Delicious Swiss Steak Recipe

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Hearty and tender, Swiss Steak is a retro classic you should know about!

Swiss Steak Recipe featured image close up shot

“Swiss Steak” sounds like something you’d enjoy apr├Ęs ski in an Alpen, woodsy lodge, warmed by a roaring fire and the laughter of good friends. Yet the dish itself has nothing to do with Switzerland or its cuisine! The “Swiss” part of its name is most likely a reference to an old British technique of “Swissing” which mechanically tenderizes cheaper, tougher cuts of beef by pressing it between rollers. As Americans like to do, we copped the European-sounding term and slapped it on this steak recipe to fancy things up. In the early to mid-twentieth century, Swiss Steak was an economical, easy meal that grew in popularity; it has stuck around because it’s delicious.

This is no tough, dry steak. The long, slow cooking method known as braising produces a fork-tender, moist steak with a tomato-based gravy. The tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce infuse the gravy with a brightness and kick that complements the steak. Swiss Steak is not a fast meal, but it’s simple – no fancy equipment or techniques – and during the longer cook time, you can prep sides, or, pivot and read a book!

Top Round Steak

Top Round Steak is a cut from the upper rear portion of the cow. It’s fairly lean and has to be cooked correctly or else it can be tough. It is flavorful and economical. Your everyday roast beef slices from the deli are from the top round portion. If your meat counter doesn’t have top round steak in stock, you can substitute cube steak and skip the tenderizing step in the recipe below (cube steak is mechanically tenderized at the butcher’s).

Ingredients

  • 1 pound top round steak
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion thickly sliced
  • 1 small carrot cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Swiss Steak Recipe ingredients top shot

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Cut the steaks into 4 pieces and pound them into 1/2-inch thick pieces using a meat mallet.

Swiss Steak Recipe steps top shot

Step 2: Season the pounded steaks generously with sea salt and black pepper. Dredge the steaks on both sides in the flour and place them on a sheet tray with parchment paper.

Swiss Steak Recipe steps top shot

Step 3: Heat the oil in a large sauce pot over high heat then add the steaks. Turn the heat down to medium and sear the steaks on each side for 4-5 minutes until well browned.

Swiss Steak Recipe steps top shot

Step 4: Remove the steaks from the pot and add the onions and carrots to the pot. Cook until caramelized over low heat for about 15 minutes.

Swiss Steak Recipe steps top shot

Step 5: Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Season the cooked vegetables with a pinch of sea salt. Deglaze the cooked vegetables with the beef stock and add in the whole peeled tomatoes. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

Swiss Steak Recipe steps top shot

Step 6: Add back in the steak, cover the pot, and cook over low heat for 120 minutes or until the steaks are fork tender. Transfer the Swiss steaks onto plates, and serve with the gravy and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Swiss Steak Recipe steps top shot

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

With such a long, slow cooking time, you may want to make ahead completely and either refrigerate for 2-3 days before serving (gently reheating on the stove). Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4-5 days or frozen for up to 4 weeks, as long as they are in an airtight container.

Are Swiss Steak and Salisbury Steak the same thing?

No! Salisbury Steak is actually patties of ground beef with a brown sauce or gravy (sometimes with mushrooms). Named after a physician, Dr. Salisbury, in the 19th century who was trying to promote a healthier diet for Civil War-era soldiers. Swiss Steak is actual steak, and the robust tomato-based gravy gives the dish additional zest.

Equal thickness equals even cooking.

In Step 1, take the time to slice the meat horizontally if necessary and then pound until close to 1/2 inch thick. Taking a few extra minutes to get the pieces of steak fairly equal in thickness means they will cook evenly. Not only in the browning step but the longer braising process as well. This pounding exposes the fibers of the meat and makes it more porous, which in turn means it will soak up more of the moisture in the gravy.

Why are the vegetables coarsely chopped?

With such a long cooking time, leave the onions and carrots in large chunks. If you dice or slice them too small, they will just dwindle down to tiny bites over the lengthy braising time. Leaving them on the large side means they won’t cook down as much and you can enjoy more variety in every bite of Swiss Steak.

Swiss Steak Recipe featured image top shot

Serving Suggestions

My family loves Swiss Steak with garlicky mashed potatoes. Even my kids love the tender steak, and the mashed potatoes soak up the delicious gravy just perfectly. Other starches that work well with Swiss Steak include buttered egg noodles, rice pilaf, or even polenta. If you’d like to add a vegetable or non-starch side, Brussel sprouts with bacon is divine next to Swiss Steak. Bacon makes everything better, right?! And of course, crusty bread or rolls are nice to get any last bits of gravy on your plate.

Swiss Steak Recipe featured image close up shot
Swiss Steak Recipe featured image close up shot

Delicious Swiss Steak Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 187 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound top round steak
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion thickly sliced
  • 1 small carrot cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cut the steaks into 4 pieces and pound them into 1/2-inch thick pieces using a meat mallet.
  • Season the pounded steaks generously with sea salt and black pepper. Dredge the steaks on both sides in the flour and place them on a sheet tray with parchment paper.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauce pot over high heat then add the steaks. Turn the heat down to medium and sear the steaks on each side for 4-5 minutes until well browned.
  • Remove the steaks from the pot and add the onions and carrots to the pot. Cook until caramelized over low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Season the cooked vegetables with a pinch of sea salt. Deglaze the cooked vegetables with the beef stock and add in the whole peeled tomatoes. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Add back in the steak, cover the pot, and cook over low heat for 120 minutes or until the steaks are fork tender. Transfer the Swiss steaks onto plates, and serve with the gravy and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 20gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 249mgPotassium: 566mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1777IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 3mg
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