28 September 2022

Svíčková and St. Wenceslaus

 Dedicated to my little sister Alžběta who has never had a poor critique of my Czech roast.

This is an excellent time of year for my family, both of our Confirmation Saints are celebrated within days of each other: St. Wenceslaus and St. Therese of Lisieux.  We also get to celebrate the great traditional feast of Michaelmas / The Feast of the Archangels.  Sept. 28th is my eldest daughter's baptismal day, so she also renewed her baptismal promises that evening after vespers.  Good Times for all.

Every year, we have a Czech feast, and most years we post pictures and my little sister asks me for recipes, and I tell her I will get them sent.  She has been very patient with me. 

Svíčková na Smetaně 

Basically marinated beef in cream sauce, we had been eating this by the pound from Bohemian Cafe long before they even thought about closing their doors.  The problem with the recipe is that it is a matter of proportions, time, and what is available.


Some roast like meat, sirloin is classic, tenderloin is tasty, chuck is just fine
Root vegetables: onion, carrots, celery, parsnips.
Seasoning: salt, peppercorns, allspice, marjoram, bay leaves
Liquids: Vinegar (I like Apple Cider), Topping off liquid (I use apple juice if the 3-year-old prince is not looking.
Sour cream... and corn starch..... and some milk type liquid...

If you have days to marinate, use a little less vinegar.

If you have a day and a half to 2 days:

Lard the beef with the bacon: cut into the meat, force bacon inside.

Season roast with salt and pepper.... just for good measure  

Stick in a non-reactive container or plastic bag with cut-up vegetables.  

Fill halfway with vinegar and halfway with topping off liquid.

Use your common sense.  you want the liquid to be in contact with everything, but you don't want to stick it in a giant metal stockpot, so don't chop up 12 onions and 2 large parsnips and then use a whole jug of apple cider vinegar for a 2-pound roast.

When the time has come, remove the roast from its bath, sear on all sides and place in a pan so that when you put the vegetable bath in, it only goes halfway up the roast.

Roast at 350ºF till it's done.  Seriously, it depends on your cut of beef.  

Take the roast out and let it set.  Strain the juice from the veggies, discard the veggies.  Bring the jus to a boil.  On the side mix some milk or water, or almond milk with cornstarch and add to boiling liquid to thicken.  Season to taste.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 spoonfuls of sour cream.

While all this is going on, make some potato dumplings that are the size of your child's forearm and cook them

And serve
We didn't have sourcream that the Eldest could have this year.... so it doesn't have that classic look to the gravy.... my bad.

Betty, I am sorry this was so late in coming..... if you can even call it a recipe.

Eat Kolaces for desert