FEAST FOR FREEDOM
Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

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Categories: Main Dishes - Beef    

This classic dish is a great way to create a tender beef dish using less expensive cuts of beef. It's slow cooked on the stove with tomatoes and onions.

If you can tenderize the meat with a meat mallet, knife or Jaccuard it will be even more tender.

Swiss steak served with mashed potatoes and carrots
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 2:40 hours Makes: 4 to 6 servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Grain free Soy free

This steak turns out tender and juicy, even when you use tougher cuts of beef. The key to making it tender is slow cooking it for a couple hours or more.

Use all organic ingredients, especially if you use canned tomoatoes. Tomatoes can have red dye applied to them in the field, before harvest, and this doesn't need to be labeled. Organic tomotoes won't have this red dye on them.

Ensure all the dried spices are labeled certified gluten free, and if using any packaged or canned items, be sure they are labeled gluten free.

How To Make Homemade Swiss Steak with Fresh Tomatoes (or canned tomatoes) - Step By Step:

How to make Swiss Steak how to steps 1 to 6
Image by: Thora Toft
  1. This dish is made with beef, tomatoes, onions, celery, garlic, oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper and meat drippings (or butter or coconut oil). (image 1)
  2. Chop the tomatoes, onion, celery and garlic. (image 2)
  3. Sprinkle the meat with fresh black pepper. Tenderize the beef with a meat mallet (or pointed knife or Jaccard). (image 3)
  4. Add water to the tomatoes and cook over medium high heat. Smash the tomatoes as they start to cook, to break them up. (image 4)
  5. Heat meat drippings and when hot fry the onions, garlic and celery. (image 5)
  6. Cook until the onions are softened and just starting to barely turn brown. (image 6)
How to make Swiss Steak how to steps 7 to 13
Image by: Thora Toft
  1. The tomotoes should now be nice and broken up. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. (image 7)
  2. Add the oregano, salt and bay leaf to the tomatoes and continue to simmer. (image 8)
  3. When the onion mixture is softened, add to the tomoatoes. Continue to simmer. (image 9)
  4. Heat meat drippings over medium high heat, and when hot, fry the meat on both sides to brown the meat. You don't need to fully cook it, just get it nicely browned. (image 10)
  5. Add the meat to tomato mixture. Cover the meat with sauce. Cook for at least 2 hours, and up to 4 hours. Check it periodically to ensure it stays liquidy. Add water if needed. (image 11)
  6. At 2 hours, check that the meat is tender. Cook longer if desired. When done, if the tomatoes are too liquidy, remove the meat, and increase the heat, to boil off some of the excess liquid, to get it to the desired thickness. (image 12)
  7. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. You can use the sauce as a rustic onion gravy for the potatoes. Enjoy! (image 13)
Pro tips for perfect braised beef with tomatoes:
  • Fresh tomatoes really makes the tomato sauce much better, especially if you can get some organic heirloom variety, with a lot of flavor.
  • Frying the onions and other vegetables brings out the flavor a lot more. If you have bacon grease to fry the onion mixture in, it will be even better, and will give it a wonderful rich flavor.
  • Check the beef a couple of times within the first 1/2 hour, to ensure that it's simmering correctly, and is not bubbling / boiling too much. Adjust the heat if necessary. Continue checking on the beef every 1/2 hour while it cooks, and give it a stir. Keep the meat covered with tomatoes. You can flip the meat if desired. Be sure the tomato mixture continues to be very moist. You don't want it to get too dry. At the end, if it's too liquidy, you can increase the heat for a few minutes and cook off any excess liquid.
  • Physically tenderizing the meat really improves this dish. Use a mallet if you have one. It will also work using a Jaccard, which is a special tool that puts tiny little cuts all over the meat. If you don't have either one of those tools, you can use the tip of a very sharp knife and poke holes all over the meat. Do both sides of the meat with any of these tools. Here's links to 2 short videos, showing these 3 methods, so you can see how it's done if you haven't done it before:
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Tomatoes: You can use canned tomatoes if you prefer. Use about 42 ounces of tomatoes - 1 1/2 large 28 ounce cans, or 3 small 14 ounce cans. Use any plain variety of your choice. Be sure to purchase only organic tomatoes. Non organic tomatoes can have red dye applied to them in the field, before harvest, and this dye doesn't need to be labeled. Organic tomotoes won't have this red dye used on them.
  • Dairy free: Use meat drippings or coconut oil for pan frying the onions and the meat.
  • Beef: You can use any type of boneless cut of beef for this dish. You can use less expensive cuts such as round, cube or chuck steak.
  • Freezing: This dish freezes nicely. Make extra, and dish it into family serving size portions and freeze. Thaw it in the fridge over night, and heat it up for a quick and easy dinner. It will keep in the freezer for about 4 months, when stored in well sealed containers.
Braised beef with tomatoes, served with mashed potatoes and carrots
Image by: Thora Toft
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Step By Step Photos Above
Along with helpful tips and substitutions to make it perfectly the first time!
Swiss Steak - Braised Beef with Tomatoes
This classic dish is a great way to create a tender beef dish using less expensive cuts of beef. It's slow cooked on the stove with tomatoes and onions. If you can tenderize the meat with a meat mallet, knife or Jaccuard it will be even more tender.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 2:40 hours Makes: 4 to 6 servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Grain free Soy free
Ingredients:
4 medium Fresh tomatoes, chopped (4 cups chopped)
1 teaspoon Sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons Dried oregano (or 6 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
1 Bay leaf
1 large Onion, cut into rings
1 clove Garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 stalk Celery, with leaves, chopped (1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped)
4 tablespoons Meat drippings, butter or coconut oil
1 1/2 pounds Round steak
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Tomatoes: You can use canned tomatoes if you prefer. Use about 42 ounces of tomatoes - 1 1/2 large 28 ounce cans, or 3 small 14 ounce cans. Use any plain variety of your choice.
  • Dairy free: Use meat drippings or coconut oil for frying the onions and the meat.
  • Beef: You can use any type of boneless, less expensive cut of beef for this dish, such as round, cube or chuck steak.
  • Freezing: This dish freezes very well. Make extra, and freeze in family serving size portions. Thaw it in the fridge over night, and heat it up for a quick and easy meal. It will keep in the freezer for about 4 months, when kept in well sealed containers.
Directions:
  • Prepare the beef. Sprinkle the meat with the black pepper. For best results, you'll want to physically tenderize the meat. This can be done by using a sharp pointed knife, and piercing the meat all over, a lot. You can also use a meat mallet, and pound the meat flatter, and larger, taking care not to tear it. Or you can use a Jaccard, which will cut little knife marks all over the meat. These methods make the meat more tender. For all of these methods, do it on both sides of the meat. I personally have used the meat mallet method, and it makes a huge difference and is well worth the effort. Cut the meat into your preferred portion sizes.
  • Chop the onions, celery and garlic.
  • Chop the tomatoes. The size will be determined by the size of the skin pieces that will remain in the finished dish. The inside of the tomatoes will break down. Place in a measuring cup. They should measure about 4 cups. Add water to the tomatoes in the measuring cup, to the 4 cup mark, or to the top of the tomatoes.
  • Place cut up tomatoes and water in a deep frying pan. The pan should be deep enough to hold all the ingredients for this dish. Turn the heat on medium high. As the tomatoes cook, mash them up. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are softened, and broken up. It will be fairly liquidy. That is ok, as the liquid will absorb into the meat as it cooks, and evaporate.
  • Add salt and oregano to the tomatoes.
  • Meanwhile, in a frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of meat drippings over medium to medium high heat. When hot, add onions, celery and garlic. Fry for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and just barely starting to turn brown.
  • When tomatoes have cooked and softened, add onion mixture to the tomatoes. Add salt, oregano and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium low, and continue to simmer while you prepare the next step.
  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of meat drippings in a frying pan. When hot add the steak to the pan, and lightly brown on both sides. You don't need to fully cook the beef, just get it nicely browned.
  • Add the browned meat to the tomatoes. Cover the meat with the tomatoes. The heat should be on low or medium low, and should gently simmer. It should not be boiling, only simmering. Cover the pan.
  • The meat / tomatoes should cook for at least 2 hours. You can cook it up to 4 hours, if desired. You should check on it a couple of times in the first 1/2 hour, to ensure that it's simmering correctly. Adjust the heat if necessary. Continue checking it every 1/2 hour, and give it a stir. Keep the meat covered with tomatoes. You can flip the meat if desired. Be sure the mixture continues to be very moist. You don't want it to get too dry. At the end, if it's too liquidy, you can increase the heat for a few minutes and cook off any excess liquid.
  • Check that the meat is tender enough for your taste. Remove the Bay leaf and discard. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

Serve with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. The tomato sauce can be used as rustic onion gravy for the potatoes.

Enjoy!

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Makes: 4 servings
Calories - 480
Protein 46% | Fat 46% | Carbs 8%
Protein
55 grams
Total Fat
25 grams
Saturated
9.6 grams
Polyunsaturated
1.1 grams
- Omega-3
0.3 grams
- Omega-6
0.8 grams
Monounsaturated
10.6 grams
Trans-Fats
1.1 grams
Total Carbs
10 grams
Net Carbs
7 grams
Fiber
3 grams
Starch
0.6 grams
Sugars
5.1 grams
Sugar alcohol   
0.3 grams
Nutrition information on Feast for Freedom is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. The recipes are calculated using the exact ingredients listed in the recipe (first choice when multiple options provided). If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutrition info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exactly to match what you make. Information calculated using Cronometer.
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