CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Swiss Steak

There was a time  — back in the 1950s and ’60s when Sunday dinner was the most special meal of the week. It most often featured a nice roast or chicken, along with potatoes, a vegetable and always a tasty dessert.

When I was a kid, we could always look forward to a wonderful meal on Sunday. They were a big deal. I fondly remember Mom browning a beef or pork roast or a cut-up chicken that would be the centerpiece of our dinner, which we usually ate early to midafternoon. And often, we had a bowl of stuffing, sometimes wilted lettuce, maybe buttercup squash as well as mashed potatoes.

But these days, Sunday dinners have become a thing of the past for a lot of households, either because of their affordability or the busy schedule that befalls many families.

Therese and I have become accustomed to having a big meal on Sunday, though, and usually are joined by our daughter, Amy, and grandson, Rakeem.

One of our favorite Sunday meals is Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and whole-kernel corn. Many times, we’ve feasted on either venison or elk steaks. But recently, I’ve turned to slicing a roast (bison) about 1-inch thick.

Slicing a roast is a nice option, since it’s harder these days to find round steak, an old standby for Swiss steak (Round steak wasn’t the most tender cut of beef and was quite a bit cheaper than sirloin.)

Here’s my recipe for Swiss steak. Give it a try. It would be a shame to let a fine old tradition disappear.

Swiss Steak
2 to 3 pounds round steak or beef roast that is sliced 1-inch thick
3 to 4 large onions, sliced
1 14½ -ounce can whole, diced or stewed tomatoes
½ to 1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup red wine
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour and dry ingredients and pound into steak that has been placed on a cutting board.
Place olive oil in cast iron skillet and brown steak in on both sides. When finished, place meat in a Dutch oven. Cover with tomatoes and onions.
Deglaze skillet with red wine, making sure to scrape up bits that have stuck to bottom. Pour over steak, tomatoes and onions.
Bake for about 2 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

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