Swiss Steak

Swiss steak was a recipe that became very popular in the 1930s because frugal housewives could make a satisfying meal with a cheap cut of meat. My mother recently told me this was a favorite meal as a child and my grandmother always served it with mashed potatoes. I opted for a wild rice pilaf, but anything to sop up the tomato gravy is perfect. This was a first for me – cooking with top blade roast – but I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. The meat becomes fork tender (almost like a pot roast) and the tomato gravy is extremely flavorful.


  • 1 (3.5 to 4 pd) boneless top blade roast
  • Vegetable oil
  • S/P
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Cut the roast into quarters, removing the line of gristle that runs through the middle.
  2. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season with S/P. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the steaks, about 3 minutes per side. If they steaks are too large, do a few at a time, transfer to a plate and then brown the remaining with more oil. When steaks are browned, remove all to a plate.
  3. Add the onion to the empty pot and cook about 5 minutes until soft. Add the tomato paste, flour, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the diced tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Return the steaks and any accumulated juice to the pot. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise, covered, until the steaks are fork-tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the steaks to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Skim the fat from the sauce, if needed. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and parsley. Season with S/P to taste. Serve the steaks covered with sauce.

Serves: 6-8

Recipe source: America’s Test Kitchen

Time: 2.5 hours