Beef in Bay Leaf Gravy Recipe -
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Beef in Bay Leaf Gravy

Recipe by  

"My grandmother, Margaret Pokorny, immigrated here from what was, then, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is one of her recipes which I have adapted for easier cooking. Serve with spaetzle and cucumber salad, and plenty of bread to sop up the gravy."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    3 hrs 30 mins


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, sear roast until browned on all sides. Scatter chopped carrots, celery and onions over and around roast. Add vinegar and water, and season with bay leaf and salt.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 2 to 3 hours. Remove roast to a cutting board, and slice thinly. Remove bay leaf, then stir sour cream into gravy until blended. Return sliced meat to Dutch oven, and simmer for 15 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 03, 2003

I used 1/2 c. vinegar and 2 1/2 c. because I don't like a strong vinegar taste. It turned out really well and this was my first time cooking a roast. The roast was perfectly tender and quite tasty...even better the second day.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 16, 2008

This recipe was too sour. The use of white vinegar was over powering. My husband refused to eat it. Now I have a lot of sour meat to eat on my own.


15 Ratings

Dec 14, 2005

I just made this recipe - it was my first pot roast ever - and it turned out great! Soooo easy. My husband rated it 5 stars :) However, I do think that next time I won't use as much vinegar as the recipe calls for. But other than that it was fantastic!!!!!

Sep 08, 2002

It's a great dish and we Czechs call it SVICKOVA

Sep 10, 2006

A really fantastic dish. I used a cross-rib roast and halved the recipe, and it was still great. I didn't have as much sour cream as the recipe called for, but I thickened the gravy with a little milk and cornstarch.

Mar 01, 2011

I have made this recipe before but with two important differences. Instead of vinegar, use two large dill pickles chopped into 1/2" pieces. The acdid in the pickles tenderizes the meat, just like the vinegar does but it adds a nicer flavor. To all the other ingredients, add a package of dried mushrooms (boletus is best) that have been rehydrated in warm water. This is really one of my favorite recipes.

Aug 02, 2010

Very good, as long as you like vinegary flavors. The "gravy" was very watery, and not what i would consider gravy, but it tasted very good, and we sopped it up with bread like Gourmetfox reccomended. Perhaps cooking it un-covered would make the gravy thick.

Sep 22, 2008

This is a wonderfull recipe I will use it, as is, over and over again Thank You "GURMETFOX"!!


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  • Calories
  • 620 kcal
  • 31%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.7 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 163 mg
  • 54%
  • Fat
  • 44.4 g
  • 68%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 47 g
  • 94%
  • Sodium
  • 164 mg
  • 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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