Dive into the rich culinary heritage of the Czech Republic with Svíčková na Smetaně, a beloved traditional dish that tantalizes taste buds with its unique flavors and textures. This iconic Czech meal features tender beef sirloin marinated in a creamy vegetable sauce, often accompanied by bread dumplings and a dollop of tangy cranberry sauce for the perfect balance of savory and sweet. Discover the essence of Czech gastronomy as you savor each bite of this hearty and comforting dish, which reflects the country's passion for hearty meals and warm hospitality.

Here's a traditional recipe for Czech Svíčková na Smetaně:


For the marinade:

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds beef sirloin (trimmed of excess fat)
  • 2 onions (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste

For serving:

  • Bread dumplings (you can find recipes online or use store-bought)
  • Cranberry sauce (optional)
  • Lemon wedges


1- In a large pot, combine the chopped onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, beef broth, white wine vinegar, water, salt, and pepper to make the marinade. Place the beef sirloin in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

2- After marinating, remove the beef sirloin from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade, reserving the vegetables and discarding the bay leaves and spices.

3- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef sirloin on all sides until nicely browned. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.

4- In the same pot, add the reserved vegetables from the marinade and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and pour in the strained marinade. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer it to the preheated oven.

5- Cook the beef in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.

6- Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it rest on a cutting board while you prepare the sauce.

7- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

8- Gradually whisk in the heavy cream and sour cream until smooth. Cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

9- Slice the beef sirloin thinly against the grain. Serve the sliced beef with the creamy vegetable sauce poured over the top. Accompany with bread dumplings, cranberry sauce, and lemon wedges on the side.

Enjoy your homemade Czech Svíčková na Smetaně!

Nutritional Values:

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the ingredients used in the Czech Svíčková na Smetaně recipe:

Beef Sirloin (per 100g):

  • Calories: 210 kcal
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits:Excellent source of protein and essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, which are important for muscle health, energy production, and immune function.

Onions (per 100g):

  • Calories: 40 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g

benefits: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, onions have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. They may also help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Carrots (per 100g):

  • Calories: 41 kcal
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g

benefits: High in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body, carrots promote good vision, immune function, and skin health. They are also a good source of fiber, supporting digestive health.

Celery (per 100g):

  • Calories: 16 kcal
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1.6 g

benefits: Low in calories and high in water content, celery is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It may help lower inflammation, reduce blood pressure, and support digestion.

Bay Leaves, Peppercorns, Cloves: These are used in small quantities and contribute minimal nutritional value.

benefits: Bay Leaves, Peppercorns, Cloves: While used in small amounts for flavoring, these spices contain antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties.

White Wine Vinegar (per 100g):

  • Calories: 18 kcal
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits:Contains acetic acid, which may help lower blood sugar levels, aid digestion, and promote weight loss when consumed in moderation.

Heavy Cream (per 100g):

  • Calories: 340 kcal
  • Protein: 2.1 g
  • Fat: 35 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits: High in fat and calories, heavy cream adds richness and flavor to dishes. It provides energy and can be a good source of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A and D.

Sour Cream (per 100g):

  • Calories: 193 kcal
  • Protein: 2.8 g
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.7 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits: Contains beneficial probiotics that support gut health and digestion. It's also a good source of calcium, vitamin B12, and other nutrients.

Butter (per 100g):

  • Calories: 717 kcal
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Fat: 81 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits:Rich in saturated fats and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, butter provides energy and supports brain function, hormone production, and cell structure.

All-Purpose Flour (per 100g):

  • Calories: 364 kcal
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 76 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g

benefits:While low in nutrients, flour serves as a binding agent in recipes and provides carbohydrates, which are a primary source of energy for the body.

These values are approximate and may vary based on factors such as cooking methods and specific brands used.


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