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Swiss Steak with Brown Gravy is reborn in this easy, paleo friendly recipe, flavor boosted with mushrooms, onions and beef broth, and tenderized by swissing the meat.
It has nothing to do with Switzerland, but about technique in meat preparation. Swissing the meat means tenderizing the meat, either rolled, pounded or taken through a tenderizer.
In this case, my butcher cut a tough rump roast into slices and took them through the tenderizer. They come out looking like cube steaks (which are “swissed” steaks).
You can purchase already cubed steaks or have your butcher do it for you. Ask for a bottom round or rump roast and they can do the rest.
Swiss Steak is a Retro Dish (circa 1915)
A printed recipe for swiss steak dates back to 1915, and was clearly an economical dish, using cheaper cuts of meat (rump roast, bottom round).
I am a fan of the retro redo, because we know more today than back in 1970 about food preparation and how to make a dish better for us. This is a paleo and gluten free version.
Instead of dredging in wheat flour (which you could still do), I used tapioca flour, which turns the beef broth into it’s own delicious brown gravy. The prep for the swiss steak with brown gravy takes about 10 to 15 minutes and the slow cooker will do the rest. You can cook this in a dutch oven for a few hours if you’re going to be around to watch it.
I let the mushrooms and onions get a slight browning or caramelization with olive oil to boost more flavor and used plenty of fresh thyme. I added about a half of an orange bell pepper that I happened to have. Next time I might add a whole pepper, because I like how it flavors the meat, although you could leave the pepper out.
The tapioca flour on the meat served to also thicken the broth and there was no need to actually make a gravy.
A Word About Brown Gravy
I didn’t have to make gravy. The meat was dredged with tapioca flour and browned. The broth got nice and thick and gravy like. If you like a super thick gravy, take some flour (you can use tapioca flour) and shake with cold water in a jar and slowly add to the broth at the end. I don’t see the need to do this and I didn’t want to water down the amazing flavor I had.
We loved this dish, and I did my best to make it attractive with lots of sprinkled parsley.
A Word About Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour is not a grain; it comes from Cassava plant and is often used in gluten free flour mixes like this one here. If you want to further thicken the gravy, mix one tablespoon tapioca flour and one tablespoon cold water together to form a paste and add to the sauce.
What to Serve with Swiss Steak and Brown Gravy
When the twins came over after school, they wanted to know what was in the slow cooker. Long story short, they each ate two pieces, which was somewhat celebratory because they don’t venture out as much as they could.
If you like this dish, you will probably also like this burger steak recipes with sour cream mushroom sauce
Swiss Steak with Brown Gravy and the Process of Swissing (Paleo)
- 2 pounds rump roast cubed (see notes)
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- salt pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil for frying used as needed
- 4 cups baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 2 onions sliced
- 1/2 to 1 bell pepper sliced (optional)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce or Tamari Sauce if need gluten free
- handful fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
- Parsley and thyme for garnish
- Kitchen Tools
- Large Frying Pan
- Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven
- You can get your butcher to slice and tenderize a rump roast or bottom round. Tell him you want "swissed" steaks or cubed steaks, or you may find cubed steaks packaged in store.
- Season steaks with salt and pepper.
- Heat enough oil in pan to fry steaks, to medium high.
- Dredge meat in tapioca flour.
- Brown meat on both sides. You may need to do this batches.
- Remove meat to dish.
- In same pan, add more oil and saute mushrooms and onions. Onions should have a little bit of golden color.
- Transfer meat and vegetables to slow cooker.
- Add pepper, broth and Worcerstershire or Tamari sauce.
- Taste and season as needed.
You can do it on low in crock pot all day or choose four hours at high.
You may need to add in a little more water (or broth if it's reducing too much.
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