Beef sirloin with cream sauce (svíčková omáčka)

Beef sirloin with cream sauce (svíčková omáčka)
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Preparation time

Preparation time
30 minutes
Cooking time
120 minutes

Number of portions



  • 750 g beef sirloin or beef back
    50 g bacon, cut in narrow bits
    salt, ground pepper
    2 bigger carrots
    150 g celery root
    1 parsley
    1 bigger onion
    5 peppercorns
    3 allspice balls
    3 bay leaves
    pinch of thyme
    150 g melted butter
    juice from 1 lemon
    100 g mustard
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (finely ground)
    250 ml cream for whipping
    if necessary, milk for diluting
    lemon cut in slices
    cranberry sauce
    What do you think of at a notion of a “typical Czech meal”? No matter what exactly, beef sirloin with cream sauce will definitely rank in top 5, which might also be the reason why there have been so passionate debates about the “one and only” real recipe.
    The main bone of contention lies in the type of meat to be used – whether it has to be only beef sirloin (called svíčková in Czech), or whether other meat cuts are also possible, as using beef sirloin for long stewing is a bit of waste. This is connected to disputes about the true name of the meal; should it be called simply svíčková omáčka (sauce) svíčková na smetaně (sirloin with cream sauce)? Supporters of the former version think of a vegetable sauce that used to be served to craftsmen by their supervisor’s wife before they went home for winter. And as the dinner was served in the evening and the room was lit by candles (candle meaning svíčka in Czech), the sauce started to be called svíčková. Their opponents refer to famous Czech cookery books by Anuše Kejřová or Marie Janků-Sandtnerová, both of them using uniquely real sirloin meat cut to be roasted with the vegetables.
    Yet another heated discussions concern the very preparation – whether the meat should be roasted separately or stewed together with vegetables, whether the sauce should be seasoned with mustard and whether it should be mixed with a blender or pressed through a sieve. In short, as one can see, there are as many recipes as there are cooks. At least there are no arguments as to using bread dumplings as a side dish...


  • Clean the meat, get it rid of membranes and lard with bacon. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Clean the onion and cut it in small cubes, clean the vegetables and grate it. Put the vegetables in the casserole, place the meat on top, add spices, sprinkle with lemon juice and pour over the melted butter. Cover with a lid and let sit in the fridge overnight.
    The next day baste the meat with some water and stew in the oven, covered with a lid. When tender, take the meat out and let sit. Remove the spices from the sauce, especially bay leaves. 
    Bring the sauce slowly to boil. Add mustard, two tablespoons of flour and stir fry. Pour in the cream and boil gently, mixing from time to time. If the sauce is too thick, dilute it with some milk. Finally sieve through and press softened vegetables in the sauce through a sieve. Season with salt, add some lemon juice or some sugar. To highlight its taste, you can add some caramelized sugar (caramelize one tablespoon of sugar, when it starts melting and turns brown, baste with some water and cook).
    Divide the meat into portions, put it back in the sauce and heat up. Serve with bread dumpling, slice of lemon and cranberry sauce. 
    Extra tip:
    Some cooks always fry the vegetable before putting it to the sauce mixture, arguing, that its dark colour gives the right shade to the sauce. Just try yourselves what suits you the best. 

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