Zwiebelrostbraten is sliced medium rare Roast Beef, served with fried onions on top, to which the name refers. It is a traditional dish of Swabian and Austrian cuisine and a classic dish in Vienna restaurants
In the Swabian region, the Onion roast beef is often served with Spätzle and is considered a Sunday meal. Regionally, it is also sold under the names “Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten”, “Allgäuer Zwiebelrostbraten” or “Schwäbischer Zwiebelrostbraten”.
Preferred is a Top Round Roast, cut similar to the top sirloin in fat and flavor, commonly used for roast beef. I suggest to freeze the meat for about two hours for easier slicing.
For preparation in modern guesthouses, slices of a Top Round beef roast, seasoned with salt and pepper, cut on the edges, turned in flour and possibly rubbed with mustard and garlic, are fried briefly in clarified butter or oil and kept warm. In the same pan, sliced onions, possibly sprinkled with paprika, are roasted and removed. Then add a little flour to the fat in the pan, stir, and extinguish with the stock, broth or wine, so that a slightly creamy sauce is created.
Depending on the recipe, the onions also stay in the sauce, which makes them softer. Finally, meat, sauce and onions are served together with side dishes such as fried potatoes, wide ribbon noodles or like in the Swabian region, Spätzle.
Zwiebelrostbraten or Onion Roast Beef
- 4 cups French Fried Onions (or make fresh)
- 1/2 lb Top Round beef roast, cut in 4 slices
- 1 medium onion, cut in cubes
- 1/2 cup red Wine
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
- Dash of salt and coarse pepper
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp cold butter
- 2 tbsp flour/starch for thickening the sauce
- Some Thyme, Marjoram to season (optional)
Fried Onions from scratch:
Cut the onions (1 lb) in rings, very thin with a knife or Mandoline food slicer.
Heat the oil on high in a saucepan.
Mix some flour with a little paprika powder and turn the onion rings in it.
Drop into the hot oil (1 cup) and fry with constant stirring until medium brown.
Lift the fried onions with a sieve, drain well and let cool down, spread out on paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt a little
- Pound the Roast Beef slices a little.
- Salt and pepper on both sides and dip in flour on one side, gently pressing it down.
- Heat the oil in a non-coated pan and first place the meat with the floured side down, fry until brown and turn.
- Finish frying the second side, remove and cover or keep warm in the oven.
- For the sauce, roast the onion cubes in the same pan until golden brown.
- Stir in tomato paste, deglaze with red wine, let it boil down and pour in the broth.
- Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Depending on the desired consistency, thicken with a mixed flour/starch and season to taste. Finally, stir some cold butter into the simmering sauce.
- Briefly cook the roast beef on low in the sauce, but don’t let it boil.
- Arrange on plates, pour the sauce over them and garnish with fried onions.
Eat with Spätzle or boiled potatoes, or home fries