My swiss steak is smothered in a savory tomato gravy and will absolutely melt in your mouth! It’s perfect for when you want a super comforting meal just like your grandma used to make. Add this to your nightly line up if you love the tomato sauce on my steak pizzaiola or the tenderness in flank steak, or if you’re looking for a new type of steak tacos (yes, you can chop it up and use it as a taco filling)!
This is my kinda perfect supper. Tender, flavorful, and easy to make. Cooked in bacon drippings and then covered in gravy. It’s comfort food with a side of extra comfort! You can cook it in the oven or in the crockpot. It’s budget-friendly because you start with an inexpensive cut of meat then braise it nice and slow to turn it into pure deliciousness.
My family loves when this is on the menu just like I did growing up. My grandma taught me at a young age the magic of meat that has been physically tenderized. Growing up in the depression, they were lucky to be able to afford any kinda meat, and it always was an inexpensive cut. You’d never know it though when you tasted the finish dish!
Let’s get cooking!
The Cut: The most important ingredient in this recipe is, unsurprisingly, the meat! Make sure you get either round or top round steaks. These cuts are leaner, which means that cooking methods like braising really bring out their best flavors and textures.
Paprika: I like to use smoked paprika in this recipe. It’s made when chilis are smoked before being dried and ground into paprika. The added smokiness gives your dish another layer of sensational flavor. Here’s the one I use.
No bacon fat: No problem! Just use vegetable oil.
Needling device: This is the one I use. If you don’t have one, let me tell you, it’s totally worth the investment. You can use a meat mallet instead but I don’t think it works as well.
How to make this is in a Crockpot:
- Follow the recipe instructions for seasoning, needling, and dredging (steps 2, 3, and 4).
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, without crowding the pan, (I browned 1 steak at a time) brown beef on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining steaks, adding more oil as needed.
- Follow step 5 of the recipe instructions.
- Follow step 6 of the recipe instructions.
- Layer meat into a crockpot and pour sauce over it.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This vintage Swiss steak recipe will last up to four days in your fridge! Let it cool, seal it off, and you’ll have delicious leftovers for steak sandwiches days to come.
Can You Freeze This Swiss Steak Recipe?
Yes! Swiss steak with tomatoes freezes quite well for a wonderful freezer meal when you need it. Seal it well, and your steak will freeze for up to three months.
To thaw, let it sit in the fridge overnight. Reheat by baking it off in the oven to reawaken some of those lovely flavors!
Make Ahead Tips
This recipe might look like it takes a while to make, but most of the time is spent in the oven, getting nice and tender! So don’t feel like this dish will take up your whole night.
Chop your vegetables in the morning and store them in resealable bags in the fridge to get a head start on the recipe. You can also measure out the sugar and the spices and store them in another bag or small dish.
The best way to serve this Swiss steak recipe — really any steak recipe! — is with lots of delicious, flavorful sides.
I love starting with mashed potatoes, a classic! But you have to add some veggies there too, so grab some savory sauteed asparagus or my Grandma’s Southern style green beans for a little pop of color.
- Use mushroom gravy. Add in your favorite type of mushroom and a little cream for Swiss steak with mushroom gravy.
- Add chili powder. Up the heat to get some steak chili powder kick!
- Use other kinds of beef cuts. You can use other cuts of meat that require long cooking times — try Swiss steak with cube steak.
- Cook this in the crockpot. Let it cook all day like Crockpot goulash or slow cooker beef stew. See instructions in my recipe notes above!
- Cook in an instant pot. Speed up the braising similar to Instant Pot beef stroganoff or my Instant Pot beef stew.
- 2-2 1/2 pounds round or top round steaks, about 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 3/4 cups beef broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- prepared mashed potatoes or cooked rice
- Set oven rack to lower third of the oven. Preheat to 325°F.
- Season each steak on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place flour (1/2 cup) in a shallow dish. Dredge each piece of steak in flour on both sides, pressing to coat then shaking off excess.
- Place dredged meat on a flat surface and tenderize using a needling device, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick.
- Heat vegetable (4 tablespoons) oil in a Dutch oven or large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid (also ovenproof). Over medium-high heat, without crowding the pan, (I browned 1 steak at a time) brown beef on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining steaks, adding more oil as needed.
- Add onion (1 medium chopped), garlic (4 cloves minced), and celery (3 stalks chopped) to pot and saute, on medium-low, until just tender, about 3-4minutes. Stir in tomato paste (1 tablespoon). Stir in beef broth (1 3/4 cups) and canned tomatoes with juice (14 ounces), scraping the bottom of the pot, to lift up all the brown bits.
- Add smoked paprika (1 teaspoon), thyme (1/2 teaspoon), oregano (1 teaspoon), salt (1 1/2 teaspoons), pepper (1 teaspoon), and Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon) and mix.
- Layer the meat back into the pot so it's submerged by the liquid and cover with the lid. Place in preheated oven and cook until the meat is very tender, 1 1/2-2 hours.