One of the best meals the Czech cuisine has to offer. You can try it anywhere in the world, however, the real taste is found in the local restaurants and pubs only - Czech Beef Roast with Smooth Veggie Sauce.
This recipe is inspired by my favourite Czech show Kluci v akci on the Czech national television. Every element of this scrumptious dish is equally important. Let’s start!
The best meat for the roast is beef tenderloin without any hesitation. It is a little pricey, so I went for a beef shank. I filled it with small cut pieces of carrots and bacon. Winter veggies, together with bacon, represent the base of the marvelous sauce. Flavour it up, add some mustard, lemon and spices. Do not forget to taste. That is the most crucial part of the whole process. You can serve it with traditional bread dumplings or an easier alternative like baked potatoes. Either way, it will be a winner. Serve with lemon and cranberry compote. Dobrou chuť!
Czech Beef Roast is suitable for kids from the age of 3. My little one couldn't have enough: tender meat, sweet sauce with cranberries and lemon and, of course, homemade bread dumplings.
Total Time: 1 hour + 3 hours for the beef roast
Around 1 kg of a top quality beef shank in 1 piece, cleaned and drained
The Vegetable Sauce:
300g of onion, peeled and diced
300g of carrots, peeled, washed and diced
150g of celeriac, peeled, washed and diced
150g of white carrots, peeled, washed and diced
150g of good quality bacon, sliced
Bouquet garni (10 whole black pepper, 5 allspice and 4 bay leaves)
80g of English mustard
80g of caster sugar
1 whole lemon, peeled and deseeded
1 litre of hot boiling water, stock or dry white wine
200ml of double cream
100g of good cranberry compote
2 lemons to serve with
The Bread Dumplings:
1 cup of lukewarm milk
10g of fresh yeast
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
500g of coarse flour, sifted
1 whole egg
A pinch of sea salt
1 white bread, finely chopped
A knob of lard
The Vegetable Sauce
First, make holes in the beef with a sharp knife and place carrots and lardons inside.
Add a splash of olive oil into a large non sticking deep casserole pan on high heat. Stir in all the other veggies: onions, carrots, celeriac and the rest of the bacon.
Sauté for a couple of minutes. Every time it starts burning, baste with a bit of water. This way you get a silky texture and an incredible taste.
Next, add bouquet garni. Flavour it up with sugar. Let it nicely caramelize and stir in the mustard.
Then, add slices of whole lemon. Mix and baste with a bit of water once again.
Season the meat with salt and place gently in the middle of the pan. Baste with the rest of water and lower the heat to low. Put a lid on and let it simmer until the meat is very tender, for about 3 hours.
The Bread Dumplings
First, activate the yeast. Pour in the lukewarm milk into a coffee mug. Sprinkle with the yeast and sugar. Stir with the other side of a metal spoon and let it work in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl place the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and place the egg in. After the yeast is activated, add it into the egg and start kneading the dough. Pour in the milk accordingly to the texture (I used the whole mug of milk). The dough should not be too floury, nor too sticky. Once you are done, cover with a clean cloth and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Afterwards, knead a dough for the dumplings once again and add the chopped bread. Nicely knead it into the dough and sprinkle with some extra flour.
Place it into a bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
Next, divide the dough into the 2 bigger parts or 4 smaller once, depending on the shapes you want to create. Form small rolls and gently put them in a deep pan filled with salted hot boiling water. Just the same way as you prepare a pasta, for instance.
Cook for about 15 minutes. Turn them over in half of the time. Once they are done, take them out. Poke them all over the surface with a wooden skewer and layer them with a piece of a pork fat. Incredible taste! Set aside and slice before serving.
After the meat is done, take it out on a working board and let it sit for a while.
Remove the bouquet garni and blend The Vegetable Sauce with a hand blender until you have it very smooth. Pour in the cream and taste. If needed, flavour up with some sugar, lemon or vinegar, accordingly to your preference. I didn't add anything. The sauce is delicious itself andm the next day even better.
Slice the meat and serve with a generous amount of sauce, cranberry compote, slice of lemon and bread dumplings on side.
Makes 6 serves.