Swiss Your Steak!

 

Juicy cube Swiss steak fried and slowly stewed in a spicy tomato sauce with vegetables close-up on the table. horizontal

 

Swiss Steak is one of those retro classics that many of us grew up with, a delicious steak dinner that braised for a couple hours and never failed to please. But did you know that Swiss Steak has nothing to do with Switzerland? Wherefore, then, the name?

Swiss Steak is prepared by braising a less expensive cut of beef for around two hours in a sauce that is usually tomato based, and often has other vegetables in it as well. The braising can occur in a deep frying pan on top of the stove, or in the oven, or in a slow cooker. You would not use a premium steak like a rib-eye or sirloin for Swiss Steak, but something like a bottom round, tip or chuck steak, cut about an inch thick. These are tougher cuts that will definitely become more tender after spending an afternoon luxuriating in a delicious braise. And do you know what else will tenderize it? Swissing the steak. Swissing is a term used to describe tenderizing a piece of meat by pounding it with a wooden or metal mallet, or by using a needling device like the one pictured.

 

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If using a pounder as your tenderizer, pound the steak to about half its original thickness. Another way to swiss a steak is my rolling it over and over, north and south, east and west, to soften the fibres so they become stretched and relaxed.

 

this works great too!

this works great too!

 

In preparing Swiss Steak, you first dredge it in seasoned flour, then swiss it, pounding the steak on one side until the flour is absorbed. Then flip the steak over and repeat the process. After this the steak is seared on each side, then covered with your braising liquid and veggies and left to slow cook over medium low heat for a couple hours, until heartbreakingly tender. Served with diner style mashed spuds and steamed carrots and green beans or broccoli, this is a fantastic dish to serve to a hungry bunch without breaking the bank.

 

An older electric frying pan like this is perfect for Swiss Steak

An older electric frying pan like this is perfect for Swiss Steak

 

Swiss Steak

2 to 2 1/2 pound bottom or top round steak, about an inch thick

3 tablespoons of flour

1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil or lard

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1- 28 oz can tomatoes

half a red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 stalk celery, sliced thin

½ tsp each of thyme, sage, oregano, paprika

Cut the steak into four pieces. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of meat and swiss on both sides. In a large skillet or pan heat oil or lard to medium high and sear the steaks, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove steaks and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add onions and garlic, stirring a little. Break up the canned tomatoes with your hands and add to the pan along with the bell peppers, celery and herbs. Lower heat and cover pan with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Braise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies.

 

swisssteak



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