Sviečková na Smotane
On a recent trip to Prague, our host Peter, the acclaimed Czech chef who has cooked several times for Pope John Paul II, taught us how to make Beef with Cream Sauce, or Sviečková na Smotane in Czech. This is a rich, heavenly dish best served with a side of green vegetables, such as steamed swiss chard or spinach.
- 1 large rutabaga
- 2 parsnips
- 8 carrots
- 1/3 cup sunflower oil
- 2 large end pieces of bacon
- bouquet garni: whole peppers, allspice, bay leaves
- 2 large chunks beef
- salt to taste
- 3 cups water
- 3 lemons
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 pints cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Peter chopped a large rutabaga, a couple of parsnips and eight carrots, and dropped them into a pot with 1/3 cup of sunflower oil and a couple of large pieces of bacon skin.
- He made a bouquet garni of whole peppers, allspice and bay leaves, tied up in a piece of white cotton gauze with black string.
- He dropped it into the sizzling vegetables and continued to brown the vegetables, and then dropped in two large chunks of beef, pushing the vegetables to the side, and browned the meat on all sides.
- He added salt, about 3 cups of water, and then covered the pot with a lid.
- A little while later he added the zest of 3 lemons.
- After about an hour, he removed the meat, and then added 2 spoons of grainy mustard to the pot.
- He then added the juice of 3 lemons.
- Then made a roux of ½ c flour and 1/2c water, and added it to the broth
- He added 2 pints of cream, and 1-2 heaping tbsp of sugar shortly before serving.
Peter served the beef with the cream sauce and knedle (recipe here), and a dollop of blackberry relish.