Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beef with Tomato Sauce – Rajska Omacka

A common dish served by my grandparents on several occasions was Rajska Omacka which is a Czech tomato gravy served over a generous cut of beef. I have seen several variations of the type of beef cuts served with Rajska in many Czech restaurants throughout the Chicago area. The most common cut of beef is typically sirloin tip or chuck roast. Some of the homemade versions will use any beef cut under the sun, including ground varieties used in such meals as stuffed green peppers and meat loaf. I think a slow cooked pot roast/shoulder cut will work quite well. Simply season a good 2 ½ to 3 pound chuck roast with salt and pepper and place in a slow cooker. Top with a splash of vinegar and cook at low setting for about seven to eight hours. The Rajska Sauce recipe is below. Even though this sauce is a combination of sweet and sour flavors (tomato, vinegar, sour cream, and sugar), the final product should end up on the sweeter side, especially as this dish will appeal to many younger diners. One can also substitute lemon juice in place of vinegar.

Rajska Omacka (Beef Roast With Czech Tomato Sauce)

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, diced

1 ½ tablespoons flour

2 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

3 allspice

1 cup tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar


1. Melt butter and sauté onions until tender.

2. Add flour and stir to make a light brown roux.

3. Slowly add broth, tomatoes, allspice and bay leaf and stir together.

4. Add pinch of salt and pepper and simmer for about twenty five minutes.

5. Run sauce through a sieve into another small pot or bowl.

6. Stir in vinegar and sugar choosing your degree of sweetness or bitterness.

7. Serve over slow cooked pot roast and knedlicky (dumplings).

(Tip: For a richer sauce I often opt for adding in a ¼ cup of sour cream at the very end.)

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