Svíčková na smetaně

Submitted by John on Sun, 06/12/2016 - 16:27
Czech Svickova

Svíčková na smetaně (hereafter simply svickova) is classic Czech home cooking, but it is often made for fine dining events as well.

It's a braised sirloin of beef with a sauce of pureed vegetables and cream, traditionally served with fluffy knedlicky (bread dumplings sliced with a thread).

I made this with my Czech friend Jana in November of 2015, when the coming winter mader her think of her father's Svickova back home in Prague! 

6 Servings
Preparation time
6 hours
  1. The night before, lard and marinate the beef: Lard the beef with the bacon, then finely dice the onion, carrots, parsnip, and celery root. Add the herbs and the vinegar. Put it all into a large zip-lock bag and mix it around, then add the beef to marinate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. Remove the meat from the marinade and dry it with paper towels. Sear it in on all sides in hot oil or fat and set aside.
  4. If the oil is burned, then discard it. If not, then deglaze the pan with the marinade and stir in the vegetables.
  5. Add the beef, cover tightly, and braise until the interior heat reaches 180. It should be fork-tender.
  6. While the beef cooks, prepare the knedlicky.
  7. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside, covered.
  8. Now make the sauce: Puree the cooking vegetables and liquid until it forms a pale smooth sauce, then add the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring to a low boil and add salt and pepper as needed.
  9. When the beef and the sauce are ready, then you can assemble the dumplings and garnishes for the traditional presentation.
Serve with sweetened cranberry jelly, whipped cream, and sliced lemon.
Jana Ryndin, plus many web sources