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Old 11-19-2005, 01:53 PM   #1
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Swiss Steak

In response to a related thread, Swiss Steak came to mind. I've had it prepared in different ways. So, being the curious fellow that I am, I just had to do a bit of research and find out the origins and true, original recipe.

The first definition of the dish is from the "American Heritage Dictionary": "A round steak pounded with flour and braised with stock and vegetables"

2. A typical Recipe: 2 lbs. round steak
3 tbs. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 tbs oil
16 oz. can of dice tomato
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Dredge the meat in the flour and pound with a meat tenderiser. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Heat oil in a heavy frying pan and lightly brown the meat and onions. Add the remaining ingredients, then transfer to a covered caserole dish. Bake for 3 hours at 200 degrees. Remove from oven and serve with buttered egg-noodles or mashed potatoes and a deep-orange veggie

3. Recipe 2: 4 round steaks, about 8 oz. and 3/4 inch thick
2 slices bacon
3 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs. truffle or olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup ap flour
Dredge the meat in the flour and pound with a meat tenderizing mallet. Cook the bacon in a heavy pan until crisp. Add the olive oil, meat, and onion. Cook until the meat is lightly browned. Add the remaining ingrediants and cover the pan. Simmer for two hours. Serve with salad and boiled cabbage.

It seems that Swiss Steak is an American creation. The Swiss part is used to describe the technique of pounding the meat with flour, much as the "french" is used to describe removing the excess meat from between rib bones on a rack of lamb or pork ribs, or cutting potatoes into little fingers before frying.

The Swiss Steak technique is used with tougher cuts of beef to make them more tender and add variety to the flavor. This dish is cousin to county-fried, or chicken-fried steak. And there is no standard recipe. You can add tomato, or not, mushrooms, various herbsand spices, fresh garlic, kidney beans, etc. You can even add cream if you so desire. Swiss steak can be cooked on the stove-top, in the oven, in a slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker. All are valid variations.

So the next time you want Swiss Steak, take your favorite recipe and do something different with it. Add a bit of cloves and ginger to the dish, or maybe put some diced rutabegga in there. Just make sure you pound the meat with flour, seasoned or not depending on your taste, pan fry until golden brown, and then cook with veggies and liquid until tender.

How can you go wrong with this technique.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 11-19-2005, 06:02 PM   #2
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Thank you for the explanation about 'Swiss' steak. It is something that I've never eaten in Switzerland It's interesting that any Swiss recipe I've come across for beef or veal doesn't have tomatoes in the ingredients list... alhtough the Italian cantons may use it
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:56 PM   #3
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Weed, I'll bet it's delicious like that, but for me it's a convenient oven dish that my mom, a schoolteacher, used to make for my dad, who worked second shift and needed his big meal at lunchtime. They didn't have crockpots back then, but she was a very efficent planner, and got things done the night before, or before she went to work in the morning.
I just put my seasoned round steak, carrots, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms in a baking dish, sprinkle seasoned flour over the top, pour a can of tomato sauce over the top, cover it tightly with foil, and cook in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. It turns out very tender.

I'd sure like to taste your version...I'll bet it's wonderful.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:29 PM   #4
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Tough cuts of meat,cut thin and put through a jaccard for the price conscience.Nothing to do with Switzerland,actually it's from the word swissing which is to press roll bolts of cloth. Use to live on the stuff going through University,and cooked it 20 ways of sunday,tasty as well.
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:25 PM   #5
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just as dutch cocoa isn't dutch, but dutched cocoa ... lye treated for easy powdering and use, and kosher salt isn't kosher but koshering, used for the koshering butcher process. etc...
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:34 PM   #6
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Interesting to a foreigner!

Another oddity is the American 'Cornish hens' - unheard of in Cornwall
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:04 PM   #7
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Funny for sure.No such thing as swiss cheese in Switzerland either.
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