Helga’s Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

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helgas_old-fashioned-swiss-steak

As Marketing Manager of Lepp Farm Market, I can assure you that my love of food runs deep and is genuine – so I treasure my career choice!

Even more than cooking food, my friends and family all know how much I LOVE to eat a good hearty meal. I married a man who is very close to his Mom – and yes, what they say is true – he treats his wife just as well. Helga is my Mother in Law and lives with us in our home. I have been fortunate to eat some pretty amazing meals, but there is no one’s food that I prefer to Helga’s. With her thick Austrian accent, and ability to whip up the most incredible fried egg or clubhouse sandwich when you could have sworn there was nothing in the fridge, Helga never ceases to amaze me. For her, cooking comes as easily as taking a breath, or telling me another cool story about how when she came to Chicago at 19, she served this little sports team that did pretty well – they were called something like, the Bears, she always says nonchalantly…yes, Mom, that’s right, the Chicago Bears! She has a heart of gold, has worked her entire life to give her kids everything she could, and after 20 years, still misses her late husband terribly. I am thrilled to have Helga as a part of my home, and a safe, warm cozy place that my kids can go to giggle, and be fed a pound of bacon and ice cream when I’m not looking. I consider myself very lucky every day to come home to meals like this delicious Swiss Steak. This is her recipe, and I would advise keeping it simple, using a lot of hot oil and a lot of salt. You will end up with Inside Round Steak that you can cut like butter, with a fork. Enjoy, and as she likes to say – you be the judge!

Ingredients

2 pounds Lepp’s inside round roast (ask our butchers to slice into
1/2″ thick steaks)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 cups Lepp’s beef broth,  located in
our freezer section or Major Beef Paste*
(1 1/2 tsp. of  base mixed with 1 1/2 cups of water)

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the flour into a pie plate or shallow dish.
  4. Dust the pieces of meat on both sides in the flour mixture.
  5. Cover the meat with wax paper and pound out the steaks until they are quite thin.
  6. Dredge the pounded slices through the flour on both sides once more and set aside.
  7. Add enough of the oil to just cover the bottom of a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the steaks to the pan.
  8. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  9. Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks have been browned –
    at this point I know that Helga adds more oil so that the last is as perfect as the first!
  10. Remove the last steaks from the pot and add the onions and garlic.
  11. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  12. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  13. Add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth or paste mix and stir to combine.
  14. Return the meat to the pot.
  15. Cover the pot and place it in the oven on the middle rack.
  16. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Delicious with mashed potatoes covered in the gravy!

*Major brand beef paste is available in the cold case at Lepp’s and is a great supply of concentrated broth. One teaspoon of paste, mixed with one cup of water will make one cup of broth – an excellent product to keep on hand in your fridge and full of flavour!