Tafelspitz – Boiled Beef – Viennese cuisine

Tafelspitz – boiled beef – is a typical dish of Viennese cuisine. The thinly tapering tip of the beef tail is used to prepare the boiled fillet. This piece of meat is cooked in soup broth and then served sliced.

prime boiled beef with root vegetables and butter potatoes (viennese tafelspitz)
Tafelspitz © kabvisio /

As a classic side dish, the boiled fillet is served with chive sauce, breadcrumbs or apple horseradish, vegetables and roasted potatoes.

Tafelspitz – The story

In the late Middle Ages, beef was a valuable part of the diet for the Viennese population. In the 16th century, hundreds of thousands of Hungarian steppe cattle were shipped to Vienna. The meat was cooked even then, because it also gave a high-quality beef soup as a starter. Viennese cuisine was still a beef cuisine during the reign of Maria Theresia.

Probably the oldest mention of the word “Tafelspitz” can be found in the cookbook by Babette Franner from 1893 with the title “Die exquisite Wiener Küche”

According to the reports, the “Tafelspitz” was invented in the Hotel Sacher. After the court etiquette provided that no one was allowed to continue eating if the emperor put away his cutlery, the still hungry guests of the court table had to go out to eat again. Anna Sacher supposedly had a dish prepared for this, which could simmer for hours and was ready to serve at any time …

Emperor Franz Joseph I’s favorite dish

The dish was not only occasionally on the menu of the imperial court, but a favorite dish of Emperor Franz Joseph I. As a result, it was always an integral part of the menu.

Step by step preparation of the dish here as a video:


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Mehr Informationen

Further tips from Viennese cuisine: Schnitzel Vienna