Czech Republic Comfort Food: Beef Tenderloin in Sour Cream Sauce

by DerdriuMarriner

Beef Tenderloin in Sour Cream Sauce is paired with another Czech Republic comfort food favorite, bread dumplings.

Beef tenderloin in sour cream sauce (svíčková na smetaně) holds a hallowed place as one of the most popular comfort foods in the culinary traditions of the Czech Republic.

It is accompanied by another cherished comfort food, bread dumplings (houskový knedlík). A dollop of cranberry sauce adds an intriguing tartness to this rich dish.

Flavorsome and hearty, svíčková na smetaně never fails to please and to fill.

beef tenderloin in sour cream sauce (svíčková na smetaně): cheery colors and tartness of cranberry sauce and a lemon slice contribute the finishing touches.

Svíčková v Peci pod Sněžkou
Svíčková v Peci pod Sněžkou

Beef Tenderloin in Sour Cream Sauce (svíčková na smetaně)

Prep time: 10 minutes -- Total time: 110 minutes (1 hour 50 minutes)

The main time consumer for this recipe is roasting, which requires 90 minutes (1.5 hours).

Ingredients for 6 servings

Depending upon portion size, yields 6 to 8-plus servings.



3 pounds beef tenderloin

3 slices of bacon, sliced in thirds into thin strips

4 Tablespoons butter

seasonings for sprinkling:

  • allspice
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup water, of which:

  • 1/2 cup for basting
  • 1/2 cup for gravy, if needed

1 Tablespoon flour
2 cups sour cream, of which:

  • 1 cup for gravy
  • 1 cup for individual servings

Optional:  cranberry sauce (pre-made or homemade)
Optional:  lemon slices




1. Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit (162° Celsius, Gas Mark 3).

2. With a small sharp knife, make nine small slashes in tenderloin and pocket a bacon strip in each slash.

3. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat and add tenderloin, turning to brown on all sides.

4. Carefully transfer tenderloin to a roasting pan and set aside.

5. Add 1/2 cup of water to buttery juices in saucepan, sprinkle seasonings (allspice, black pepper, salt, thyme), and bring to quick boil, stirring regularly and scraping sides and bottom of pan to integrate browning remains into solution.

  • Pour seasoned browning solution over tenderloin in roasting pan.
  • Add bay leaves.
  • Sprinkle tenderloin with another round of seasonings.

6. Set roasting pan in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours, until tender.

  • Baste regularly.

7. Turn off oven, remove roasting pan from oven, and transfer tenderloin to serving platter.

  • Pour drippings and juices from roasting pan into saucepan and set on burner at low heat.
  • Stir flour into gravy.
    • Adjust with remaining 1/2 cup of water, if needed.
  • Just before removing from burner, fold in sour cream and blend well.


Slice tenderloin before serving.


Serve on individual plates with bread dumplings and with individual dollops of sour cream, topped, if desired, with cranberry sauce and lemon slices.


beef tenderloin in sour cream sauce with cranberry sauce (svíčková na smetaně s brusinkovým terčem): the heartwarming sight and heart taste of cherished comfort food

Svíčková na smetaně s brusinkovým terčem
Svíčková na smetaně s brusinkovým terčem



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Image Credits


Svíčková v Peci pod Sněžkou: Dezidor, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons @íčková_v_Peci_pod_Sněžkou.jpg

Svíčková na smetaně s brusinkovým terčem: JOtruba, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons @íčková_na_smetaně_s_brusinkovým_terčem.jpg


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

The Czechoslovak Cookbook by Joza Břízová

In Czechoslovakia, a country known for fine cooks, a copy of Varime Zdrave Chutne a Hospodarne graces nearly every kitchen. Now this best-selling Czechoslovak cookbook has been adapted for American use.
Czech cuisine

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DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 11/06/2023, DerdriuMarriner
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