So it all started when I asked the folks what they wanted for dinner. That’s like usually like pulling teeth, but there we were in August: temperature 96 degrees. My Dad immediately said “Swiss Steak.”
Thanks Dad…I just love to make long, braised meals in 96 degree heat. But I’m not one to deny my fave octogenarian anything. Within reason. So I thought rather than heat up the kitchen, I’d pull out the Instant Pot. Then Pat stepped in and wanted to make Swiss Steak with Mushrooms. What? Mushrooms?
So I did some checking. It turns out Swiss Steak gets its name from the method of flouring, pounding and browning the meat. So technically, this is “Swiss Steak” just not the traditional Old Fashioned Swiss Steak I grew up on. (Oh the sacrilege.) Most people I know call this gorgeous beef done in a luscious mushroom gravy “Smothered Steak.”
The folks loved this meal. So much they each had seconds and as we sat around chatting after dinner, they kept cutting small pieces off the platter (it is spoon tender) and continued eating. Long after we were all stuffed. We agreed this is one recipe we’ll be making over and over. Yep, I was won over.
The meat cooked beautifully in the Instant Pot and the gravy was gorgeous. Just watch the browning. I had to work in batches and the bottom of the pot was getting very dark with built up fond.
The bottom of the Instant Pot is slightly domed & heat on the Saute function is not easy to regulate. Rather than risk burning, after I removed the second batch of browned beef, I added in the onions, mushrooms and Sherry and deglazed, then dumped it out to a bowl, added more oil to the Instant Pot and browned the remainder of the beef. Fond saved and no flavor lost.
Do watch for specials on beef for recipes like this – the round steak is traditionally the best cut for Swissing and you’ll want to pound the heck out of it. The advantage is it can be very inexpensive. I often buy it in a “roast” form and cut it into slices rather than buy round “steak” which can cost more per pound. See details on pounding in my post for German Beef Rouladen.
Swiss Steak with Mushroom Gravy
To prepare the beef:
- 2 1/4 pounds round steak (about 3/4″ thick)
- heaping 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt; Try this home-made Seasoning Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix together flour, seasoning salt, salt and pepper on large plate and set aside. Cut round steak into serving pieces. Dredge steak in flour mixture (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 steak is about 1/2 inch thick and noticeably more tender. Sprinkle on a bit more flour if the beef becomes sticky and the coating of flour disappears. A meat mallet may be used to pound, instead, the large pointed side.
To cook the recipe:
- Oil as needed (3 to 5 tablespoons)
- 1 large yellow onion, vertically sliced, about 3/8ths to 1/2 inch thick
- 1/4 cup Sherry or Red Wine
- 8 to 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 1 3/4 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley (2 for the gravy, 1 for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons water
Set the Instant Pot to Saute and using the Adjust button (within 10 seconds of setting to Saute) press until Normal appears. Once hot, add a tablespoon or two of oil. Add meat, working in batches, adding oil as necessary, browning each side until golden, removing and setting on a large plate or platter. (If, as you are browning, the fond begins to get dark, see note.)
Add the mushrooms, onions and wine and cook for several minutes, scraping up the fond on the bottom, until the wine has nearly evaporated. Add the broth, tomato paste, Dijon, salt, pepper, thyme and two tablespoons of the parsley & gently whisk to mix together.
Nestle the meat back into the Instant Pot, along with any juices, turning and covering as needed so as much meat as possible is submerged and all has some sauce on top.
Hit the Cancel button on the Instant Pot. Add lid and move valve to sealed position. Press the Meat function (35 minutes on medium pressure.) When the 35 minutes are up, allow the Instant Pot to go to the Warm function and leave for 10 minutes. Release any remaining pressure by turning the valve to the open setting. Remove meat to a platter.
Set Instant Pot back to the Saute function, Normal setting. Mix the cornstarch with the tablespoon and a half of cold water. When the gravy comes to a boil in the Instant Pot, stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring, for a minute or so until thickened.
Using a large slotted spoon, remove some of the mushrooms and onions and place over the steak on the platter. Pour some of the gravy over the meat, sprinkle with parsley and serve the remaining gravy on the side.
- I found the temperature of the Instant Pot a little difficult to regulate and after browning the second batch, the fond began to darken. I stopped browning at that point, removed the beef and added the onions, mushrooms and Sherry, stirring up the fond and cooking until the Sherry was nearly gone, then dumped them into a bowl.
- I then added more oil and the remaining steak to be browned. When the steak was all browned and removed, I added the onion/mushroom mixture back in with the broth, tomato paste, Dijon and seasonings and proceeded with the recipe.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 18 g||28 %|
|Saturated Fat 6 g||28 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 4 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 83 mg||28 %|
|Sodium 682 mg||28 %|
|Potassium 333 mg||10 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 5 g||2 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1 g||3 %|
|Sugars 1 g|
|Protein 40 g||81 %|
|Vitamin A||3 %|
|Vitamin C||4 %|
I’ll be bringing this recipe to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #187, hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices and Tradition. Pop by Fiesta Friday to see what everyone else is sharing and take a peek at our co-hosts blogs, too.