Pressure Cooker Tafelspitz

The Austrian Boiled Beef Dish Done The Pressure Cooker Way

Tafelspitz Plate2

Considered by many to be the national dish of Austria, Tafelspitz is basically beef boiled with root vegetables and spices. There are also several traditional sauces that it can be served with. I made an Apple-Horseradish Sauce to go with this one, and I have to say, it was tasty!

Austrian cooking tends to include a lot of sausages and various fried things, so this dish can be considered Austrian health food (ok, maybe not if you make potatoes fried in duck fat to go with it as I did, but I also served it with pickles, so that cancels out the duck fat. Right? Right?)

Tafelspitz Ingredients

I used the traditional tri-tip (which in Austria is also know as Tafelspitz), but you could use some brisket or top round. Unless it has an unusually large fat cap, just leave the fat on, or trim off just some of it. I used a two-pounder, because as seems to be the case lately the store didn’t have a three pound one (three pounds is about as large as tri-tip gets).

Tafelspitz Meat

Since this dish is traditionally boiled, it is one of the rare instances where I don’t brown the meat before pressure cooking.

The root vegetables can be a little flexible if you cannot find something. Just throw in an extra carrot or parsnip. I used two parsnips, two carrots, two celery stalks, and this is where it stops sounding like Noah’s ark, because I only used one small bulb of celeriac (celery root) and one leek. All the vegetables will be strained out later, so I didn’t bother peeling the carrots or parsnips. The celeriac I did peel, because I was getting tired of looking at its ugly mug. It is not the most attractive of veggies. I trimmed most of the dark green off the leek, cut it in half and soaked it a bit in some water, since leeks can be rather dirty.

Tafelspitz Veggies Cut

The treatment of the onion seems to be very specific, and who am I to stray from tradition? The onion is cut in half, unpeeled, and browned on the cut side in a hot skillet with no oil until well browned, almost scorched. After this process, I pulled off the loose outer skin and rinsed and dried the outside of the onion.

Tafelspitz Onion Charring

I peeled and crushed five cloves of garlic a bit with the side of a knife.

After the browning and chopping and whatnot, throw it all into the pressure cooker with twelve cups of water, ten peppercorns, six juniper berries and two teaspoons of beef flavored Better Than Bouillon (you can substitute a couple cups of beef stock for two cups of the water and the BTB).

Tafelspitz Onion Charred

And as seems to be the norm with most of my recipes, toss a couple of bay leaves in, put the top on the cooker and set heat to high.

Tafelspitz Everything In Pot

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 40 minutes.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the apple horseradish sauce. A lot of recipes use fresh apples and freshly grated horseradish, but I cheated by using unsweetened applesauce and prepared horseradish.

Apple Horseradish Sauce Ingredients

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 1 cup applesauce, 1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (to taste, and depending how hot your horseradish is), 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sour cream and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Taste, and add 1 tablespoon honey if needed. Stir well, cover and put in the fridge until ready to serve.

Tafelspitz Finished

When the time is up, let the pressure come down on its own for 10-15 minutes then do a quick release.

Remove the meat to a plate to rest, and strain the broth. Taste the broth very carefully (it will be very hot) and add salt and pepper to taste.

Tafelspitz Resting

Slice the meat against the grain a bit on the thick side, pour a little broth over it (the broth is sometimes also served as a soup, but I didn’t do that).

Tafelspitz Sliced

Now, don’t forget about that apple-horseradish sauce in the fridge (which I came very close to doing) and top the meat with a couple dollops. You can also serve some on the side in case anyone wants more (this recipe makes quite a bit).

Tafelspitz Plate4

I served with duck fat fried potatoes. Boiled and buttered small potatoes would also go well with it. You can also add a vegetable, but I just went with pickles.

Serve with a glass of Grüner Veltliner or an Austrian beer such as Gösser or Stiegl.


Pressure Cooker Tafelspitz
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Austrian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4 servings
A pressure cooker version of Austria's national dish. Traditionally boiled, the pressure cooker cuts down the time significantly.
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots, washed and cut in 2" chunks
  • 2 parsnips, washed and cut in 2" chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, washed and cut in 2' chunks
  • 1 leek, cleaned then cut in half lengthwise
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 2-3 lb. tri-tip roast
  • 2 teaspoons beef flavored better than bouillon
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
For The Apple-Horseradish Sauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey (taste first, you may not need it depending on how tart your applesauce is)
  1. Pour 12 cups of water into the pressure cooker pot
  2. Add everything to the pot, except salt and pepper (adjust after cooking)
  3. Put top on pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  4. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  5. Set time for 40 minutes
  6. When time is up, take pot off heat, let pressure come down on its own for 10-15 minutes, then do a quick release
  7. Remove the meat to a plate to rest
  8. Pour broth through a strainer to remove vegetables and spices
  9. Taste broth (carefully, it will be very hot) and add salt and pepper if needed
  10. Slice meat against the grain on the thick side
  11. Top with Apple Horseradish Sauce
For The Apple Horseradish Sauce
  1. In medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until combined (taste and add honey, if needed)
  2. Cover and put in fridge until needed

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