Swiss steak with tomato sauce and a serving of green beans on a black plate with a fork. In the background, there's an additional bowl of green beans and more steak

Swiss Steak

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This Swiss Steak is so easy, fall apart tender and a great recipe that you can not mess up!! Swiss steak is literally foolproof and everyone loves it!

Want something hearty and comforting for dinner? Well, I’ve got just the thing: Swiss Steak! It’s essentially beef steaks simmered slowly in a savory tomato and onion sauce, infused with a bunch of aromatic herbs. It does need a few more ingredients than my usual recipes, but the prep? So easy. And the flavors? Ready to knock your socks off? I’m a fan of tossing some green beans on the side, but honestly, this Swiss steak recipe is so good no matter what you serve it with.

A fork piercing a bite of Swiss steak above a black plate with more steak and green beans, with a second bowl of beans and more steak in the background

Here’s a fun fact about old-fashioned Swiss steak that might surprise you: it’s not from Switzerland. I know, right? Turns out, the “Swiss” in Swiss steak actually refers to the method of preparing the meat, known as “swissing” – that’s chef talk for tenderizing a tougher cut of meat. Some people use the oven or a slow cooker, but in this recipe, we achieve that tenderness by letting the steak simmer on the stovetop in a tangy tomato sauce. It works wonders!

Swiss Steak Overview

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Number of Ingredients: 8 (excluding salt, pepper and oil)
Feeds: A family of 4
Total Cook Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Primary Cooking Method: Searing and simmering
Dietary Info: High-Protein
Key Flavor: Meaty, savory with tangy tomato
Skill Level: Intermediate

Notable mentions

  • Nostalgic Comfort: Growing up, Swiss steak was one of my go-to comfort foods. It’s the kind of meal that warms you right up! There’s something about the way it fills the kitchen with its aroma that’s like a warm hug from the past.
  • Budget-Friendly Choice: This recipe is a total win for your wallet! Using a more affordable cut like top-round steak proves you don’t need to spend big bucks for a delicious meal.
  • Tender and Flavor-Packed: The beauty of this dish lies in how the beef becomes irresistibly tender and flavorful. The slow simmering in the tomato-based sauce tenderizes the meat and infuses it with an array of flavors, making each bite taste like the perfect mix of savory, herbaceous, and tangy.
  • Simple Yet Hearty: There’s beauty in simplicity, and this Swiss steak recipe is a testament to that. It’s super straightforward with no fancy techniques, yet the result is a hearty, satisfying dish.

Ingredients to make Swiss Steak

  • Top Round Steaks: Good news for grocery shoppers – this cut is suuuper budget-friendly, and perfect for tenderizing. Can’t find top round? Chuck steak can also do the trick with a bit more simmering love.
  • All-Purpose Flour: For coating the steaks and giving them that gorgeous golden sear. If you’re avoiding gluten, use a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Seasoning Mix: Kosher salt and ground black pepper, essential for seasoning our steaks just right.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To cook and bring out the flavors of the steaks and the onions. If you don’t have olive oil, any vegetable oil will do the job.
  • Onion and Minced Garlic: These are the flavor foundations, giving depth of flavor and a delicious aroma to your Swiss beef steak.
  • Herb Trio: Dried thyme, sage, and marjoram. They all add a fantastic herby touch. Fresh herbs are great too, just remember to triple the amount since dried herbs are more concentrated.
  • Tomato Puree: To create that rich, tangy sauce.
Overhead shot of a fork piercing a bite of Swiss steak on a black plate with more steak and green beans, with a second bowl of beans and more steak next to it

How to make Swiss Steak

Step 1: Season and Sear The Steaks

  1. Combine the flour, kosher salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Gently pat the flour mixture onto both sides of the steaks to coat them evenly, and place them in a large shallow pan.
  3. Once the pan is hot, sear the steaks for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they get a rich brown color. Set aside.
A step by step image collage on how to make Swiss steak with ingredients, mixing the flour and seasonings, and searing the steaks

Step 2: Mix the Tomato Sauce

  1. Add the tomato puree with dried thyme, sage, and marjoram to a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together until well incorporated.
A step by step image collage on how to make Swiss steak with mixing the tomato sauce with the seasonings

Step 3: Sauté the onions, add the steaks, and pour the sauce

  1. In a separate shallow pan with a lid (or use the same one after browning the meat), warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and add the diced onions and minced garlic.
  2. Sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and tender.
  3. Transfer the steaks to the sautéed onion mixture.
  4. Carefully pour the tomato sauce mix over the steaks.
A step by step image collage on how to make Swiss steak with sauteeing the onions, adding the steaks to the pan, and pouring the tomato sauce

Step 4: Finish cooking the steaks

  1. Cover the pan with its lid and allow the steaks to simmer on low heat for one and a half hours, or until the meat is tender.
Cooked Swiss steak in a large shallow pan, covered with the sauce
  • Veggie Boost: Toss in some diced celery, carrots, or green bell peppers when you sauté the onions and garlic. They’ll add a lovely crunch and an extra layer of flavor, not to mention a pop of color!
  • Broth and Tomato Chunks: Anytime I want a thicker sauce, I mix some beef broth with chunks of tomato and add them to the pan instead of tomato puree. It gives the sauce a heartier texture and an even deeper flavor profile.
  • Tomato Puree Swap: If you don’t have tomato puree in your pantry, crushed tomatoes or even a smooth marinara can step in as a substitute. They’ll still give you that rich, tomatoey goodness that’s key to a luscious Swiss steak with gravy.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Just a splash, for a complex umami touch.
  • Red Wine: Deglaze your pan with a splash of red wine after browning the steaks. It’ll lift all those tasty browned bits off the bottom of the pan, enriching your sauce.

Tips for making the best swiss steak with gravy

  1. Tenderizing Hack: Before you start cooking, give those steaks a good tenderizing with a meat mallet. A few firm whacks will break down the fibers, making your steaks extra tender and ensuring they soak up all that sauce goodness.
  2. Thin Out the Sauce: If you find your tomato sauce is a bit too thick for your liking, simply thin it out with a splash of beef broth or water. Easy peasy!
  3. Sear with Care: When you’re browning the steaks, keep the heat at medium. If you crank the heat all the way up, the flour coating in the steaks will burn and become bitter.
  4. Low and Slow Simmer: Patience is key when simmering your steaks. Keep the heat low and give them time to mingle with the sauce. This is what will tenderize the meat and infuse it with yummy flavors.
Closeup of two pieces of Swiss steak with sauce, resting on parchment paper

How to store & reheat Swiss Steak

First, let any leftovers cool before storing. Then, tuck your Swiss steak and any extra sauce into airtight containers and slide them into the fridge. To reheat, gently warm the steak in a pan over low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to get the sauce back to a perfect consistency.

How long will Swiss Steak last in the fridge?

Your Swiss steak is perfect for meal planning because it stays fresh in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. The flavors actually meld and deepen over time, making those next-day servings even more delicious.

Can I freeze old fashioned Swiss steak?

You sure can! Pack your steak with a bit of sauce in a freezer-safe container or bag, squeezing out any excess air. It’ll stay fresh and tasty in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze some of the sauce in a separate container for up to 3 months, and defrost it to use in other dishes.

What to serve with Swiss Steak

  • Crisp Green Beans: A classic for a reason! Just a quick sauté with a touch of garlic, maybe toss in some almond slivers, and you’ve got a crunchy, fresh side.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice: For a zesty and simpler side, pair your Swiss steak with cilantro lime rice. The brightness of the lime and the fresh kick of cilantro balance the savory and richness of the steak. Trust me, you’ll want seconds.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: There’s something about creamy garlic mashed potatoes that just feels right alongside a hearty, old fashioned Swiss steak. They’re like a soft, fluffy cloud ready to soak up all that delicious tomato sauce.
  • Roasted Root Vegetables: Roasting some carrots, parsnips, and beets brings out their natural sweetness, making them a cozy, colorful addition to your plate.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this in the oven?

Yes! Actually, traditional Swiss steak is often braised in the oven. Just brown your steaks on the stove, then transfer them to an oven-safe dish, cover with the tomato sauce and onions, and let it braise at 325°F for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until tender.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

You bet! Brown the steaks and sauté the onions and garlic as per the recipe, then transfer everything into the slow cooker. Pour the tomato sauce mix over the top and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Is Swiss steak the same as Salisbury steak?

Nope, Salisbury steak is typically made with ground beef and shaped into patties, while Swiss steak is made with a whole, tougher cut of meat that’s tenderized and slow-cooked.

A plate of Swiss steak with tomato sauce and a side of green beans on a black plate, with an additional serving of green beans in a bowl and another piece of steak in the background, all set on a striped towel

After a long day, there’s nothing like the familiar, hearty embrace of Swiss Steak. It’s easy to make, cheap, delicious, and most importantly, it’s not just a meal – it’s a spoonful of nostalgia and a whole lotta love on a plate.

More Dinner recipes:

I want to hear from you! If you try this easy Swiss Steak recipe or any other of my 5 ingredient or less recipes on Dinner in 5, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I read all the comments and respond!

A plate of Swiss steak with sauce, accompanied by a side of green beans, on a black plate with more steak in the background
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Swiss Steak

This Swiss Steak is so easy, fall apart tender and a great recipe that you can not mess up!! Swiss steak is literally foolproof and everyone loves it!
No ratings yet
Author Jackie
Servings 6 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 406
Prep Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 1 inch thick top round steaks approximately 3 to 3 ½ pounds total
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 cups tomato puree

Instructions

  • Preheat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large shallow pan over medium heat.
  • Combine the flour, kosher salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  • Gently pat the flour mixture onto both sides of the steaks to coat them evenly.
  • Once the pan is hot, sear the steaks for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they get a rich brown color.
  • In a separate shallow pan with a lid (or use the same one after browning the meat), warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the diced onions and minced garlic for about 3 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and tender.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the tomato puree with the dried thyme, sage, and marjoram until well incorporated.
  • After searing, transfer the steaks onto the sautéed onion mixture.
  • Carefully pour the tomato sauce mix over the steaks.
  • Cover the pan with its lid and allow the steaks to simmer on low heat for one and a half hours, or until the meat is tender.
  • Serve with sides of your choice, such as mashed potatoes or crisp green beans.

Notes

  • Tenderizing Hack: Before you start cooking, give those steaks a good tenderizing with a meat mallet. A few firm whacks will break down the fibers, making your steaks extra tender and ensuring they soak up all that sauce goodness.
  • Thin Out the Sauce: If you find your tomato sauce is a bit too thick for your liking, simply thin it out with a splash of beef broth or water. Easy peasy!
  • Sear with Care: When you’re browning the steaks, keep the heat at medium. If you crank the heat all the way up, the flour coating in the steaks will burn and become bitter.
  • Low and Slow Simmer: Patience is key when simmering your steaks. Keep the heat low and give them time to mingle with the sauce. This is what will tenderize the meat and infuse it with yummy flavors.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5 lb, Calories: 406kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 54g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 138mg, Sodium: 558mg, Potassium: 1267mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 464IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American

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