Swiss Steak ala Alton Brown

Sporadic blog post alert…

My schedule is absolutely insane the next two weeks, so I’m relying on your good graces and a few one-dish wonders to see me through.

It’s not that I bite off more than I can chew, it’s just that piano players are in demand this time of year.  I’m talkin’ seven rehearsals, four gigs, two performances, the children’s Christmas program, and a guest speaking engagement I volunteered to do without checking my calendar first (!) — which includes playing the piano.  Basically “a partridge in a pear tree” kind of insane.

Speaking of biting off more than you can chew…

Back in the 80’s there was a fast food commercial that amused me no end.  In it, a feisty ol’ lady would holler, “Where’s the beef?!”

(Remember that?)

I thought of it the other day when I divided up a chuck roast — half of it for “roast,” a fourth cut into cubes for stew, and the rest sliced and pounded for Swiss Steak.  Three meals outta one roast ain’t bad!

My meal planning was also assisted by a giveaway I won.  (Thank you, Jenny at Savour The Senses — what a treat!)

I’d never used Muir Glen tomatoes before, so I wanted to make something special with them.  Let’s see… one for manicotti, one for Super Nachos, one for stew, and one for Swiss Steak.  Four meals outta one gift box ain’t bad either!

Getting back to the topic at hand, it had been awhile since I made Swiss Steak and I didn’t want to make just any ol’ version of it with those delectable tomatoes.  Lo and behold, Alton Brown’s name came up in my search… and you know how I feel about Alton Brown.

So, I sauteed and stirred to my heart’s content (in between piano practice) and shouted, “Where’s the beef?!” — just for fun.

Swiss Steak ala Alton Brown

(adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe on Food Network)

1 lb. chuck roast (uncooked), sliced against the grain

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. flour

2 Tbsp. bacon drippings

1 medium onion, sliced into rings

1/2 c. celery, chopped

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen, woohoo!)

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (regular is fine, too)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3/4 c. beef broth (I used homemade beef stock)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Slice roast into “cutlet” sized pieces; season with salt and pepper.

Place flour in a pie tin (or on a plate); dredge meat in flour.

Place meat between two sheets of plastic wrap; pound until thin.  (I used my rolling pin to aid and abet this process.)

Dredge meat in flour again; shake off excess and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil or drippings in a Dutch oven ’til shimmering.

Add a few slices of beef at a time (don’t crowd); sauté until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Set aside to drain on paper towels.

In the same pan, add onion and celery; sauté until softened.

Add remaining ingredients; stir well.

Add browned meat, submerging slices in the liquid.

Cover and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is fork tender.

Swiss Steak

Optional:  Holler “Where’s the beef?!” once in awhile, just for fun. :)

Enjoying temporary insanity,

~ Kim

I’ll Take Words That Begin With The Letter B, Alex

Before I begin, I beg you to bear with me.  After a lifetime of expressing my thoughts on paper, blogging is a whole new ballgame.  Take those “blue letters,” for instance (or burgundy on my blog) that link you to other websites with the click of a button.  I’m so behind the times it took me until now to figure out “how to!”  Better late than never…

Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.  The minute I saw this recipe on Belle of the Kitchen, I knew it was only a matter of time before I broke down and tried it.  As I mentioned before, my Blogroll buddies offer a bounty of ideas and their beautiful food photography will inspire you to cook, take pictures, and EAT (or at least that’s the routine at our abode since I began blogging.)

By the way, my Bourbon Sauce turned out “brighter yellow” than Belle’s (blame it on farm fresh eggs), but the flavor was mind-blowing!

Next up… my rendition of “Balsamic Reduction For The Well Read,” courtesy of Isabelle At Home.  I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.  (As in, Cecil B. DeMille…)

This balsamic beauty ended up on one of my “Blue Plate Specials” drizzled over pork tenderloin medallions and served with a crisp Romaine salad, warm-from-the-oven French bread, and Pass The Potatoes, Please, which I also posted on Tasty Kitchen.  (You may have to log on to TK after you click on the link, but it’s worth going through the “sign in” process to have access to the thousands of recipes posted on Ree Drummond’s off-shoot website.)  Be prepared for a recipe extravaganza!

The term Blue Plate Special reminded me of my first job “back in the day,” when I worked at The Blue Goose.  It was a small diner (by some other name), but because the building was painted bright blue, the nickname stuck.  Between flipping burgers and busing tables, I learned a thing or two about making coleslaw, too.  Basically, it’s a balance of sweet and tart — just like life.

The Best Coleslaw Dressing

Marshmallow Creme

Miracle Whip

White vinegar

NOTE:  Before your skepticism gets the best of you, bear in mind that I would never put my beloved readers in jeopardy by posting a bogus recipe.  Believe me, I cook from scratch 99% of the time and I’ve tried every coleslaw recipe under the sun using mayonnaise, heavy cream, half & half, you name it.  But when I make a batch of this, my hubby eats it for breakfast!  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and all that…

Measure equal parts of marshmallow creme and Miracle Whip into a bowl or big measuring cup.  (I use 1/2 cup of each in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.)  Blend together with a fork.  (Use an electric mixer if you want.)  Thin to desired consistency (and tartness) with vinegar.  Pour over 1 bag of shredded cabbage in a large bowl; toss to coat.  Refrigerate until serving.  (It becomes “juicier” as it chills.) 

Best regards to you and Alex Trebek,

Kim