General Main Dishes Meat


Tafelspitz is THE classic Viennese festive dish! (Directly to recipe)

It is, for example, often found on the menu of Austrian wedding celebrations and you can definitely impress your guests when serving them a festive Tafelspitz menu! Usually, I serve Tafelspitz with horseraddish, spinach, roasted potatoes and chives sauce.

Tafelspitz is the part of the beef called bottom steak. Its preparartion is more than easy, so let’s go for it! Instead of the very expensive Tafelspitz, you can use any other beef parts that are good for boiling.

Below you can find a few tips for serving the Tafelspitz, preparing it in advance and the instructions for the traditional side dishes in Austria.

In this video you can see the preparation steps: (sorry it’s in German, but at least you can see the preparation steps)


Tip: You can prepare Tafelspitz very well 1-2 days ahead. In this case, it should not be kept in the soup. Wrap it in foil and store in the fridge. Keep the soup in an extra pot. When the soup is still cold, you can very easily remove the fat on top. Before serving, heat up the Tafelspitz in the soup.

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Step by step instructions and video tutorial for Viennese Tafelspitz with Apple-Horseraddish, spinach, roasted potatoes and chives sauce.


Traditional side dishes to serve with Tafelspitz: spinach, horseradish with grated apples or horseraddish with rolls (Apfelkren, Semmelkren), sour cream sauce with dill or chives, roasted potatoes.
Also, all kinds of oven roasted vegetables like red beets or pumpkin fit very well.

Horseraddish with grated apples

Grate horseradish and mix with finely grated apples (or apple sauce) – Mixing ratio according to taste. I usually don’t peel the apples.

Sour cream sauce with dill or chives

Mix 1 cup of sour cream and ¼ – ½ cup of water to make it more liquid. Add a pinch of salt and 2-3 tbsp. dill or chives.

Roasted potatoes

Cut 2 onions and roast them with oil or butter in a pan until brownish. Cut 1 kg (2.2 lbs) boiled and peeled potatoes in small pieces and add to the pan. Season with garlic and salt, pepper and caraway. Add ½ cup of the beef soup. (Tip: you can use a lot of salt, the poatatoes might need it…) Roast on medium heat until the potatoes are lightly brown.

You might also like:

Traditional Austrian goose roast with potato dumplings and red cabbage

Austrian caraway pork roast with perfect crunchy crust

Beef salad 


Viennese Cuisine - Tafelspitz


Step by step instructions and video tutorial for Viennese Tafelspitz with Apple-Horseraddish, spinach, roasted potatoes and chives sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 49 mins
Servings 4 portions


  • 1 kg Tafelspitz (bottom steak) ~2 lbs
  • 500 g beef bones ~1 lbs
  • soup vegetables 2 carrots, 1/8 celery root, 1 parsnip, 1 turnip, leek, parsley
  • 4-5 cloves garlic or more
  • 2-3 yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons salt , , , 1 tbsp. peppercorns, 1 tbsp. , 1 red hot chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon lovage
  • 1 hot chili pepper not traditional
  • 3-4 carrots to garnish
  • chives to garnish


  • Blanch the bones: place the bones in a pot and pour with hot water. Strain the water and rinse the bones in a sieve with warm water. Blanching removes bone splinters and cleans the bones.
    Knochen blanchieren
  • Add bones to a large pot. Bring to boil with 2-3 liters (~13 cups) of cold water, the soup vegetables and all the spices. Don’t add salt yet.
  • Meanwhile, halve the onions and roast in a pan until dark brown. Add to soup. Add the “burnt” onion with their peels. This improves the taste and makes a nice brown color.
    Zwiebelhälften rösten
  • When the water boils, lightly salt.
  • Add the Tafelspitz meat to the boiling soup. It should be fully covered with the liquid.
  • After about 1 hour of cooking, remove vegetables, onions and garlic so the soup does not become too sweet.
  • Let simmer for another 3 hours at low temperature.
  • Sieve the meat and serve the soup before the main dish. About 15 minutes before serving, add small pieces of carrots to the soup.
  • Cut Tafelspitz into thin slices, against the fibers.
  • To serve, place on a plate and pour with some soup. The Tafelspitz should always be covered with soup, otherwise it will dry out. Garnish with chives and carrots.
    Viennese Cuisine - Tafelspitz
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