This is not the stuff you'll find in a TV dinner tray. Savory and satisifying, these steaks can be pan-fried or oven-baked. Serve with mashed potatoes.
The steaks and sauce taste even better after a day’s refrigeration. Reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat, covered, until warmed through.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton) or Hungarian sweet or hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Four 5-ounce beef cube steaks (may substitute two 10-ounce cube steaks, each cut in half)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, with their juices
1 rib celery, cut on the diagonal into thin slices
1 medium carrot, trimmed, scrubbed well and cut crosswise into thin rounds
1 small onion, cut into thin slices that are separated into rings
1/4 cup water
Line a large plate with a few layers of paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy skillet (not cast iron) over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, stir together the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a wide, shallow bowl. Dip each cube steak into the flour mixture to coat evenly and well, shaking off any excess.
Once the oil shimmers, add two or three of the coated steaks. Fry until golden brown on both sides, then transfer to the lined plate. Repeat to cook all of the steaks, using the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Drain/wipe out the fat in the skillet, then return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the celery, carrot, onion and water. Once the mixture comes to a boil, stir, then return all the meat to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 1 1/4 hours or until the meat is tender. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the Swiss steak hot, with the vegetable mixture and its sauce.
Variation: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare and brown the cube steaks as directed above. Transfer them to an 8-cup-capacity baking dish. In the same skillet, combine the tomatoes and their juices, the celery, carrot, onion and water over medium-high heat; scrape the bottom to dislodge any browned bits, then pour the mixture evenly over the meat in the baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens: 365 Comfort Foods,” from Better Homes and Gardens (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).
Per serving (pan-fried): calories 300, fat 13 g, saturated fat 3 g, cholesterol 60 mg, sodium 500 mg, total carbohydrates 12 g, dietary fiber 2g, sugar 5g, protein 33g