Growing up, my mom would frequently make what she called Swiss Steak. At the time, I had no idea why she called it that, because no part of it seemed “Swiss” to me. Seriously, when I think “Swiss,” I think cheese and chocolate, and neither were in this dish. The cuts of round or cube steak cooking in a tomato gravy with peppers and onions seemed very un-Swiss. I always thought it was more Italian than anything, but who am I to argue with my mom!?!?
As it turns out, the “Swiss” part of the steak refers to “Swissing,” a technique of tenderizing meat by rolling or pounding. It also turns out that she’s not the only person to call it Swiss Steak. According to several websites, Swiss Steak is simply cuts of beef braised in tomatoes or a gravy with mushrooms and/or onions, and it’s fairly common throughout Europe and the US. Hmmmm… Mom was expanding our cultural horizons the whole time! Who knew!?!?!
1-1 1/2 lb cube steak, cut into serving size pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 c. bell pepper or sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. beef broth
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
Sprinkle steaks with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and dredge in flour. Heat oil in a large stick skillet. Fry steaks in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Steaks do not have to be cooked through. Remove steaks from skillet. Add onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until tender. Deglaze the pan with half of beef broth. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and remaining beef broth. Heat to bubbling. Add steak back to pan, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir/turn steak occasionally to prevent sticking. If sauce reduces too much add small amounts of water or beef broth to keep it loose.
Serve over cooked egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.