This is a classic, old-fashioned Swiss steak recipe made with boneless beef chuck or bottom round. The steak is portioned, tenderized, then baked with onions and tomatoes.
You can use thick steak and thin it out as you tenderize. If you use thin steaks, dredge thoroughly with the flour and pound lightly.
The dish is extremely versatile with many possible additions. See the variations below the recipe.
- 2 to 3 pounds boneless chuck steak (lean, or bottom round)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- 3/4 to 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions (quartered and sliced)
- 1 large (28-ounce) can tomatoes (undrained, chopped)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon flour (all-purpose) mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Heat the oven to 325 F (165 C/Gas 3).
- Trim fat from steak and cut it into 6 pieces.
- Season meat with salt and pepper and put on well-floured cutting board. Sprinkle more flour over steaks and pound with meat hammer to tenderize. Continue to turn, flour, and pound until most of the flour is used.
- Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan.
- When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the sliced onion. Cook, stirring until the onion is translucent and lightly browned. Remove the onion to a dish with a slotted spoon.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if needed to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Place the steaks in the hot oil, working in batches as necessary
- Place the onion on top of steaks, add the tomatoes, and then cover the pan and bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the steaks are tender.
- Remove steak, tomato, and onions to a hot serving platter.
- If the sauce is too thin, place the pan over medium heat. Combine 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon cold water. Stir until no lumps remain. Stir into the simmering sauce and cook, stirring, until thickened.
- Pour sauce over steak, tomato, and onions on the platter.
- Replace the large can of tomatoes with 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of stewed tomatoes.
- Add about 1 cup of sliced celery to the onion mixture.
- Add 1 medium or large minced garlic clove to the steaks just before adding the tomatoes.
- Season the sauce with a dash of oregano and a teaspoon or two of celery flakes.
- For a thicker sauce without flour, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste along with the tomatoes.
- If your tomatoes aren't very juicy, and you'd like to have more sauce, add about 1/2 cup of tomato juice or low-sodium beef broth with the tomatoes.