Czech cuisine is full of meat, dumplings, delicious soups and beer snacks. Today I have a dish for you that you can find in a large number of Czech restaurants – Svíčková na smetaně. It is sometimes seen as meat with jam and whipped cream, but it’s much more than that!
It is a dish that can be found in many regions of the Czech Republic. Usually, it tastes a bit different. Sometimes the sauce is sweeter and other times sour. They have one thing in common – it can be really tasty!
Svíčková na smetaně is often translated as beef tenderloin, but there have been disputes for years as to whether a different type of beef could be used (as I did). There are many more disputes, and this situation can be compared to cooking broth – every cook has a different recipe.
- beef tenderloin (or leg) – about a kilogram
- lard – 50-70 g
- carrot – 2 pieces
- parsley – 1 piece
- celery – 1 small
- onion – 1 small
- butter – 150 g
- lemon juice (one lemon)
- water – 250 ml
- mustard – 50 g
- cake flour – 2 tbsp
- sugar – 1 tsp
- cream 30% – 250 ml
- salt and pepper
- grain pepper – a few grains
- allspice – 3-4 balls
- bay leaves – 3-4 pieces
- lemon – 5-6 slices
- lingonberries for meat (possibly cranberries) – 5-6 teaspoons
We start by cleaning the meat off the flesh. I had a beef haunch on hand, but the original recipe mentions tenderloin. After cleaning the meat, salt and pepper it. Before we do that, however, we cut the lard into thin strips and stuff the meat with them. In the meantime, peel the vegetables and grate them on a coarse grater, and chop the onion finely. Put the vegetables on the bottom of the baking dish and put the meat on them. Pour melted butter and lemon juice over it, and then put it in the fridge overnight so that the flavours can connect.
Pour water into the dish prepared the day before and put it in the oven. If you have a dish with a lid, be sure to use it, or put it in a baking sleeve, as I did. I was baking an hour and a half at 180 degrees. You have to check if your meat is soft, because that’s the most important thing.
The meat is ready, we take it from the oven. However, it’s time to prepare the sauce. Let’s start by taking the bay leaves and allspice from it. Put the sauce (what is left after roasting meat with vegetables) on the gas and slowly cook it. Add two tablespoons of flour mixed in a little water and cream (about 100 ml). Depending on the school, we can act differently at this point. We can clean the vegetables through a sieve, and we can also blend everything. We decided to rub. The sauce came out a bit thick so we added a little milk to thin it. At this stage, you should definitely taste the sauce, if you find it sour, use a little sugar, otherwise – a little lemon juice.
Slice the meat, put it on the sauce or pour it over it. Whip the remaining cream and put it on the plate, add a lemon slice and a teaspoon of lingon berries!
This dish is served with bread dumplings. You can buy ready-made ones in a store (they appear more and more often in Poland) or make them at the home because the recipe is really simple.
Svíčková na smetaně is a Czech classic! Apart from it, it is also worth trying other dishes from our neighbours. For fans of garlic soup, I have a recipe here, and the beer topped with hermelin is perfect, more about it here.
Worth to try?
This question is totally inappropriate for this dish! It is definitely worth trying to prepare this dish at home and you must try it when visiting our neighbours!