Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak . $5.35

In our family, one of my Mom’s frequent Sunday meals was Swiss Steak. We lived only a block from Church and often walked, and I remember coming home to Swiss Steak in the oven. The smell wafted through the old house, greeting us the moment the door was opened.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

The timing was just right to pop this in the oven right before we left and be nearly done when we returned. Potatoes sat in a pot ready to be fired up as soon as we got home and by the time we changed clothes, set the table and poured the milk, dinner was on the table. Long, slow braises are the answer to all kinds of timing issues.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

I don’t know that I was ever “taught” to make this; I just picked it up. Osmosis? Mom often assigned me chores in the kitchen and one of mine was to pound the flour into the round steak with the edge of a plate – that’s how the hallmark texture is achieved. I distinctly remember standing on a chair to do this (and to do dishes, as well!) Cube (Minute) Steaks were never used at our house for this dish.

This is really a plain eating old down home recipe, and at our house was never served without mashed potatoes. Noodles or rice would probably do, too, *shudders* but mashed are a perfect foil for the tomato “gravy.” Lima beans were often a side. I think the rings of green pepper may have been my Mother’s inspiration, as I don’t recall seeing them cut this way when I had Swiss Steak at other people’s homes.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

While newer recipes may use other meats and ingredients in an attempt to improve, I’ve resisted any of these “new-fangled” ideas in this childhood favorite. A little seasoning salt, perhaps, maybe a little garlic, but other cuts of beef or vegetables and a variety of flavorings from herbs to wine would take this to a whole “nuther level. It would no longer be “Swiss Steak.” At least not the one I remember.

The Swiss Steak, alone, runs about $5.35, Mashed Potatoes and vegetables are going to up the price of the meal. With careful shopping, dinner can be on the table for under seven bucks.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

Swiss Steak

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • about 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef round steak, 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • water as needed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes, crushed by hand or in blender, with juice
  • 1 or 2 green bell peppers, cut 3/8″ rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place flour on a large plate and set aside. Cut round steak into serving pieces. Salt & pepper as desired. Dredge steak in flour (really press in well), then use the edge of a sturdy plate to pound the meat. Repeat this pounding process on both sides until the meat is about 1/2 inch thick and noticeably more tender. Add a bit more flour if it becomes sticky. A meat mallet may be used instead, the large pointed side.

Heat vegetable oil in a large oven proof skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium heat; cook the onions & floured beef in the hot oil until the meat is golden brown, turning once. This will likely have to be done in batches, but the onions are best done in the first batch, then left in the pan to slowly brown and color through as the second batch cooks.

Return all meat to pan, strew with onions. Strew the bell pepper slices across the top. If you need to layer the meat, make sure each layer contains onion & pepper. Mix tomatoes with salt and pepper, pour over the top. Check the bottom of the pan. Liquid should come up nearly to the top but not over the first layer of meat. Add a little water if needed.

Bring to a simmer, cover tightly and place in a 325 degree oven until done, when meat is tender and no longer chewy, but still holding together, about 1  1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove meat, stir sauce and vegetables together and serve with meat.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com

Photos, Step by Step:

  Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Put Your own Spin on it:

Although I love the old-fashioned flavor and appreciate really being able to taste the food, this is a rather plain dish. Feel free to modify it to your own and your family’s tastes.

  • Vegetables: may be varied or added to. Mushrooms, a variety of peppers, celery, carrots, etc. are often seen in this dish. Fresh tomatoes and juices may be added instead of canned.
  • Seasonings may include basil, thyme, marjoram or almost any herb one desires. Wine or a dash of vinegar may be used to deepen the flavor.
  • Chuck or another fattier cut may be used instead of round, although that basically turns this into pot roast.

{Heritage Recipes}

Nearly the same ingredients, a whole different outcome – Beef, Bell Pepper & Tomato Stir Fry was always another family favorite. You’ll see, in this traditional dish how the different amounts of ingredient each drastically affect pricing and nutrition!

4 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak . $5.35”

  1. I adore Swiss Steak. My mother also made it when I was growing up. I now make it in my crock pot, and more recently my Instant Pot. I use crushed tomatoes, and I think the green peppers and onions are very important! Instead of potatoes, I love it with buttery, salted white rice. I haven’t tried it in the oven, but I look forward to trying your recipe on a lazy Sunday at home. Thanks!

    1. Hi KT, I’ve been wanting to make it in my very recently acquired instant pot. I seem to be using it mostly for rice and frittatas so far! I made New England Style Baked Beans in it yesterday. I also made some Mexican style pork and bread pudding and corn pudding. So I’m learning!

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