
4 eggs
2 tbs plain flour
2 tbs chopped parsley
200ml milk
salt and pepper
2 tbs butter

Cut the meat into flat slices and and pound it with a mallet. Season with salt and pepper. Add thinly sliced bacon and roll the meat into a roulade. Use a string to tie it together and give it a quick sear in a hot pan with oil (from all sides). Season with salt from other side, too.

In the same pan, sauté roughly chopped carrots, add the rest of the bacon and caramelize. Add roughly chopped celeriac and let the veggies get brown. Add chopped onions and give it some time again. Add sugar, butter and stir. Wait for the sugar to melt, add the lemon (just the inside, leave the skin for the end), mustard and let it cook for a bit. Pour in the water and add all the spices (thyme included). It is a good idea to use a tea strainer, then you can take it out easily at the end.

Put the meat into the sauce base and let it braise until soft. When ready, take it out, together with spices. Blend the veggies and add milk, sour cream and whipping cream. Blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, you can add more milk. Adjust the seasoning with vinegar, sugar, lemon skin, salt and let it simmer. You can also use flour to thicken it, but the vegetables we used should be enough.

Cut the dried out bread into cubes, add salt and pepper. Pour in the melted butter with egg yolks and butter. Add the whipped egg whites and parsley. Roll the dumpling into a foil and cook in a steamer for about 10 to 20 minutes, depending how big it is.

Cut the meat and serve with dumplings and cranberries. Enjoy!!