Swiss Steak – a hearty and easy family dinner with flour-coated and browned round steak slowly cooked in a rich tomato gravy, bell peppers, onions and seasonings. A tasty family-friendly steak meal that doesn’t break the bank!
This rich Swiss steak is inspired by my sister’s recipe which is a regular on her menu, especially when I’m around at her place. It’s her sort of reward for me ’cause I happen to be the best baby-sitter /aunt to her little munchkins. 😉 She knows that I love steak, but this cut here doesn’t break the bank and the flavors are super on point! And no, it’s not a Swiss-inspired dish.
What is swiss steak?
As you would know by now, this Swiss Steak recipe isn’t a Swiss dish, so to speak, but it’s very American in all forms. It’s called “swiss”, as in “swissing”, that pertains to the method of pounding or rolling the meat to make it tender. And since the meat are tenderized, most version of this recipe call for boneless, not so tender and inexpensive cuts of beef like that of chuck steak, bottom or top round steak.
Despite using inexpensive cuts of beef, this Swiss Steak recipe is a major winning dish for the family. It’s budget-friendly, tasty and easy to prepare. You’d hardly have any leftover once you make this for dinner.
How to cook Swiss steak?
To cook this tomato-based steak recipe, I started off by coating my steaks with a well-seasoned flour, dredging the excess, and then browning it in a skillet. Feel free to pound the meat into thinner cuts like around 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. This time I decided to go for thicker Swiss steak ’cause…uhmmm… I can’t find our meat tenderizer. 😀
After browning the steak, proceed t making the tomato-based sauce. Start of by sauteing the spices and seasonings for 3-5 minutes. Next, you pour in the tomatoes puree, which I must say, really adds a good dimension in this sauce. If you don’t have one, a can diced tomatoes with juice works fine, too.
Season the tomato puree with smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce and pour a cup of water. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes before you throw in the remaining ingredients to tenderized the meat and allow all the flavors in the sauce to permeates the steak.
As you can see, there’s no need for a thickener in this recipe as the sauce is thick enough due to the tomato puree. But if you used the regular diced tomatoes with juice, you can combine and stir in into the sauce a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch to a tablespoon of water to make the sauce thicker. For a thicker sauce without using flour or cornstarch, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste along with the tomatoes.
Go ahead and serve them on top of a warm white rice or serve it with mashed potatoes and/or this green beans and bacon. This Swiss steak recipe here makes a regular family weeknight meal or a main course on special occasions. A super easy, saucy and tasty inexpensive steak. Yum yum yum!
Tips and Notes:
- For best results thin your your steak using a meat tenderizer into half inch thickness. Cube steak works just fine here
- If desired, you can add about a cup of sliced celery to the onion mixture OR some diced carrots for added texture.
- If you don’t have a can of tomato puree, a can diced tomatoes with juice works fine, too. Just stir in a combination of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch/flour and a tablespoon of water to thicken the sauce.
- 2 -2.5 pound top round or bottom steak ( 1/2″ thickness.) See notes
- salt and pepper or cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 onion , roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 -1 cup puréed tomatoes or diced tomatoes (I used 1 cup )
- 1-2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 cups water
- 1 small red or green bell pepper , sliced
- 2 tablespoon parsley , chopped (garnish)
- Pat dry steak on with a paper towel, then season with salt and Cajun seasoning.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
- Then coat with seasoned flour and shake off any excess .
- Heat oil in a cast iron or skillet over medium-high heat; then fry steak on both sides until golden brown — about 6-7 minutes per side.
- Remove beef from skillet and place on a plate.
- Add onions to the skillet, then saute for about 2-3 minutes. Followed by garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent any burns.
- Next add tomatoes puree, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce , beef and about 1-2 cups water Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Throw in bell pepper, and continue cooking until meat is tender.
- Remove and serve warm. Spoon the sauce over the steak.
How to Make Swiss Steak
Pat dry steak on with a paper towel, then season with salt and Cajun seasoning. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Then coat with seasoned flour and shake off any excess.
Heat oil in a cast iron or skillet over medium-high heat; then fry steak on both sides until golden brown — about 6-7 minutes per side.
Add onions to the skillet, then saute for about 2-3 minutes. Followed by garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent any burns.
Next add tomatoes puree, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and about 1-2 cups water. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until beef is almost tender
Throw in bell pepper, and continue cooking until meat is tender. Adjust seasonings and thickness of stew to taste