Despite its name, Swiss steak is not a Swiss dish: it is a round steak (or tenderized round steak) slow-simmered with tomatoes, onion, and green bell pepper (‘though you could use yellow, orange, or red, if you prefer — I always use green because it’s the most affordable of the bell peppers).
Round steak is a lean cut of beef that,despite its name, is usually cut in a square or rectangular shape. 😉 While leaner = healthier, it also means that if you don’t treat it properly, you’ll end up with a tough, chewy steak. Slow cooking with liquid is what is called for with this cut, which will result in a fork-tender steak.
My take on Swiss steak is different from other recipes I’ve seen, as I season things up not only with garlic, but also with basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, and a few other herbs and spices. I also don’t fuss with tenderizing the meat — I let the “cooking low and slow”method make the meat tender. I also usually serve it with pasta noodles (egg noodles, spaghetti, fettucine — whatever you have on hand or floats your boat), although you can also serve it with more traditional mashed potatoes if you prefer. Add in a tossed salad or other veggie of choice, and you have a yummy meal!
This is an easy, no-fuss recipe — you just need to allow the meat time to simmer until tender (or plan ahead and make it in the CrockPot).
This meal is one of those that is yummy year ’round — hearty enough to be comforting in the fall or winter, but because it’s a stove-top meal, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen. When I make this in cooler weather, I often bake up some bread to go along with it so I can have the oven heat the kitchen up a bit. I served it with some mashed potatoes and turnip greens. I think it would also be tasty with egg noodles or even with rice, but hubby thinks the mashed potatoes are the way to go. 🙂
The recipe below makes four servings (but will serve fewer folks if you’re feeding a hearty appetite); you can easily double it for more people.
Swiss Steak (Serves 4)
- 1 1/2 pounds round steak
- Approximately 1/4 cup flour, seasoned to taste with garlic powder, barest whisper of seasoned salt, coarse ground black pepper, basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning (if desired)
- Splash of oil (canola or olive)
- 1 can (14-15 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- Couple splashes of red wine or water
- Splash of Worcestershire
- One beef bouillon cube (or one teaspoon bouillon powder)
- One half to one onion, sliced
- One green bell pepper (or orange or yellow, if you prefer), seeded and sliced
- Seasonings to taste: bay leaf, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic (minced cloves and/or garlic powder), and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Cut steak into 4 serving pieces, trimming away excess fat, if any. Lightly dredge both sides in seasoned flour.
- Heat a large, non-stick skillet with a drizzle of oil over medium high heat. Brown steaks on both sides.
- Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine or water, and a splash or two of Worcestershire to taste.
- Add seasonings to taste (bay leaf, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic (minced cloves and/or garlic powder), and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, if desired).
- Reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until steaks are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- During last 45 to 60 minutes of cooking time, add in sliced pepper and onion.
- Add more liquid or thicken cooking liquid until it achieves your desired consistency.
- Serve with pasta (our favorite way!) or with mashed potatoes. Refrigerate leftovers.
Want to CrockPot It? Flour and brown steaks as directed in Step 1. Place in bottom of CrockPot. Substitute a can of tomato paste (6 ounces) for the tomato sauce. Add all remaining ingredients to CrockPot, topping with sliced onion and bell pepper. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 8 to 9 hours.
It smells — and tastes! — so yummy, you’ll find yourself wishing you could share some with the stranded members of the Swiss Family Robinson! 😉