Tafelspitz, a simple feast for the frugal Emperor

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Tafelspitz Beef with Horseradish sauce

In Franconia we call Tafelspitz “Fränkisches Hochzeitsessen”, or Franconian Wedding Dinner and was a stable meal on our dinner table

Tafelspitz (boiled beef) has a rich history in Austria

From a simple meal to the sumptuous feast, originally, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. had boiled beef served because the dish wasn’t too expensive. Only his chef refined this meal and developed the boiled beef into a culinary classic.

Emperor Franz Joseph I was considered to be extremely frugal and asked his master chef to regularly serve cooked beef instead of a delicious multi-course menu. At least the emperor didn’t go too far in saving and allowed his cooks to use the best cut of beef.

This is how boiled beef became socially acceptable. The subjects of the thrifty emperor, loyal, and at the same time eager to enjoy, let their culinary imagination run wild and gradually turned the rather modest court favorite dish into a scrumptious feast.

I have prepared the Tafelspitz in the Instant Pot before with all the spices and vegetables, water, below and had great results. You would time the beef roast about 25 minutes per pound on high pressure, 10 minute slow release.

Beef boiled in spices and vegetables and served with wide noodles or boiled potatoes, a horseradish sauce and “Preiselbeeren” which I substitute with my Cranberry chutney

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