February 3, 2010

steak a la switzerland?

That's why it's called swiss steak, right? 'Cause it's from Switzerland?


Wrong. The name doesn't refer to Switzerland, but to the process of swissing. How does one swiss, you ask? Well, what a timely and appropriate question--I, for one, had absolutely no idea. Apparently, swissing simply means pounding the heck out of something in order to make it softer and more tender. So, if you happen to have a hunk of leathery, less-than-appealing meat (like round, for instance), swiss(ed) steak is the dish for you. The meat gets bashed, coated with flour and other seasonings, braised, and served with a thick, tomato-based gravy.


The moral of this story is that you mustn't discriminate against the tough and rough cuts of meat. They can be brought into submission (whilst you can get out a little aggression) and made perfectly edible, nay, delectable.

Steak That's Been Swissed
(from good ol' Paula Deen)

1 round steak (approximately 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced or broken-up whole tomatoes
1 cup water
1 medium onion, cut into strips

Cut the steak into serving-size pieces, whether they be strips or chunks. Dust meat with flour and season with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet, brown both sides of the meat in vegetable oil. Transfer it to a Dutch oven or casserole dish. Combine the tomatoes, onion, and water. Pour this over the steak and simmer over low heat until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. If necessary, add more water to keep the meat partially covered.
Season with additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.

59 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Scrumptious! I always wondered why it was called Swiss steak...

Cheers,

Rosa

Lucie said...

I had no idea this recipe existed--such a nice way to transform a cheap cut into a satisfying dinner!

♥peachkins♥ said...

Swiss Steak sounds wonderful..

Eve said...

Grace, LONG TIME. This recipe is going to be a life saver for me, what with Husband being picky as hell about his meat.

Also on a related note, all your previous recipes I have been drooling over. Once I get around to doing some baking I'll let you know how it goes! :)

kat said...

Always good to know how to save a cheaper cut of meat

Gloria said...

Sometimes is strangue where the food names come from, but I have to say this look so nice Im drooling !! gloria

ButterYum said...

From Switzerland... Hahahahahahahah. You sure piqued my interest by that one!

:)
ButterYum

lisa said...

Good to know! I love learning new terms like swissing.

Leslie said...

Who knew? Looks yummy though

Stephen said...

and thats the beauty of less expensive cuts of meat. my favorite, in the whole world, cut of beef is the brisket. it's cheap and versitle. corned beef hash to sandwhiches to simple slices with mashers and veg.. now the flank most folks know as a good less expensive cut. but you need to cut on the bias right? if you swiss it you don't. pound the crap out of it, grill it and serve. you can also take that pounded piece of meat and roll it with cheese, smoked peppers etc... make a roulade and tie it up w butchers string. cook and slice. yum! good post grace!

George Gaston said...

Grace, next time I bash someone over the head, I am going to tell them "I was just swissing them". Hopeful the jury will let me off with a stern warning.

This is a wonderful recipe for Swiss(ing) Steak! I have always love this dish and yours looks absolutely incredible.

Great post and thanks for the information....

vickys said...

Do you think that when things are supposed to be less expensive or less exclusive, people put more effort into making it better and hence..yummier? :) I mean, we have an obvious example here!

Lisa said...

Isn't it great that you can apply aggression to good purpose in the kitchen? Thanks for the educational tidbit on "swissing." I never really thought about it before. And I haven't made Swiss Steak in years. It would go great with my recent retro theme.

Dawn said...

and leftovers go right on a sub roll with a pound of cheese and some onions. yes?

Lynn said...

A new fun fact! I love it! Thanks for teaching me about swissing.

Amy from She Wears Many Hats said...

So glad to know that. I often overlook those tougher meats but I'll be trying out that swissing thing soon.

Hungry Dog said...

Interesting, educational & delicious post!

Lynda said...

I love to make and eat Swiss Steak...I also love the pounding into submission thing! It really does a great job of tenderizing. Now I can tell everyone that I'm just "swissing"! Thanks for a yummy dish, Grace.

Sophie said...

Swissing sounds like a whole lotta fun. My husband insists that the cheaper cuts can be beat into submission, but I haven't tried. Sounds like that needs to change :).

Mimi said...

I get the whole Swissing concept, when you pound your meat so thin there are holes in it. I think my mom's problem with Swiss steak was she forgot to pound it first; tough meat in sauce is my memory. Maybe this recipe will rectify my past experiences.
Mimi

livinlocal said...

I have spent years with the idea that I just don't do Swiss steak, cuz I don't know how which must mean that it is mysterious and complex. This, I can and will do. And I just love that word "swissing".

noble pig said...

Oh, I'm ready to Swiss...how yummy!

Bellini Valli said...

This is one of those comforting dishes that we juts can't love without.

Faith said...

Lol, I actually had no idea what "swissing" meant until now! Now that I know, I can definitely say I would love to try my hand at it. ;) This sounds fantastic with that tomato-based gravy!

Amber said...

This was interesting, I too had no idea about swissing and I love Swedish meatballs, but I am sure you don't swedes the meat. Like you said tough meat is great when done right.

Barbara said...

Had no idea that's where the swiss part of swiss steak came from. Good info, Grace.
I have often "swissed" veal for scallopini. Hmmmm. I think I'm going to like this new word!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

OMG Grace, this is a friend of mine's favourite dish! We don't do this recipe here so I had no idea what she meant. Thankyou! :D

Pam said...

I've never had Swiss steak before. It looks and sounds really comforting and tasty.

Robin Sue said...

If I get swissed does that mean I will be all tender and soft? Swiss chocolate really means Swiss chocolate still, right? Good! This is a super easy recipe for those nights I need the oven to do all the work.

Deborah said...

Wow - they say you learn something new every day, and I didn't know this!

Ingrid said...

You have such an engaging way of telling us about the recipes you've made. Thanks for the "swiss" lesson. Can I use it terms of children....such as if you don't knock it off I'm going to swiss your behind? :)
~ingrid

5 Star Foodie said...

I need to do this with my bison sirloin - that would work perfectly. Oh, made the cinnamon roll cake tonight, turned out really good, thanks so much!

Sharon said...

Ahh you're full of good answers and yummy food.

Kate at Serendipity said...

Swissed Steak, Dissed Steak, however you pound it, it's good for me!

shaz said...

Ah.. thank you for enlightenment. Had never actually heard of swissed steak before - sure looks yummy though.

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Never knew that about Swiss Steak. Good info, makes for good dinner conversation! I love swiss steak!

The Teacher Cooks said...

I love Swiss Steak and pair it with some good mashed potatoes, I am in heaven!!

Albany Jane said...

Eye of round always makes a good chicken fried steak. I think I will file this away under "healthy recipes" in that vein.

LillSis said...

That brings back some memories. My parents would always pound the beef that they bought for our chicken fried steak. I never knew that was swissing, though. Your swiss steak looks yummy!

Erica said...

I love learning about new dishes. That swiss steak looks delicious.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Even if I don't make this steak, I've got to figure out a way to introduce "swissing" into my vocabulary. It's just too fun.

Maris said...

I've never even heard of this but I want some already!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

This looks great! I'm a big fan of beating meat...haha sorry I couldn't help but get a little saucy. Please don't judge me...:)

~~louise~~ said...

You don't even want to see what my meat "pounder" looks like. It's deadly, I tell ya. I must post it someday:) However, I had no idea there was a name for the process of submission. Great post Grace!!!

I'll remember this post and you whenever I do a bit of swissing. (which by the way is quite often, even on selections of meat that claim tenderness:)

The Gypsy Chef said...

Love the banner! Those cherries are too sweet. You've actually made swissed steak look good. I just remember it being served to me from an aluminum tray bearing the name Swanson. Oh yeah, there was a little apple dessert cake served with it.

kimberleyblue said...

Oh, I've never heard of this! Sounds like a sensible thing to do, and looks like it yields great results.

Carolyn Jung said...

I used to love this as a kid. I don't think I've had it in years. Thanks for reminding me that I need to have a plate of this again soon.

Penny said...

I love to do this with boneless pork chops too. They sell them all ready pounded at my grocery store. Great post Grace.

Chef Jeena said...

This looks so so delish! You are right in what you say about tough meat, sometimes it just needs some extra attention to make it delicious.

TKW said...

Oh my God! Swiss steak, my childhood nemesis, staring back at me from the screen! EEK!

Marjie said...

I do enjoy swiss steak. But I like your title much better: Steak a la Switzerland! Doesn't it sound so....exotic? and like there should be chocolate waiting at the end?

pigpigscorner said...

Wow this looks really good! THe sauce...give me some bread to soak up all that wonderful sauce!

Pam said...

Thanks for enlightening me. I too thought it was from Switzerland.

Lori said...

I didnt know that. I have always wondered why swiss steak is called swiss steak. Now I know.

The schitzel are quite good too - all pounded into tastey submission.

foodhoe said...

wow, I didn't know these required such attention... I have a couple sitting in the freezer that I picked up recently and now I know what to do with them! I knew it involved tomato sauce, but had no idea what the swissing meant!

Ed Schenk@ Detroit Eats said...

When done properly this can be a very good dish!

Danielle said...

I think my husband needs to be swissed!!
yummy dish

kellypea said...

We haven't had this in a zillion years, but boy it makes me want some now. YUM. Missed lunch today. Seriously yum.

A Canadian Foodie said...

Simple is always best, isn't it? My mother made this almost every week when I was a child... with baked or mashed potatoes... and the natural juices on the potatoes was so yummy. I never really liked the meat - but that was just me. I was the vegetable lover. Thanks for reminding me of this basic man pleasing recipe.
XO
Valerie