Seattle’s Fall weather is in transition these days: delightfully warm and sunny one minute (oh, those gorgeous leaves!!!)… cold, windy, and rainy the next. This Swiss Steak is not only perfect as a SIBO recipe, it’s guaranteed to take the chill out of those colder Fall or Winter nights.
My favorite pan for this dish is my (very) old Farberware electric skillet, because it maintains a nice low simmer that develops flavor all day long. You could also make this in your slow cooker / crock-pot, or cook it on low heat in a dutch oven — after the initial pan-frying of the beef.
Beef choices can include a chuck roast, shoulder roast, round roast, bottom round, or even pre-cut round steaks. Choose beef with nice marbling for maximum flavor.
When possible, start this dish in the early afternoon… the long, slow hours of cooking definitely improves the flavor and tenderness.
Serves 4… or 2 with tasty leftovers
2 pounds of beef, cut into 1/2” thick pieces
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp rubbed thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp white (or black) pepper
1 thick slice of bacon
3 slices celery root (shown at right), diced
3 slices red pepper, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
5-7 tomatoes, chopped
2 scallions, green parts only, diced
1/3 cup old red wine (read more on this page)
Beef broth or water
Roux: 2 TBL coconut flour + 2/3 cup beef broth or water
- Heat a frying pan or dutch oven to medium heat.
2. Add the bacon, celery root, and red pepper to the pan, and cook until vegetables are softened and bacon is done.
3. While this is cooking, prepare the beef: in a bowl large enough to dredge the beef pieces, combine 1/2 cup coconut flour, thyme, salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Mix well and add each piece of beef, one at a time, turning to coat.
4. On a floured cutting board, lay each piece of beef flat and pound lightly with a meat mallet until they are 1/4″ thick (if your steaks were already pre-cut thin, skip this step). Re-dredge with the coconut flour mix if needed.
5. Remove and reserve the softened vegetables and bacon from the pan (they will be re-added later), preserving as much of the bacon grease in the pan as possible.
6. Add olive oil to the same pan you used to cook the vegetables and bring to medium heat.
7. Lay each floured, pounded beef piece into the warm bacon fat / oil, and brown on both sides. Note: coconut flour can brown more quickly… watch your pan closely, adjust the heat, and/or add a bit more olive oil to the sides of the pan (so it warms up before contacting the meat) if needed.
8. As the beef cooks, dice the bacon.
9. Once both sides of the beef are browned, add the chopped tomatoes and a bit of salt to bring out the tomatoes’ juices, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring gently.
10. Add the diced scallions, diced bacon, cooked vegetables, and old red wine, stirring the pan to combine and distribute everything.
11. Add enough beef broth (or water) to prevent the sauce from sticking, turn down to low heat, cover the pan, and allow to simmer for at least 1 hour—or as long as 4-6 hours—for maximum tenderness and flavor.
12. During this final cooking stage, make the roux: combine 2 TBL coconut flour with enough beef broth or water and stir vigorously to make a smooth, silky paste (similar to cake frosting). Then add a bit of the hot cooking pan juices to the roux, stirring to blend… then add a little more and stir again… do this 2 or 3 times until the roux is warm, and more loose, so you can add it add to the pan without it clumping up (yes that’s a technical term). 🙂
13. Add the roux to your pan juices, stirring to blend and bring in all of the juices into the roux. Watch the pan closely for 2-3 minutes, adding more beef broth and water as needed for a loose sauce.
If you are only going to cook the beef for one more hour, add the roux to your sauce right away; if you plan to cook for several hours, add the roux about 1 hour before serving.
14. Regardless of how much longer you’re cooking the beef, keep an eye on the sauce and add more broth or water as needed. Over time, it will reduce and thicken, and if you’re really lucky, it will start to get bit dry and brown under the meat. Why lucky? That brown stuff is packed with flavor! Just add more broth or water, stir it well to scrape up the brown bits, and this will add a lovely dark brown color and caramelized flavor to your sauce.
I like to pair this with boiled / mashed rutabagas (mashed with a bit of that beef broth), and steamed broccoli or green beans. Sprinkle fresh oregano over everything before serving.