This post was originally published August 18, 2011 and was updated October 26, 2021.
I’m back to share another childhood favorite recipe of mine and this time it’s Swiss Steak. Yep, fork-tender round steak slow simmered with a simple but delicious tomato gravy. It’s great served with mashed potatoes, rice, or just by itself.
But did you know that Swiss Steak actually has no relationship to Switzerland? Nope! In fact, it’s called Swiss Steak because of the way it is prepared. “Swissing” refers to pounding or passing something through rollers in order to tenderize it. It’s often done to tougher cuts of meat to make them more palatable and quicker cooking.
While round steak is traditionally used in Swiss Steak, I opt to use cube (or cubed) steak in my version because it’s affordable and has already been “swissed” by the butcher. Most of the time, the cube steak in your grocery store is made with round steak anyway.
It’s called cube steak because of the shape that the mechanical tenderizer leaves in the meat after swissing or cubing it.
If you can’t find cube steak, you can certainly buy top or bottom round steaks and tenderize them at home with a meat mallet.
One of the things to keep in mind with this recipe is that cook time will vary. I’ve had cube steaks that were super tender and cooked to perfection in 45 minutes and then I’ve had cube steaks that took 1 1/2 hours to get tender. Now, I want mine incredibly tender, so I’m willing to wait. But not everyone wants it quite that tender, so you cook them until they’re to your liking.
I just know you’re going to love this easy, classic recipe. And while I’ll admit the cooking time doesn’t exactly make it a quick weeknight supper, the flavor and tenderness make it worth it in the end.
One thought I’ve had, and maybe one of y’all will give it a try and report back to us, is to brown the meat then toss it and all the other ingredients in the slow cooker. I’m pretty sure it would turn out delish!
Easy Swiss Steak
- 1 1/2 pounds beef cube steak
- seasoned salt (I use Lawry's)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups unsalted beef broth
- 1 (.87 to 1-ounce) packet brown gravy mix
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Lightly season cubed steak with seasoned salt and dredge in flour.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Sear the steaks in the oil for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Work in batches if necessary as to not crowd the pan.
- Remove steaks from pan and set aside. Add beef broth, packet of brown gravy mix, and can of diced tomatoes with the juice. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan.
- Add the steaks back to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender.