A Swiss steak recipe is a classic American dish with roots in European cuisine. It’s made by by braising beef in a tasty tomato-based sauce until it is tender and juicy, or at least that is the classic way of serving it. The meat is typically coated in flour and seasoned with salt and black pepper before being seared in a hot skillet.
Next the meat is transferred to a large pot with garlic and vegetables including onions. The sauce is a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, beef broth, and various Swiss steak seasoning, herbs and spices. You can use a Swiss steak seasoning packet or add your own flavors, as you prefer.
Your easy Swiss steak is then slow-cooked until the meat is tender and the sauce is nice and thick. Swiss steak is a robust and filling meal that is ideal for a chilly evening. It’s hearty comfort food which is tasty served over mashed potatoes. It’s a classic recipe that’s been passed down through the generations. Perhaps you fondly remember it from your own childhood or similar braised beef dishes.
What’s Swiss about Swiss Steak?
You might assume the name comes from it being a dish from Switzerland but no – it’s a European dish which can be traced back a very long time and today is an American favorite. The word “Swiss” comes from the verb “swissing” which means pounding meat with a mallet to tenderize it. If you did want a recipe from Switzerland though, try cheese fondue!
So the word “Swiss” refers to the Swiss steak cut of meat, but it’s usually braised in tomato sauce until tender. Other variations of the dish include Swiss steak with mushrooms, crock pot Swiss steak with brown gravy, Swiss steak with tomatoes onions and peppers, and even venison Swiss steak or hamburger Swiss steak.
Old fashioned Swiss steak has been around more more than a century and the first known printed recipe for it was in 1915. It’s an economical dish, since it’s made with cheaper, tougher cuts that need to be tenderized and braised to come out tender. It’s a popular dish at schools and in hospital cafeterias, and some buffets offer it as an entrée.
This machine is a mechanical tenderizer which pounds meat and makes cube-shape dents on either side as it breaks up the tough connective tissue. Beef that needs to be “Swissed” isn’t tender to start off with. You can buy beef Swiss steak from the butcher or meat aisle at the grocery store or you can use a meat mallet yourself to make your own.
Swiss cube steak or cubed steak is another way of saying Swiss steak, so you might see something labeled “cubed steak in tomato sauce” for example, which means it’s a tender piece of beef that was tenderized and then braised in tomato sauce to make it tender and tasty.
What Type of Meat is Used to Make It?
Since this recipe is tenderized and then braised for a long time, you can use a budget cut of steak or beef, and it will come out beautifully tender. Round steak is a commonly used cut for easy Swiss steak recipes, while chuck shoulder is another nice cut to choose.
As for the sauce, a tomato sauce is the traditional option but there are other recipes that you might like too such as Swiss steak with mushroom gravy or Swiss steak with tomato soup. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best recipes so you can choose one and get started on this classic dish for yourself.
Using a slow cooker is a no-brainer because it naturally braises the meat over a period of hours and you’re guaranteed to end up with a succulent result. Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, bell peppers, and onions are just some of the tasty ingredients used in this dish.
Beef and mushrooms are always sensational together and they are also harmonious in a Swiss steak recipe. Juicy, meaty mushrooms add plenty of appeal to the rich and meaty gravy. For a creamier version you can make Swiss steak with cream of mushroom soup instead of broth.
This traditional recipe is made with a sweet tomato sauce, along with oregano and vegetables. It makes a wonderful mid-week meal and is wonderful paired with mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles, or even some warm crusty bread for mopping up every last trace of the yummy juices.
The Instant Pot can save you time and effort, and it’s great for all kinds of beef dishes including Instant Pot Swiss steak recipes. This one can be ready on the table in just over an hour, rather than the several hours crockpot cooking or oven braising. It’s packed with lots of flavor.
The sweetness of stewed tomatoes really brings out the amazing meaty flavor of the steak. This one also boasts a selection of flavorful vegetables along with breadcrumbs and Worcestershire sauce. Use canned stewed tomatoes or else you might prefer to make your own.
If you want to make a classic Swiss steak, choose the tomato sauce option, although it’s sometimes nice to mix things up. Mushrooms sauce is also incredible with this type of meat. A Swiss steak recipe makes a delicious meal and pairs well with mashed potatoes or your carb of choice. You might or might not want to make a vegetable side dish, depending on whether your Swiss steak sauce includes vegetables.