Swiss Steak

This is an oldie but goodie. My mom used to make this when I was little. Here it is again with a little twist or two. This is a little time-consuming but not as difficult as you might think. It just has several steps.

Swiss Steak

Ingredients

  • 5 – 6 lb chuck roast
  • 1/2 lb thick-sliced bacon, diced
  • Carrots, chopped (from Fran’s garden) 1 – 1 ½ C
  • Celery, chopped 1 – 1 ½ C
  • Onions, chopped 1 – 1 ½ C (I use frozen, chopped)
  • Mushrooms, 1 – 1 1/2 C chopped (I used portabellos because that’s what I had)
  • Tomato juice (if you’re feeling adventerous, try Bloody Mary mix- it has great spices right in it and adds a real depth of flavor)
  • Red wine ( Cabernet or Merlot ) ½ C, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour, for dredging

Directions

Put diced bacon in a pre-heated pan and cook to brown bacon and render out the bacon fat.
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Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, leaving fat in the pan. Place bacon on paper towels to drain and set aside.
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Cut the chuck roast into 3 – 4 inch cubes or big, fat strips.
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Season chuck roast with salt and pepper.
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Generously flour a cutting board and gently pound flour into the roast pieces, turning frequently. Use a meat tenderizer if you have one or, if not, use the bottom of a VERY heavy glass or the edge of a heavy plate. Each piece should be turned and gently pounded 4 or 5 times to work the flour into the meat. I say “gently” because if you do it vigorously, you will be wearing the flour and you will be wiping it off of everything within a 3 feet radius.
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Set the floured pieces aside and allow them to rest for a few minutes before browning. This will allow the flour to set and help create a better crust.
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Brown the pieces on both sides (approx. 3 to 4 minutes per side) in the reserved bacon fat (pour off some of the fat but reserve for later use -add as necessary). Brown the pieces in batches and then place them in an ovenproof casserole large enough to more than accommodate all pieces.
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Add chopped onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms to pan. If there isn’t any bacon fat left, use some butter and a splash of olive oil.
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If desired, add some red wine and simmer vegetables for 2 or 3 minutes or until the carrots and celery are just beginning to soften.
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Add tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix to pan with vegetables and bring to a simmer. Bloody Mary mix contains a number of spices and adds, I think, a depth of flavor.
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Add heated vegetable mixture to browned roast pieces. At this point you could also add the bacon, but I ate it while I was doing everything else. Place in a pre-heated oven (350º) and bake until heated through and bubbly (approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hrs.

Enjoy! Yummmmmmmmmmmm!!
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