SVICKOVA (PICKLED BEEF)

wench

When talking about Czech cuisine, one must remember that until recently it was Czechoslovakia and that included Slovaks and Germans. A small minority of Hungarians and Gypsy. So anything could be found there. The Svikovia – Pickled Beef came from notes my mother had still in German script. I remains a Czech dish and may be from a grandmother (Morgenstern) that I never knew. Both my grandparents came from the Czech -Bohemia region that was once known as the Sudetenland.

3 pounds rolled rump/rib roast or tenderloin
4 slices bacon
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. butter
1/2 cup celery — diced
1/2 cup carrots — diced
1-2 bay leaf
5 whole peppers
5 allspice
1 onion — diced
(I use 1/2 cup onion and 1/2 cup diced parsnip)
pinch of thyme
two pinches of pepper
(pinch of (near forgot 2 tbs. parsley)

pinch of Paprika
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tbs. brown sugar
sometimes I add 1/2 lemon

If a corded roast, unbind, insert bacon slices around the roast. Rebind. Rub with salt and one pinch of pepper. Melt one bacon slice and butter in a Dutch oven, add the vegetables (celery root can be added as well).
Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add bay leaf and other herbs. Place meat on top of mixture; cover and simmer for at least one hour. Mix the water, vinegar, sugar and lemon juice (optional), pour over meat. Take Dutch oven and place within oven. Cook at 350 degree for another hour – or until meat is well done and tender. Add water or wine as needed! (It is a long process and these additions are often well excused.) Cut meat into thin slices and set aside.

GRAVY: is 1 pint of sour cream, added to the juices and vegetable remains. Blend the remains in blender (or hand beater) return to pot, add in 2 tbs. flour or arrowroot equivalent. Stir vigorously with back of fork. Pot should be on a slow simmer. Stir floured gravy for about 3-5 minutes, then add sour cream, bring up heat to just below boiling — reduce and cook over low heat another 10 minutes. Strain and serve over meat.

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. [Henry David Thoreau]

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