I browsed through the American Woman’s Cook Book (AWCB) to try one of the recipes I remember my mother making back when I was oh so young. I landed on “Swiss Steak”. I decided to follow the instructions exactly to see how it was designed to be made. Those Home Economic teachers should know a thing or two about cooking. I did make a few exceptions as you will see below. Results? It turned out great, with a few changes next time around – and it is worth making again.
- 2 pounds steak cut 2 ½ inches thick from shoulder, rump or round – that seemed too thick to me but I stuck to it. I used round.
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons fat – I used vegetable oil. Who has fat in the pantry any more?
- Few slices onion – I used half of an onion.
- Salt and pepper
- ½ green pepper, chopped fine
- 2 cups boiling water or 1 cup boiling water and 1 cup strained tomatoes. I went the strained tomatoes route.
- 2 garlic cloves – my addition. How could I not?
Season the flour with salt and pepper and pound it into the meat with a wooden potato-masher, or the edge of a heavy meat mallet. I had neither of those so I used my trusty wooden rolling pin. Heat fat and brown the meat in it. Add the garlic, onions, green pepper, boiling water and tomato. Cover closely. Simmer for 2 hours. this may be cooked in a casserole in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Vegetables may be added as desired. Serves 6.
What I would do differently:
- Use thin round steak. The meat was tender but a little stringy. My mother used to pound the round steak with the head of a glass soda bottle. It not only tenderized it but made it go further, I would guess.
- Use a whole can of tomatoes with its juices and reduce the amount of water.
That’s about it. Like I said, it was delicious and made great leftovers. I am anxious to make it again with a thinner cut of meat. The flavors are great. Try it and see.