For savory Gulasch, Gasthaus zum Sieg is the real deal

Gasthaus zum Sieg is a real-life Beisl (bistro), not an “Original Vienna Kitchen” (in six languages), nor cutely restyled for hipsters seeking an “authentic experience.” There has been a Gasthaus (tavern) in this quiet corner of the 2nd district since 1763, re-named Zum Sieg (At the Sign of Victory) after Napoleon’s defeat at the battle of Aspern near Vienna in 1809.  Walk in any time of the day or night and you can expect a cheerful nod from innkeeper Franz Tomsits at the bar. Order a drink before taking off your coat and there’ll be a freshly drawn, foam-topped Krügel by the time you’re sitting down.  Their house wine comes in a no-nonsense Viertel (quarter liter) mug – a very acceptable alternative at an equally no-nonsense price of €2.80.

The atmosphere is familial, with regulars scattered around the half dozen tables. Every day, they serve two or three freshly cooked Wiener Leibgerichte (traditional dishes) but one of them is always the Gulasch, that beloved, naturalized transplant from Hungary.

Not for delicate veggies, Tomsits has been cooking it after his mother’s recipe for the last 25 years: This steaming plate of tender beef is best accompanied by a Semmel or Salzstange (breadrolls) to mop up the delicious paprika-infused juices. Vitamin requirements are met by a sliced pickle. Mahlzeit!  


Gasthaus zum Sieg

2., Haidgasse 8
(01) 214 46 53
Mon-Fri 10:00-0:00
(Wed 17:00-0:00)
Sat 9:00-14:00 & 17:00-22:00
Sun 9:00-22:00


 

Recipe

Gulasch zum Sieg (Allow 3-4 hours)

Gulasch recipe
Gulasch zum Sieg © Lennart Horst

Fry the onions in a large pot in a margarine and oil mixture on the lowest heat setting until golden brown (about ¾ hour).

Add paprika, quench with vinegar immediately.

Now add the marjoram (a variety of oregano), caraway seeds and chopped beef, salt and generously pepper; simmer on low heat for a half hour.

Add beef broth (a soup cube will do) – just enough to partially cover the meat, simmer another hour (top up with beef broth if necessary).

Add 2-3 dried chilies and a whole head of pressed garlic for the last hour.

Cover with the water and flour mix and stir well shortly before serving.

Ingredients (Serves 15-20; divide by four to serve four generously)

3 kg onions

1 head of garlic

4 kg stewing beef, chopped into cubes (Wadschunken in local dialect)

200 g paprika edelsüß (sweet), finely ground – not spicy hot!

1/8 l vinegar

10 g marjoram

1 tablespoon caraway seeds (Kümmel)

½ l beef broth

2-3 dried chilies

¼ l flour and water

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English, studied in NY and worked in London, Düsseldorf, NY, Fankfurt, Prague and Vienna. This covered stints in market research and the film industry, international advertising coordination and strategic planning. Currently business school lecturer and journalist.