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Swiss Steak Recipe

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Swiss steak

Swiss steak.

Photo © Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

Swiss Steak Recipe

Swiss steak is a braised beef recipe traditionally made with thick pieces of beef round, although you can also use chuck steak. The main thing is to use a tough cut of meat, as a couple of hours slow braising will tenderize it very nicely.

Some Swiss steak recipes call for using thinner cuts of meat which are run through a meat cuber (which is how cube steak is made) for the purpose of tenderizing it. But this isn't strictly necessary since the braising is going to tenderize it anyway. Also, running meat through the cuber requires thinner cuts of meat, which takes away from the succulent, satisfying result you get with a thicker steak.

Finally, some recipes will have you dredge the meat in seasoned flour before browning it and then braising it. I don't prefer to do it that way because that method only browns the flour, not the meat. And browning the meat develops a lot more complex flavors than merely browning the flour.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef round steaks, 5-6 ounces apiece (around 6 steaks)
  • 2 oz. cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 2 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups beef stock or beef broth
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, plus the liquid
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

  2. Dry the meat thoroughly with paper towels.

  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil until it's almost smoking, then gently add two or three of the steaks. The idea is not to overcrowd the pan. Brown one side for a couple of minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Set aside the browned steaks and repeat until you've browned them all.

  4. Now add the onion to the fat in the pan and cook for a few minutes until translucent and slightly golden brown.

  5. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and incorporate until a thick roux forms. Lower heat and cook the roux for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until it takes on a light brown hue. Don't let it burn!

  6. Now add the diced tomatoes and the stock. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the bay leaf and simmer the sauce for about five minutes or until it starts to thicken.

  7. Next, return the browned steaks to the sauce and arrange them so that they're covered by the liquid. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.

  8. Braise for about an hour and a half or until the meat is extremely tender. Serve each steak with a generous portion of the sauce.
Makes six portions of Swiss steak.

Also see: How to Braise Meat
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