September 7, 2017 – We had Swiss steak often when I was a boy. I loved it. I assumed it was like Swiss cheese, a gift from Switzerland.
Eventually I became an adult and discovered I was wrong. It isn’t Swiss steak. It’s swiss steak. The name comes from swissing, a process of tenderizing cheap, tough cuts of meat by pounding them. Done with enough energy, swissing turns a tough cut of meat fork tender. It’s a word not much in use these days. It’s a good word. I’m going to start using it.
Swiss steak is another of those wonderful comfort foods that bring up warm memories. It’s also called smothered steak. Call it what you will, it’s slow-cooked beef in tomato gravy. We also served it over rice. I still do.
You don’t hear about swiss steak much these days. I can’t remember the last time I had it. It’s been that long. It was time.
I tried something a little different. In addition to the standard sweet peppers, onions, and mushrooms, I added sausage. Andouille sausage to be specific. My favorite. Other sausages will work as long as they’re uncooked. The sausage added a tremendous depth to an already flavorful dish.
Use a heavy pan with a tight cover. A braising pan is perfect.
Here’s my take on a grand old comfort food.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds round steak
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 links andouille sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
Place the meat on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle both sides with flour. Cover with another piece of parchment paper. With a meat hammer, or something equally heavy, swiss it. Pound it. Hard.
Cut the meat into serving size pieces.
Heat the oil over moderately high heat. Put the steak in the pan and brown it well on both sides. Put the sausage in the pan at the same time and let it brown as well.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover the meat and vegetables with the diced tomatoes.
Cover tightly and cook over moderately low heat for two hours. Check it occasionally and add water if more liquid is needed.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Serve over rice.