​​​​Rajská omáčka – Czech Style Tomato Sauce

March 28, 2020


Rajská omáčka is one of the most iconic Czech sauces. It’s based on broth made from beef and root vegetables and tomato paste. Rajská omáčka is always prepared in a separate saucepan.

Although it’s a common type of sauce found in cuisines of many nations, this Czech traditional tomato sauce has a rich, distinct taste.

A lot of Czech families argue what’s the “secret” ingredient of rajská (some people use cinnamon or grated gingerbread for example).

There are also cooking competitions for the best rajská omáčka organized in the Czech Republic.

What Is Rajská Omáčka?

Rajská omáčka (rajská in short) is a Czech creamy tomato sauce.

It tastes sweet. It’s prepared out of beef broth and tomato paste, which gives it the typical intense red color. Tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes is not so vividly colored.

Rajská omáčka is served warm, usually with a slice of beef and bread dumplings.

How to Make Rajská, Czech Tomato Sauce From Scratch?

  1. Make the beef broth with root vegetables.
  2. Fry the onion and add the tomato paste.
  3. Dust the tomato base with flour and fry it for a little while.
  4. Add the broth and spices and let it boil.
  5. Season with sugar, salt and vinegar.
  6. Strain the finished sauce through a sieve and serve with sliced beef and a side dish.

Preparing the broth takes the most time – count on 3 hours, before the meat softens, so plan ahead. You can also prepare the broth a day before.

The steps above are a shortened version of the full recipe, which you’ll find further in the article.

How to Thicken Rajská Sauce?

Czechs usually use roux to thicken sauces. Roux is made of flour, which is fried in a separate pan.

Rajská omáčka in this recipe is thickened with flour fried during preparation of the sauce. It is easier than making the roux separately.

Beef broth is then poured over the mixture with fried flour, stirred well and the sauce is boiled for at least 20 minutes. This is how the sauce thickens.

After 20 minutes, the sauce is mixed with an immersion blender and strained throught a sieve.

If you leave the sauce overnight, it will get even thicker. When warming it up, add several spoons of water to make it creamy again.

What to Add to Rajská, Which Ingredients Are Necessary?

There are a lot of variations on the baseline rajská recipe. The basic ingredients for making authentic rajská omáčka are:

  • Beef and vegetables broth
  • Onion fried in lard
  • All-purpose flour
  • Tomato paste
  • Salt, granulated sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Spices: black pepper, bay leaves, allspice
  • Cold butter

What Meat to Serve With Rajská Tomato Sauce?

Rajská is normally served with a slice of beef, but it’s not the rule.

Tomato sauce also tastes great with paprika filled with ground meat or with meat balls.

What Side Dish to Serve With Rajská Omáčka?

Tomato sauce is usually served with bread dumplings (houskové knedlíky), a typical Czech side dish.

Pasta or rice are less common, but still popular.

Note: Classical rajská omáčka is not the same as spaghetti (or pasta) tomato sauce!

Rajská omáčka – Czech Style Tomato Sauce

This is an authentic Czech recipe for rajská omáčka, homemade creamy tomato sauce.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Making beef broth:3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Czech
Keywords: Rajská Omáčka, Tomato Sauce
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Broth from beef and root vegetables:

  • 2 carrots large
  • 1/4 celeriac
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 onion
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • 2 lbs (1 kg) beef chucks
  • 16 cups (3-4 l) water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 balls allspice
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt

Rajská omáčka:

  • 3 pcs onion peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp pork lard
  • 1 cup (230 ml) tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups (1.2 l) beef broth
  • salt
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp vinegar
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 5 berries allspice
  • 1,5 Tbsp (20 g) butter cold

Instructions

Broth from beef and root vegetables:

  • Clean and cut the vegetables into two pieces. Put them together with a whole piece of beef into a large pot.
  • Add cold water, cover with a lid and bring it to the boil.
  • Remove the lid and collect the condensed foam forming on the broth surface with a scoop.
  • Once the foam stops forming, add the spices and salt and turn down the temperature to minimum, to a bare simmer, just a bubble or two coming up here and there. Don´t cover the pot with the lid again while simmering. It takes about 3 hours for the meat to soften.
  • Take the meat out of the broth and keep it somewhere warm. Strain the broth into a clean pot. Discard the vegetables and spices.
  • You don’t need all the broth for rajská sauce, you can freeze the rest once it cools down, as it will come in handy.

Rajská omáčka:

  • Peel the onion and chop it finely.
  • Melt the lard in a separate sauce pan and set it to medium heat.
  • Add the onion and stir until it turns lightly golden brown.
  • Add the tomato paste, stir about 1 minute.
  • Pour in the flour and stir continuously for 30 sec.
  • Add the broth and stir it.
  • Add 1 level teaspoon of salt, sugar, vinegar and spices.
  • Bring it to the boil, turn down the temperature to a third and boil it while stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  • Season the sauce with salt and sugar if necessary.
  • Remove the pan with sauce from the stove and add diced cold butter, which will soften up the sauce.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pot.

Notes

Place the warm beef and bread dumplings on a plate and pour the warm tomato sauce over them. You can garnish the dish with a sprig of parsley.

Did you make this recipe? I would love to hear from you! Please share your opinion or send questions in comments bellow. Thanks a lot!

Happy cooking, and stay safe and healthy everybody, wherever you may be <3

About the Author 

Petra | Cook Like Czechs

Hi, I´m Petra, a Czech mom of 2 hungry teenagers. With the help of my older son I want to share here best authentic Czech recipes. Enjoy flavors of the Czech cuisine!

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