Steak Oh Vienna is not an authentic Austrian dish. It is inspired by a real Viennese recipe Tafelspitz. Viennese Tafelspitz is a hearty stew made with tri-tip beef. And it is often served with horseradish cream and apple sauce.
This Steak Oh Vienna is something quite different.
I call it Steak Oh Vienna after the Ultravox song because the flavour in this reminds me of the full on flavour of 1980s dishes.
Why did I do this?
A couple of years ago I had this idea to do recipes from every EU country. Also I wanted to read up a bit more about each of the member states. Right now I’m just about the recipes though.
I feel like my time is particularly unstructured at the moment. I’m actually worried that I’m going to find it difficult to re-establish a routine. So I wanted to give myself some twimii project that would carry through the year. To the point that things are “back to normal”. So this is to give myself a little routine that should carry through that transition.
I don’t really want things “back to normal” though. Do you? Wouldn’t it be nice if we make things better in the wake of all this?
Too early to be talking about that maybe.
Anyway, I’ve picked a dish from each of the 27 member states. I’ll do one each week. Some I may just copy. Others will be slightly adjusted. And some, like this one, will be only tenuously linked to the original dish.
How did Tafelspitz inspire me to make Steak Oh Vienna?
I did a quick search for traditional dishes from Austria. This was the top entry in the first result. So I checked for some recipes and when I saw mention of juniper berries, allspice, horseradish and applesauce I knew I had my recipe.
I didn’t want to make a stew. Instead I opted for pan-fried steak, with oven roasted vegetables, creamy potatoes mashed with horseradish sauce and served with a dollop of apple sauce.
And the result?
It’s tasty. But it makes more sense as a stew.
Also I’m not sure applesauce works with beef. At least not pan-fried beef. I’ve had it with duck, goose and pork, and I loved those pairings.
I added a little wine to the recipe. Because I’ve always used wine or vinegar when deglazing a pan. Is that necessary? I honestly don’t know. Anyway in the photo of the ingredients below I have white wine. I chose white because I added in tarragon to the recipe. White wine and tarragon go together very well. But then I was worried that red wine would be better with the beef. And unfortunately I chickened out and used red wine in the end.
Maybe the applesauce would have worked better if I had used white wine? I don’t know.
I also roasted the vegetables in the fat off the steak. Did it add to the flavour? I’m not really sure. There’s a lot of flavour in this – and fat – so I’m just not sure.
Like I say this is nice. I enjoyed it. But here’s some links to the real thing:
Did you know Austria produces lovely wine? They do. You probably did know that. I didn’t until I did a wine tour of the Wachau Valley. By bike! It’s great. I highly recommend it. And actually touring the city itself by bicycle is great too.
1" slice of turnip/swede/rutabaga, peeled and diced
potatoes, peeled and sliced
horseradish sauce, check ingredients to ensure it's gluten-free
cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
100ml beef stock
1 sprig of tarragon
1 garlic, roughly crushed
small bit nutmeg
pinch of allspice,
2 - 3 juniper berries, roughly crushed
generous splash of red wine
salt and pepper
Turn the oven to 200C. Cut the fat off the steak. Rub a tiny amount of olive oil onto a baking tin. Place the fat in the tin and roast for 15 - 20 or until enough fat has melted to coat the base of the baking tin.
Rub the remaining meat with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Leave aside for frying later. You want the steak to be room temperature before frying as this helps it stay tender.
Place the cut vegetables in the roasting tin. Mix around so they are all covered in the fat. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 60 minutes or until everything is nicely brown and roasted.
Into a jug or bowl pour in 100ml of hot beef stock. Next add in the wine, tarragon, juniper berries, nutmeg, pinch of ground allspice, garlic clove and the plucked sprig of thyme. Leave to infuse while the veg are roasting.
About 10 minutes before the vegetables are ready put the sliced potatoes on to boil. When they have softened enough to mash, take off the heat and drain. Add in a good knob of butter and add a splash of milk. Mash. Add another splash of milk if needed. Add in a good pinch of salt. Add in a teaspoon of horseradish sauce and stir through the mash. Taste and add more horseradish sauce and/or salt as needed.
When the vegetables are roasted take half of the vegetables out of the pan and leave aside for later.
Through a strainer pour half the infused stock into the roasting tin and scrape all the contents of the tin into a food mixer. Add in 50mls of hot water and blend. It's still going to be a thick-ish paste.
To cook the steak, heat a pan on high heat. Do not add any oil into the pan - you've already added oil to the meat. When the pan is sizzling hot, place the steak in it. Press it down a few times so that it all gets well browned. Don't turn over until the bottom of the steak is nicely browned. You can lift up the edge with a fork to check this and then turn it over at the right time. You only turn over the steak once - otherwise the steak will be less tender. When you've turned over the steak let it fry on high for a minute or two then top with a small pat of butter and reduce the heat to moderate-low. Let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Then take the steak out of the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Once the steak is out of the pan, add in the rest of the infused stock through a strainer. Turn up the heat a little and de-glaze the pan. Take the mix from the food mixer and stir this around on the hot pan for about a minute. Add all that it in the pan back into the food mixer and add in another good splash of hot water - about 50mls. Mix. If the puree is too thick add in more boiling hot water and mix until you have a thick gravy-like consistency. Pour this gravy over the roasted veg you put aside earlier.
Add the sliced apple to a small saucepan with a little water. Bring to the boil. When the apple is soft enough to mash - usually only takes 5 minutes - remove from the heat. Add in some brown sugar, mash, taste and repeat until you have some nicely sweet applesauce.
Serve the steak with the mashed potato, some roasted veg and a good dollop of applesauce.
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