Swiss Steak

When buying steak cuts one has the great advantage of choosing from the most expensive to the cheapest without fearing that the dishes will be less tasty or well prepared. The features that influence the price of meat are usually related to the tenderness of the texture: the tenderer the cuts, the higher the costs. However, many of the harder steak cuts make delicious dishes that would not be possible otherwise; this is the very case of the Swiss steak, a meat dish that relies on beef cube steaks. The preparation process includes beef pounding and rolling, followed by braising afterwards.

Though the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the name of Swiss steak is to associate it with Switzerland and consider it to be a traditional type of food from that perticular country, the meaning is totally different. Swissing is the very process of rolling and pounding steak cuts in order to make the beef a lot softer; it is widely used not just in restaurants but at home too. More tenderizing is achieved afterwards in the braising process, when all the juices left from the Swiss steak contribute to a unique taste specific only to food that has been kept a long time cooking on a medium fire.

Together with the beef you can add several slices of ham or bacon to the combination to enhance the aroma and allow further unique taste when time comes to add the seasonings. You will notice that as the meat softens, its volume decreases considerably, for example a Swiss steak that is one and a half inches thick only gets to a quarter of an inch during the braising process. Unlike for grilling and broiling when volume reduction often brings a harder tissue, the Swiss steak gets softer and softer during braising.

At the end of the Swiss steak cooking process, remove the beef from the remaining sauce and add some chopped or grated vegetables to boil several minutes: onions, red or green pepper, garlic and celery work best for the purpose. It should not take longer than five or six minutes before you may add some tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce in the broth and stir the combination. When the composition looks homogeneous, you can add the meat back to the pot, cover it and cook it for one or two hours more. The resulting Swiss steak will be so tender and delicious that it will make a true delight to eat.