Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Swiss Steak Deliciousness

According to my grandfather, Swiss Steak is one of those old-timey recipes that just aren't made correctly anymore. I have been surprised at the number of people who have never heard of it (except that I wasn't surprised when Swiss people didn't know about it, or Scandinavian people in general, as it is an American name for a dish that is actually more Italian in flavor). As I've said before, it's a tradition in my family; almost everyone requested it for their birthday dinner, which was why I was so thrilled to serve it on Will's birthday.

In reading about Swiss Steak on the good old Internet, I found this vintage advertisement eschewing the virtues of meat with this to say about said dish:

"Swiss Steak . . . put it in the pan . . . turn on the heat and sniff its steaming fragrance as it simmers, bubbles, and browns . . . smothered in its own gravy . . . That's hearty flavor for you."

So here's to an old-fashioned dish that's high in flavor, full of good-for-you ingredients, and that the kids will actually eat. It does take a bit of prep work and more time that your average weeknight meal, but the efforts are well worth it. Enjoy!

Swiss Steak

Prep time: 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes for pressure cooker, 5 - 6 hours for crock pot or slow cooker

You will need:

At least two pounds of higher quality beef steak or roast, at least 1 inch thick, cut into thick strips

vegetable oil*
1 tbsp salt
approximately 1 cup flour
4 carrots
2 green peppers
1 onion
3 or 4 ribs celery
4 small (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
a lot of oregano
1 tsp pepper
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp Steak Sauce

* Note: This recipe cooks up best in a pressure cooker. If you don't have one, though, you can use a slow cooker or crock pot (I'll give directions for both).

1. As noted above, cut beef into thick strips. Place into a bowl, and add 1 TBSP salt, coating beef thoroughly.

2. Flour beef lightly and brown on all sides.

3. To the pan containing the beef and the drippings, add all vegetables, peeled and coarsely chopped. Mix well.

4. Add all sauces, pepper, and a very liberal sprinkling of oregano.

5. Place all ingredients in the pressure cooker. Bring cooker up to cooking stage and let cook for 45 minutes. (If using a slow cooker or crock pot, you will need to cook on High for at least 5 - 6 hours. When the meat easily falls apart, the dish is done.)

6. This dinner is traditionally served over mashed potatoes, although my mom says that it's also good over a baked potatoe.

*The vegetable oil is for browning the meat. Add it to your already hot pressure cooker and this will keep the swiss steak from sticking to the pan at clean-up.

I hope you love it as much as I do!


Mary said...

Yum Yum I havent had that in many many years. Not since my grandma passed, I so Miss Good ol home cooking

Torhild Reidardatter said...

mmmm sounds really good and to something similar that I cook sometimes..all those flavours

Maiden Jane said...

Sounds so good!

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Okay, so it's a bit like a beef stew. Tasty!

Anonymous said...

Sounds Great! The directions didn't say what you use the vegetable oil for. I'm guessing while browning the meat in the skillet.

Kitty said...

I'd really like to make this? Could you let me know what a "small can" of diced tomatoes is? 14/5 oz? Thanks so much- this recipe sounds so good!

Erin Wallace said...

Hey all - addinsome notes to the main post. A small can is 14.5 oz, and the veg oil is to brown the meat. When using a pressure cooker, you have to make sure that adequate oil is used in browning the meat as you will have a HUGE sticky mess that is difficult to clean afterwards if you don't.

Cora said...

Thanks for sharing this Erin... It's a lot like how I make beef stew. This has tomatoes where BS has potatoes. I'll have to try this.

Thanks again my friend!

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