East of Paris Bookstore

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The best boiled beef dinner I've had was with my friend Olga in Vienna at Plachutta.  Plachutta is to tafelspitz what Smith & Wollensky is to steak.  The photo is from Plachutta's website; the recipe is mine.

2 quarts water
2 large carrots, cut into thin slices
1 teaspoon salt
2 celery stalks, cut into thin slices
1 parsnip
3 lbs beef brisket or shoulder
2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
1 or 2 marrow bones
1 onion - cut into rings
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Heat the water with salt.  Add beef and marrow bones and bring to a boil.  While the water is boiling, skim the foam from surface until it no longer appears and the surface is clear [this part is admittedly tedious but important].  Partially cover pot and simmer 1-1/2 hours.

Add the sliced leeks, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf, peppersorns, and parsnip to the beef.  Continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender.

Cut beef into 1/2 inch slices. Serve vegetables in a separate dish with 4 tablespoons cooking liquid spooned over the top.  Garnish with parsley. 
Serve with horseradish or a horseradish sauce.

As a variation, subsitute chicken for the beef.

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