In the Czech kitchen: Beef with tangy horseradish sauce is the ultimate winter dish

Horseradish, a staple of Czech cuisine, pairs perfectly with boiled beef and bacon dumplings for a warming winter meal.


Written by Ambiente Published on 16.11.2023 14:00:00 (updated on 16.11.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

Creamy horseradish sauce holds a special place in Czech cuisine, a fact that is evident from old cookbooks that dedicate entire chapters to this tangy sauce and its variations. Chefs from Prague restaurants Čestr and Lokál walked us through the process of preparing this ultimate winter comfort food, best served atop spongey bread dumplings and paired with boiled beef.

Czech culinary tradition dictates that a successful horseradish sauce (Křenová omáčka) begins with the farmer's honest work, the selection of quality horseradish, a keen understanding of the role of butter roux, and most importantly allowing the spicy winter root vegetable to enhance simple dishes with a pungent kick.

A fresh take on the classic recipe

At Čestr, fresh horseradish is replaced with juice, which is pressed in a slow juicer. Horseradish juice has the advantage of not turning bitter even after being incorporated into the sauce. The sauce is deepened by the addition of beef stock, which is also used combined with chicken stock. The pungency of the horseradish is accentuated by the addition of apple cider vinegar. "The sauce needs to be seasoned well, first and foremost. If it accidentally curdles, you can save it with a stick blender," chef Pavel Brichzin says.

recipe Horseradish sauce step-by-step

Serves 4


  • 500 ml velouté
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 100 ml horseradish juice (from one smaller horseradish)
  • 30 g sugar
  • 12 g salt
  • 20 ml apple cider vinegar

For the velouté

  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g spelt flour
  • 750 ml beef stock
  • 2.5 g salt


  • First, begin with the velouté, which starts with the butter roux. Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is nicely golden.
  • Pour in the stock and bring to the boil to half a liter, or about a third. Season with salt at the end.
  • Meanwhile, drain the horseradish. The remaining pulp cannot be used because it will lose all flavor when pressed.
  • Add the cream to the velouté, boil briefly, and finally stir in the horseradish juice.
  • Season the sauce with sugar, salt, and vinegar and cook gently for a few minutes.
  • Best served with beef recipe shown below and bread or bacon dumplings according to taste.

For the bacon dumpling (2 loaves):

  • 225 g bacon, diced
  • 600 g brioche, diced
  • 10 eggs, of which you will use 7 whites and 10 yolks
  • 100 ml cream
  • a pinch of salt
  • 15 g parsley, chopped
  • 2.5 g grated nutmeg


  • 1.In a frying pan, cook the fat. Save the crackling for later.
  • 2.Fry the sliced brioche in the rendered lard.
  • 3.Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whip the seven egg whites into a stiff snow, and the cream into a thinner whipped cream.
  • 4.Transfer the toasted brioche to a bowl. Stir in the crackling, egg yolks, and whipped cream. Season with salt and stir in both parsley and nutmeg. Finally, gently fold in the egg-whites.
  • 5.Gently stir the mixture, divide it in half, and wrap it in cling film, which will help to form compact doughnuts.
  • 6.Remove the dumplings from the foil and steam them for 30 minutes.

CHEF'S TIP: Instead of brioche, you can opt for aged or toasted brioche dough, which contains plenty of butter and releases a specific, slightly sweet taste, especially if baked from spelt flour.

recipe Beef with horseradish sauce from Lokál

In Lokál locations throughout Prague, they pay attention to the local origin of horseradish and follow a practice that has been in Czech households for centuries. 

For 4 servings you need:

  • 4 l of water
  • 4 balls of allspice
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400 g beef neck
  • 100 g fresh horseradish
  • 20 g salt
  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 ml cooking cream (12%)


  • 1.Pour the water into the pot and add the allspice, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to the boil.
  • 2.Before the water boils, discard the excess tallow and sinew from the meat. Clean, peel, and wash the horseradish. Wrap it in a wet cloth and store it in the fridge.
  • 3.Salt the boiling water and put the meat in it. Cook over low heat until tender; this takes about 2½-3 hours.
  • 4.In the meantime, prepare the stock. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and cook over medium heat until golden. When the roux is golden, set it aside to cool.
  • 5.Remove the softened beef from the pot. Add the milk to the remaining stock and bring to the boil. Then gradually stir in the butter stock while the sauce gradually thickens.
  • 6.Taste and season with salt if necessary. Add the sugar and leave to bubble for about 10 minutes.
  • 7.Finely grate the cleaned horseradish.
  • 8.Stir the cream into the cooked sauce to soften it and stir in the grated horseradish. Immediately set the sauce aside and strain it through a fine sieve after about 5 minutes. Squeeze the horseradish lightly into the sauce and then discard it and the spices.
  • 9.Slice the meat and return it to the sauce for a while to warm it up. As a side dish, you can choose either sourdough dumplings or boiled potatoes.

In the Czech Kitchen is a weekly column written in cooperation with the culinary experts from Ambiente. Established in 1995, the Prague-based collective of pubs, restaurants, and fine-dining outlets has transformed the Czech culinary landscape and lent to the widespread awareness of quality food service and production in Czechia. Follow their socials or book your table at

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