This recipe for Smothered Swiss Steak is pure comfort food at its finest. It’s at the top of my list for when there is a chill in the air, and I’m looking for something warm and cozy for supper. (And if you love fall and winter comfort food, try my recipe for Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Cider Gravy.)
And although you can prepare this Swiss Steak recipe by simmering it on the stovetop, I like to braise it in the oven for a few hours. Because when it’s cold and blustery outside, it just makes my kitchen extra warm and inviting to have a pot full of something delicious slow-cooking in the oven. Also, can I just say that while these Swiss Steaks are in the oven simmering away, the whole house will be just amazingly fragrant with the aroma of home-cooked goodness!
But I do tend to think of this recipe as something a bit old-fashioned (in a really good kind of way). This dish is something from my childhood, that my mom or grandma would prepare for supper on a cold fall or winter evening. Back in those days, growing up in Pennsylvania, fall was just magical to me (and still is to this day!) Hearty, warming foods were standard fare on those crisp autumn, after-school evenings, and were definitely a part of the magic.
What are the ingredients for Smothered Swiss Steak?
Aside from being a nostalgic kind of recipe, though, I think it’s also a bit of an old-fashioned because I use cubed steaks for this dish, a cut of beef that I really don’t see too often in modern recipes. I really believe these steaks deserve a revival, though, because when properly cooked low and slow, cubed steaks are just oh-so-tender. And as an added bonus, they are also typically very inexpensive. Often I can find cubed steaks on sale for less than the price of regular ground beef. But if you can’t easily find cubed steaks, just go ahead substitute thin-cut top round steaks.
And the gravy for these steaks? It’s a beefy-tomato gravy, filled with tender bell peppers, onions, celery, and mushrooms. And here comes the “smothered” part – this rich, thick, savory gravy is just begging to be smothered, not just over the steak, but also over a scoop of mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or even rice. Truly down-home comfort food!
If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoy!
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- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 pounds cubed steak (cut into serving-size pieces if necessary)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other high-temperature cooking oil)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces of cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced or stewed tomatoes (or use 1 pint of home-canned tomatoes)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pinch celery seed (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of water + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 325° F. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Add steak, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
- On the stovetop, heat oil in a cast-iron Dutch oven (or other heavy, oven-safe pot) over medium-high heat. Brown steak in oil on both sides. Remove steaks to a plate.
- To the same pot, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook and stir for 6-7 minutes, or until vegetables are beginning to soften. If needed, add a little extra oil. Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Stir in diced tomatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, sugar, and celery seed. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula to release all of the flavorful bits. Return steaks to the pot, making sure they are covered by the gravy.
- Cover and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender. At this point, remove the pot from the oven and place it on the stovetop. Remove the steaks to a plate, leaving the gravy in the pot.
- In a small bowl, combine corn starch and water into a paste; stir into gravy. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, until gravy has thickened. Serve steaks with gravy, and mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or cooked white rice.