Sunday, October 14, 2007

Svickova (Marinated Beef)

Cooler weather ushers in more czech cooking.

Well, the weather has finally cooled down here in Chicago which means I can immerse myself into cooking more Bohemian food. Today, I made Svickova which is marinated beef. This recipe much resembles the Chateau recipe with a few alerations here and there. I usually enjoy this dish served over dumplings with green beans on the side. I try to slice the roast as thin as possible so I can place the meat directly on top the dumplings when serving. A cold pilsner to accompany the meal is always good. Here is the recipe.

Marinated Beef (Svickova)

3 lbs Sirloin Roast
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Vinegar
2 Carrots, Chopped
2 Ribs of Celery, Chopped
2 Parsnips, Chopped
1 onion, Chopped
5 pieces of Allspice
6 Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
4 Tbls All Purpose Flour
1 16oz container Sour Cream
1 Cup Beef Broth
1/2 Tsp Thyme


1. Combine water, vinegar, vegetables, all spice, peppercorns, and bay leaves into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
2. Cool marinade to room temperature.
3. Pour marinade onto roast in baking dish and cover.
4. Refrigerate marinated meat for at least twenty four hours. (I recommend you marinate for at least 48 hours). Flip roast over every 12-24 hours to both sides adequately absorb marinade.
5. When ready to roast, season meat with salt, pepper and thyme. Place roast into roasting pan and cover with marinade and vegetables. Place roasting pan in preheated 350 degree oven. Roast for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
6. Remove roast from oven and place on cutting board. Reserve remaining juices from roast and discard vegetables.
7. Begin sauce by combining flour and sour cream in saute pan over low heat.
8. Slowly add reserved marinade and beef broth to heated sour cream and flour mixture.
9. Stir sauce for seven minutes over low heat. Flour should be dissolved and mixture should be adequately thickened.
10. Serve sauce over thinly sliced beef.
11. Serve over dumplings.



World Government Watcher said...

Thank you!!! I love this food. Im sure that ill impress a few people with my czech cooking skills!

Tanja said...

Hi (I am not sure if I can write in Czech so I will write in English)!

I found your great blog searching for "Svickova" recipe. My name is Tanja, I am Czech living in the US for about 10 years now. I also have a blog called the Czechmate diary ( so I hope you can check it out!I created it specifically for people like us, Czechs living abroad. You may be pleasantly surprised that I am patriotic like you and also have the "Czech recipes" category :)

PS: I make Svickova the same way as you do but my meat always comes out tough!!! Any ideas??

el_floz said...

Dear 4czech,

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it worked great!


telatko said...

Upecte si vyborny cesky chleba!
Vice na

4Czech said...

děkuji vám!

Delaney said...

Mine is a little different but I always like "czeching" out other ideas. Hey some of us US citizens haven't forgotten our heritage!!!

Mejte se hezky! To je velmi dobra!

Rowdy said...

I just returned from Prague and Loved it, took me a few days to find the recipe, but so glad you had it posted here. Can't wait to try it out on my friends ...

Duane Carr said...

We used to live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where there are lots of Czech immigrants and great Czech food (although the Czech part of town was flooded a year ago). I sold a Czech dinner at our church auction. As part of the supper, I used a recipe from the Cedar Rapids cook book I have. It was quite similar to your recipe. It was a big hit! Also, it was quite tender. I marinated it longer than you suggest.

Helen said...

Thanks for the GREAT recipe and all the feedback on Czech cooking.

Love to all,

Helen Dobrensky

vanessa said...

my mouth is watering!

Jarmil said...

I love this recipe because it is detailed. I am from Czech Repbublic and live in US now. Czechs don't really like to explain their recipes too much as if we should know all the details already.

Thanks for this great post.


4czech said...

Thank you for stopping by my svickova recipe. This is probably my favorite czech dish and enjoy sharing it with all of you.

Duane - I am planning a trip next summer to Cedar Rapids as I live next door in Illinois. I would love to sample some good Iowa Czech cuisine.

Jarmil - You are so right about following czech recipes handed down. My Babi's (Grandmothers) recipes are tough to follow sometimes. I will sometimes have to pick up the phone and call my mother to get through the recipe or I experiment!

Greg said...

I am making Svickova this weekend! I havent had it in years and was thrilled to find your recipe! My parents were from the czech republic and I visited prague and some long lost relatives several years ago...I ordered svickova every opportunity I had! I am also delighted to see your recipe for beef and dill... we ate this about once a week when I was growing up and it reminds me of my childhood. Can't wait to try your recipe for that too!

4czech said...

Greg, hope you enjoyed the Svickova.

Greg said...

I made the Svickova and the yeast dumplings this weekend for friends who were working on finishing a deck. I served it with a simple "red salad" (red leaf lettuce, sliced radishes,pickled beets, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and a russian dressing). It was a smash hit, good hearty stick to your ribs food, perfect after a day spent working outdoors in the cool October weather. Thank you for this is exactly like my mother used to make!

Anonymous said...

I was actually doing research for a story I'm writing when I came across this recipe, and wow am I glad I did. This dish is absolutely amazing! Thank you sooo much for sharing! I even paired it with your recipe for Bohemian Dumplings. So yummy.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend browning the roast in oil on all sides before roasting it. That will seal the flavor in and perhaps answer one of the questions posted here about the meat turning out tough.

Radim, New Orleans,

Sandy said...

I have been making Svickova for years for my husband whos family is bohemian. (I guess it is now Czech) I was totally amazed that is old recipe he gave me is almost identical to this one! This has to be about the best way to cook beef in the world.

Last night I served it to 22 friends and they were blown away by the tastes!

My meat has never been tough - I use a 2 - 3 inch think chuck roast and cook it slowly at 300 for 4 hours in lots of marinade.

Milan Jara said...

Every time I get an email that someone posted on this forum, my mouth gets watery and I think of the creamy taste of the sauce with steamed dumplings and the tasty beef.

I think is time to marinate.

Kveta said...

May I please, correct this recipe – vegetable used for marinating and roasting is not being discarded – it is used to (grated or pressed trough sieve) make a great gravy – believe me – it is a very typical Czech recipe (and includes vegetable) - you would find it trough “Google” or any other Czech website (translated to English or any other languages).

Greg said...

I agree with the vegetables and press them through the sieve for a luxurious sauce...thats the way I remember my Czech mother doing it!

4Czech said...

Kveta, thanks for the tip!

Anna said...

thank you finally i have a recipe this was my favourite dish as a child and I always asked my father for it but I think he just enjoyed making me for me so much that he never parted with the recipe. He passed away suddenly and i have been searching for the recipe. thank you

Anonymous said...

I met some Czech exchange students at a Halloween party, and they INSIST that Svickova does not call for vinegar!

They said that you use sour creme, but that you never actually add vinegar! Crazy...

4Czech said...

To each their own. This recipe is a "hand me down" from my grandmother and teta. Somewhere in the recipe whether preparing Svickova or even Sauerbraten, there needs to be an acidic/sour flavor whether using vinegar, lemon juice, or pickle juice. The acidity breaks down the meat and gives the sauce or gravy that hint of tartness which we all enjoy

Kathy said...

I am excited to try this recipe after trying this at a Brookfield, IL restaurant.
Why do some recipes call for pickling spices while marinating for two days?

Sonabi said...

Does anybody have a good recipe for the dumpling?

4Czech said...

Sonabi, I do have a dumpling recipe. Click on my Czech Dumplings link above under Cherished Czech Recipes.

john said...

if you combine all the vegetables pureed into the sauce it will improve the dish significantly

Missy said...

Reading the recipe and all of the comments brings me back to my childhood. I too grew up in chicago. My moms side of the family are full czech. My great great grandparents came over here right before the war/during the war. Cant remember exactly when. Anyway, i can remember my great grandmother making this dish on cold fall nights. When she passed away yrs ago, she took the recipe with her. The only place i could get it was a little restaurant in cicero (suburb of chicago). Now that i have found the recipe, i can make it for my children and my louisana/southern missouri hick fiance. Lol. You also cant forget plum dumplings.......uh, gotta go. Must buy some plums. Lol.