Sunday, July 21, 2013
Braised Swiss Steak
This one should definitely be filed under Comfort Food.
Remember mom’s Swiss Steak? I’m sure it was fabulous, and hopefully my flavor packed version will trigger some good memories and become a new favorite! For those of you who have only experienced Swiss Steak as the main course in a TV Dinner - trust me, this will be nothing like that.
Swissing is a process by which a material (in our case, round steak) is softened often by pounding or using rollers. Most meat markets in grocery stores have the ability to swiss (aka cube) meat – all you need to do is ask them to run your selection through their cuber.
You can see that the name comes from the method of tenderizing the meat and has nothing to do with its country of origin. In fact, according to the folks at Wikipedia, in Switzerland something like this would be called Roasted Mincemeat. Let’s stick with Swiss Steak!
Braised Swiss Steak
Yield: 4 Servings Preparation Time: 30 Minutes Cooking Time: 1½ Hours
• ¼ Pound Thick Cut Bacon
• 1½ Pounds Beef Top Round Steak, swissed, cubed or pounded until about ½” thick
• ½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
• Canola Oil
• 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
• 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 1 Cup Green Pepper, diced
• 1 Cup Yellow Onion, diced
• 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
• 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
• 14½ Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, use the petite dice variety
• 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
• ½ Teaspoon Sweet Hungarian Paprika
• 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
• 1½ Cups Beef Stock
Step 1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
Step 2. Fry Bacon in a Dutch oven until crisp. Turn off heat and remove Bacon to a plate. Reserve drippings in the pot and add enough Canola Oil to equal ¼ cup total fat.
Step 3. Trim the Beef of extra fat and divide into four individual servings. Season each side with half of the Salt & Pepper then dredge in the Flour. Season again with remaining Salt & Pepper and dredge in Flour again.
Step 4. Return Dutch oven to medium-high heat and when the Oil is hot, brown two of the steaks for 2 minutes each side until golden then remove the browned steaks to a wire rack, set over a plate, to rest. Repeat with the two remaining steaks.
Step 5. After the last two steaks are removed to the wire rack, add the Onions, Green Pepper and Garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the Tomato Paste until combined and then add the diced Tomatoes, Oregano, Paprika, Worcestershire Sauce and Beef Stock.
Step 6. Stir until the sauce comes to a simmer, crumble the cooked Bacon and stir into the sauce. Return the steaks to the Dutch oven along with any accumulated juices and submerge them in the sauce. Cover and cook for 1½ hours in the pre-heated oven.
Serve with Fluffy Lumpy Mashed Potatoes and Cut Green Beans.
Tips and Trending
~ If your meat market cannot accommodate your request to cube or swiss your steaks, use the spiked side of a meat tenderizer mallet and pound away until the meat is ½” thick.
~ Swiss Steak tradition cuts the onions and pepper into strips, but I think that dicing allows more of the vegetables to brown and creates a smoother sauce at the end.
~ If desired, use an additional ¼ to ½ cup of beef stock to thin the sauce at the end of the cooking time. Just remove the meat from the Dutch oven and bring the remaining contents to a simmer while slowly stirring in the additional stock until the desired consistency is reached.