Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Austrian Cuisine

Category Main course recipes
Servings 2
Time prep: 15 min, cooking: 35 min

Zwiebelrostbraten with red wine onion gravy for two personsEdit


Zwiebelrostbraten is a typical Austrian entrée and an all-time favorite dish in Austria. The meat used for Zwiebelrostbraten is traditionally a standing rib roast cut, which is called “Rostbraten” in German. There seems to be no agreement on the official translation of “Zwiebelrostbraten”, but a possible one would be "onion-topped roast beef with gravy". There are numerous variations of the dish and an abundance of recipes available. One of the most common variations is “Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten” (Viennese roast beef). Its gravy is made by adding beef broth and usually butter to the juices running out of the meat during the cooking process.

My recipe, however, uses a red-wine onion gravy and is adapted from a recipe that was published in a cooking magazine[1] . The magazine's recipe uses a lot of butter during the cooking process, which raises the calorie intake per serving considerably. This recipe is a reduced-calorie version of the original, but nevertheless a flavorful one. The butter, if not left out entirely, can be replaced by healthier vegetable oil. There are no measurements in the recipe telling you how much oil should be used, but in practice, the least possible amount has worked out well without sacrificing the taste. This way, the meal can be enjoyed without having to worry about rising cholesterol levels. The meat juices mentioned above are also used in the cooking process and so their intense flavor will not go to waste.

A standard side dish for Zwiebelrostbraten are “Bratkartoffeln” (sautéed potatoes), but the list of possible side dishes ranges from bread dumplings to vegetables or mashed potatoes. A side dish is more a question of personal taste, and therefore it is not included in this recipe.

Although the recipe itself is rather easy, one should set aside at least 45 minutes for the cooking since the gravy takes some time to boil down. One warning before you start cooking: Be prepared to do a lot of dishes after you have finished your Zwiebelrostbraten. The Zwiebelrostbraten, however, is well worth the effort.


Zwiebelrostbraten ingredients

Sauce and topping

  • 1 1/2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 125 ml red-wine
  • 500 ml beef broth
  • vegetable oil


  • 2 slices of roast beef (200 g each, standing rib roast cut)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil


Finely chop one onion and the garlic cloves and sauté them in oil. Add tomato paste, sugar, and Hungarian paprika and let it sauté just a little before finally deglazing the pan with red wine. Add soup and let it boil down until it has achieved the desired consistency. This will take about 25 minutes. Do not forget to stir the gravy every once in a while.

While the gravy is being reduced, slightly beat the meat with a meat mallet. This helps the meat to stay tender. Then rub it in mustard and add salt and pepper. Sear the meat on both sides and cook it for another 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

For the topping, cut about half an onion into thin onion rings. Add them to the juices remaining from the meat and let them soak up the delicious flavor. Depending on how much oil and juices there are still left in the frying pan, you might have to add some oil or water in order to let the onions absorb the flavor properly.

Finally top the meat with the onion rings, add the gravy, and serve it with the desired side dish. Enjoy!