icon Svíčková Roast

Svíčková in Czech, Lungenbraten in Austria and Lendenbraten in Germany are the various names given to a roasted whole filet mignon. Although the meat and the roasting are generally similar to the traditional English Roast Beef, there are significant diferences. Unlike the Roast Beef, the Svíčková Roast is marinated, roasted well done and served with a cream sauce and flour dumplings.

Here are two recipes for the Svíčková sauce. The first one is a classic one from Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová from her 1826 cookbook. The second one is our family recipe.

YIELD: Serves 4
SPECIAL TOOL: Chinoise strainer with a wooden pestle

For the Roast:

  • 1 2-lb sirloin roast
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 pieces of allspice
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Combine water, vinegar, vegetables, all spice, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool marinade to room temperature.
  2. Pour marinade onto roast in a baking dish and cover. Refrigerate marinated meat for at least 24-48 hours. Turn roast over every 12-24 hours
  3. When ready to roast, season meat with salt, pepper and thyme. Place roast into a roasting pan and cover with marinade and vegetables. Roast in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  4. Remove roast from the oven and place on a cutting board. Reserve remaining juices from roast and the vegetables.


Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová's 1826 Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp celery root, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp carrot and root parsley, finely chopped. (Rettigová's recipe called for root parsley, but parsnip can be substituted if root parsley is not available.)
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 whole pieces Allspice
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 dash thyme
  • Water or beef broth
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Salt
  • Lemon wheels, cranberries, whipped cream for garnish
  1. In an saucepan, sauté the chopped bacon with the chopped celery, root parsley chopped onion. Add the allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. When the vegetables are soft, pour 2 tbsp vinegar and a little water or broth into the mixture. Bring to a gentle boil. Mix sour cream with flour and thicken the sauce with it. Reduce heat to low and bring sauce to a slow boil and continue to cook for several minutes, stirring often.
  2. Remove from heat and press sauce through a chinoise strainer using a wooden pestle. Add salt or a little lemon juice to taste. If more thickening is needed, add a little light roux. Cover and keep sauce warm.


Family Sauce Recipe:
  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery root, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup root parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 pieces of allspice
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • 1 cup ??? whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon wheels, raspberrry, whipped cream for garnish.
  1. Begin sauce by combining flour and cream in a saute pan over low heat. Slowly add reserved marinade and vegetables to the heated sour cream and flour mixture. Bring to a gentle boil and stir sauce for several minutes over low heat. Flour should be completely dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and press sauce through a chinoise strainer using a wooden pestle. Add salt or a little lemon juice to taste.

  3. Return to low heat ad continue to stir until and mixture should be adequately thickened.


Final Assembly:
  1. Slice the roast into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange in the middle of a plate. Fan 4 bread dumpling slices on one side. Ladle sauce over the meat.
  2. Garnish the meat with lemon, raspberries and whipped cream. Place 1 lemon wheel onto meat, add 1 spoonfull of cranberries, finish with whipped cream.

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Last updated: October 12, 2010