Well it is a new year and it is a good time to give the recipe that got me started cooking. Swiss steak is probably the only recipe I make that I haven’t modified. I am a little more sanitary with it, beat the steak in a plastic freezer bag not on just a cutting board, but that is the only change. It is either that it is just a great recipe or it’s that 14 year old boy in me showing respect to Graham Kerr. A rainy afternoon at 1 pm and with only 3 channels on the tv to pick from was likely to be a boring afternoon. 1 channel had a religious show, another had a news show, the last channel had a cooking show “ The Galloping Gourmet “. The memory of that show is still vivid in my mind. This man came “galloping” out onto the set with a glass of wine in his hand and a giant smile on his face. He was telling jokes to the audience and having fun. This totally got my attention, so I watched the show completely fascinated. When the show was over, it had stopped raining and the sun was coming out. As a 14 year old boy who had the opinion that he could do anything he put his mind to I said to myself “I can make that”. Looked around the kitchen and had everything to make it except the round steak. I went next door to the flower shop and told my mother I wanted to make supper. She ask me what, I told her and asked for money to walk to Safeway and get the round steak. Surprisingly she said ok. Made it exactly like I had seen, and when my family had it for supper they were all shocked that I had made something that good. I was now hooked on cooking. So since that rain day I have been having fun playing with food. Experimenting with flavors, modifying recipes, and just having pure fun and absolute joy doing it. It is just when I make Swiss steak that I don’t even try to make it differently. So I imagine that others will have their own opinion as to why I have never made it any other way than the way Graham Kerr did. I guess in my mind it maybe when I make it exactly the way he did I am still that 14 year old boy.
4 serving sized pieces of round steak (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 table of tomato paste
1 medium onion sliced in half then into 1/4 inch slices
1 rib of celery chopped in1/4 inch pieces
5 large mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1 regular sized can whole tomatoes
Mix the flour with 1//2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, coat the steak with the flour, place in a zip lock bag, with the rough side of a meat mallet beat the steak, flip over and beat the other side. The steak should end up a half as thick as it was. In an oven proof frying pan, that has a tight fitting lid, on medium high heat, add oil, when hot add the steak and brown heavily on both sides. Remove that steak, add the mushrooms, cook 2 minutes, add onions, celery , garlic cook for 1 minute, add tomato paste, cook until it changes color. Empty the can of tomatoes in a bowl and get your hands in there and squeeze the tomatoes thru your fingers breaking them up. (you can use diced tomatoes) Add the tomatoes, remaining salt and pepper, wine, beef stock to the pan. Heat till it boils, add the steak, cover and place in a 350 degree oven, cook for 1 hour. Remove the steak to plates and spoon the sauce evenly over each. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and a salad.