"When I go to a restaurant, I always ask for a chicken and an egg, to see which comes first."--Unknown

Swiss Steak Recipe

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This recipe for Swiss Steak, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Ruby Brue
Added: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
2 lbs round steak, 1 inch thick
2 T flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 T shortening
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup canned tomatoes

Directions:
Directions:
Dredge meat in flour and seasonings
Cut into serving pieces and brown well in the shortening
Combine vegetables and place over meat
Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to low
Simmer slowly for about 1 ½ hours
Also good when baked slowly in the oven

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
6
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
2 hours
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This Family Project fills me with wonderful memories. I have vivid recall of my childhood on our 80 acre farm a couple of miles North of Manila, Iowa. At this moment those thoughts center on my Mother Hattie and all the things she taught me to cook. Mom was a great cook and, true to her North German heritage, there was almost always a crock of dill pickles curing and a vat of sauerkraut working in our household, but I never saw a written recipe. I expect she learned the way I did--Mother to Daughter-- in the kitchen--hands on. For me the training started early.

From the age of 7 years, I was the head cook for the family. The division of labor in the Elwell family was clear. Yours truly, “Ruby Lois” third child, second daughter, was the cook. My Father Ralph and Brother Charles did outside chores, sister Iceline “Ike” did the house cleaning and brought the cows in from the pasture and Sister Ruth, who was the little girl until youngest Sister Doris came along some years later, was the “milkmaid” as she grew up. My Mother tended the garden and worked preserving the food. Jars and Jars and Jars-- 100’s of jars of mostly vegetables but also canned fruit. We had no electricity and no refrigeration so all food we wanted to preserve was stored in the cave. Every Iowa farm had a “cave.” Ours was a brick lined, bee hive shaped dungeon dug into the hillside just a few feet from the back door of the house. In side it was about 8 feet high and cool on the hottest summer day.

For meat and, after all, this is a meat dish, we butchered our own livestock usually when the weather was cool. We would hang the sides of pork high on rafters in the corn crib while it cooled and aged overnight. Grandmother Myers would come and we would butcher the animal, render the lard, grind the sausage (seasoned with Morton’s sausage seasoning) can the shoulder meat, dry cure the hams, salt the pork bellies and fry certain pieces which were then sealed in lard. It was a big day’s work. It is more convenient to go to the store and have a loin cut and packaged and have Les fire up the grill. The good old days are now.

In all of this cooking I followed my Mother’s example; I never used a written recipe. After I was married and a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church the ladies aid society decided, in the mid 1950’s, to create a cook book and every respectable member was expected to furnish a recipe or two. I wanted to be respectable so I wrote one down and submitted my recipe for Swiss Steak and share it now with you.

This was hearty meat and potatoes cooking for a growing family and a favorite of my Son Rich. Daughter Catheryn tolerated it, so it became a regular feature. It was very convenient to put this in a slow oven and then I could attend my Drake University classes in the neighboring Audubon or Atlantic.

This recipe is exactly as it first appeared in print more than fifty years ago. As I look back on it now I would add many more vegetables and tomatoes and always bake slowly in the oven. Use of spices is still quite restrained in Audubon cooking but adding more pepper and perhaps a bay leaf for an hour is something I would recommend if your family is open to that.

Ruby Brue Feb 2009

 

 

 

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