Fall is here and therefore so is the season of slow cooking! This Crock Pot Swiss Steak recipe is the ultimate comfort food… throw it in the Crock Pot in the morning and enjoy a hearty and delicious dinner when the work/school day is done.
It’s finally starting to feel (and look!) like fall here in Ohio and I am HERE FOR IT! I really do love fall… football, leaves changing color, fall decor and alllll the crock pot recipes! There’s really nothing like serving up a delicious meal from a crock pot that has been cooking all day and filling your kitchen with the amazing smells of a good meal. Comfort food at its finest, I tell ya.
When I think of comfort food, one of my favorite meals that comes to mind is my Dad’s Swiss Steak. He has made it for as long as I can remember and I have always looked forward to the first batch that he makes every fall (and all through the winter!)
Swiss Steak is often a Sunday dinner at Dad’s house… he cooks it in the oven all day, giving it a peep and stir here and there throughout the day. This year I decided to try out my Dad’s famous Swiss Steak recipe in the Slow Cooker because I’m a big fan of crockpot dinners. I love the convenience of throwing dinner in the crockpot in the morning and then forgetting about it. At the usual point in the day when I start to stress over what’s for dinner, I remember that it’s already cooking and all I’ll have to do is open the Crockpot lid and serve it up! It’s that same excited feeling as when you realize you had a $20 in your pocket. 😉
My Slow Cooker Swiss Steak experiment did not disappoint!
Just like my Dad’s, the steak just falls apart. Forget about fork tender, this Slow Cooker Swiss Steak fell apart with a spoon! Spoon tender beef… I’m totally on board for that. It really melts in your mouth.
So, what is Swiss Steak anyway?
Swiss Steak is a dish in which the beef is pounded and then braised in a pot with stewed vegetables and seasonings. It is usually made with Round Steak. That’s the official Wikipedia description. The official Lydi-pedia description says it’s a dish of yummy comfort and delight.
Many Swiss Steak recipes call for additional veggies (like carrots, green peppers, mushrooms, etc.) Dad’s recipe has fewer ingredients but is certainly not short on flavor. We’re big fans of seasoning, as well as onion and garlic in our family, so this Crockpot Swiss Steak is loaded with those things.
Like many tomato-based dishes, the layers of flavor in this Slow Cooker Swiss Steak continue to meld together more each day so leftovers are a must. The tomato braising liquid becomes a thicker gravy consistency and it’s pretty spectacular. Seriously.
You can serve your Crock Pot Swiss Steak with mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, polenta or even over a baked potato. Regardless of what you serve it with, the Slow Cooker Swiss Steak is the star of this show.
P.S. If there’s a dish that my Dad is even more famous for than his Swiss Steak, it is 100% his mashed potatoes. They are special, you guys! So we always enjoy our Swiss Steak with mashed potatoes and use the tomato braising liquid as a “gravy”.
Swiss Steak is also great fuel for all of the busyness that comes along with fall. Nutrient-rich foods, like beef, help support the immune system and promote a healthy body. A 3-ounce serving of cooked beef provides 25 grams of protein, which makes it an excellent choice for active families.
What is the Best Way to Cook Swiss Steak
Now that I’ve tried oven braised Swiss Steak as well Crock Pot Swiss Steak, I wouldn’t say one way is better than the other as far as the flavor goes. However, I’m a fan of the convenience factor of the slow cooker. Whichever way you decide to prepare Swiss Steak, they key is cooking it low and slow, when possible, for the best flavors. The low-temperature, slow-cooking process allows the fat of the beef to break down, resulting in a more tender, flavorful meal.
How to Make Swiss Steak in the Crock Pot
Printable recipe card below.
It’s important to tenderize your round steak for Slow Cooker Swiss Steak. That, along with the slow cooking will yield the best flavor and texture. To tenderize your beef, you can use the side of a bowl or the edge of a plate and really give it a good pounding. Or of course you can use a traditional meat tenderizer but this is my Dad’s recipe so I’ll do it like he does. 😉
As is the case whenever you’re cooking other types of beef, you want to bring the steak up to room temperature (out of the fridge for about 30 minutes) to seal in the juices and to ensure even cooking. You can take it out of the fridge, enjoy your morning coffee or whatever your morning routine might be, and then prep it for the slow cooker.
When you take the meat out of the fridge to bring it to room temp, fire up the Crock Pot on Low. Yep, you always want to preheat a slow cooker just like you would an oven or grill for at least 20 minutes.
After pounding and tenderizing your beef, add even more flavor by browning it in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker. This adds a deep, caramelized flavor and will keep the steak as tender as can be.
Beef prepared in a slow cooker should be cooked to 160 º F degrees or until fork tender.
- Crock Pot
- 2 pounds round steak
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 plus 2 tbsp cooking oil or butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- 1 ½ tsp pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Turn on the Crockpot to Low.
- Tenderize the steak with the side of a bowl or the edge of a plate. Or of course a traditional meat tenderizer will work.
- Generously season flour with salt and pepper and dredge steak in flour mixture.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter or cooking oil in skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the steak and sear both sides until browned (about 3 minutes per side).
- Remove the steak and set aside. Add another tablespoon of butter and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add diced onion and saute until softened. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, garlic salt, celery salt and pepper into the Crock pot and stir to combine. Place the steak in the crockpot and cover with the tomato mixture. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, polenta or over a baked potato.
I love partnering with the Ohio Beef Council to bring awareness and support of the beef community here in Ohio. It takes an entire community of committed people to ensure the beef you feed your family is safe, fresh and high-quality. Small business owners, community leaders, animal caretakers, nutritionists and environmentalists all play a key role in producing nutritious beef. Ohio beef farming families, like the Raines family from Southern Ohio, have a passion for working together to care for their cattle and land. Watch this short video to learn how three generations of the Raines family works together to operate the 1,100-acre beef cattle and crop farm.
Visit www.OhioBeef.org, and follow the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for beef nutrition facts, cooking tips, recipes and to meet Ohio’s beef farming families. Use #OhioBeef to share photos of your slow cooker meals this Crocktober!