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Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

Classic Comfort: Old Fashioned Swiss Steak Recipe

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Are you craving a hearty and satisfying meal that brings back memories of home-cooked goodness? Look no further than this timeless recipe for Old Fashioned Swiss Steak. This dish, with its tender cubed steak smothered in a rich and flavorful tomato-based gravy, is sure to warm your soul and satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re cooking for a cozy family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, this comforting dish is a true crowd-pleaser. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready to create a meal that’s both nostalgic and delicious!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s address some common questions about Swiss Steak:

Q: What is Swiss Steak? A: Swiss Steak is a classic American dish made with tenderized cuts of beef, such as cube steak or round steak, that are braised until tender in a rich tomato-based gravy.

Q: Why is it called Swiss Steak? A: Despite its name, Swiss Steak has no direct connection to Switzerland. The term “Swiss” likely refers to the method of tenderizing the meat by pounding or “swissing” it with a meat mallet.

Q: Can I use a different cut of meat for Swiss Steak? A: While cube steak is traditional for Swiss Steak, you can also use other cuts such as round steak or chuck steak. Just be sure to tenderize the meat before cooking to ensure tenderness.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s gather our ingredients and start cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 pounds cubed steak (cut into serving-size pieces if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other high-temperature cooking oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces of cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced or stewed tomatoes (or use 1 pint of home-canned tomatoes)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch celery seed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of water + 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Cubed Steak:

  • In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Dredge the cubed steak pieces in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

2. Brown the Steak:

  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the dredged cubed steak pieces and cook until browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove the browned steak pieces and set aside.

3. Sauté the Vegetables:

  • In the same skillet or Dutch oven, add the diced onion, celery, green bell pepper, and sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

4. Make the Tomato Gravy:

  • Push the sautéed vegetables to one side of the skillet or Dutch oven. Add the tomato paste to the empty space and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes to caramelize the paste. Then, stir in the diced or stewed tomatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, sugar, and celery seed (if using). Bring the mixture to a simmer.

5. Add the Steak Back to the Pan:

  • Once the tomato gravy is simmering, return the browned cubed steak pieces to the skillet or Dutch oven. Nestle the steak pieces into the gravy, making sure they are submerged.

6. Slow Cook or Bake:

  • Cover the skillet or Dutch oven with a lid or foil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the steak is fork-tender. Alternatively, you can transfer the skillet or Dutch oven to a preheated 325°F oven and bake for the same amount of time.

7. Thicken the Gravy (Optional):

  • In a small bowl, mix together the water and cornstarch to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the simmering gravy and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until thickened to your liking.

8. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Once the steak is tender and the gravy is thickened, remove the skillet or Dutch oven from the heat. Serve the Old Fashioned Swiss Steak hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired. This dish pairs beautifully with mashed potatoes, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious gravy.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Slow Cooker Method: To make this recipe in a slow cooker, follow steps 1-4 as written, then transfer the browned steak pieces and sautéed vegetables to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the cornstarch slurry) to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the steak is tender. Stir in the cornstarch slurry during the last 30 minutes of cooking to thicken the gravy.
  • Vegetarian Version: For a vegetarian twist on this classic dish, substitute the cubed steak with thick slices of portobello mushrooms or seitan. Follow the same cooking method, adjusting the cooking time as needed until the vegetables are tender.
  • Low-Carb Option: To make this recipe low-carb and keto-friendly, omit the flour dredge for the steak and thicken the gravy with a low-carb thickener such as xanthan gum or glucomannan powder. Serve the Swiss Steak over cauliflower rice or alongside steamed vegetables for a satisfying low-carb meal.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak is a timeless comfort food dish that never goes out of style. With its tender beef, flavorful tomato gravy, and hearty vegetables, it’s a meal that’s sure to please the whole family. Whether you choose to cook it on the stovetop, in the oven, or in a slow cooker, this recipe is versatile and easy to customize to your taste preferences. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a cozy and satisfying dinner, give this classic recipe a try—you won’t be disappointed!

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