Savory, tender and beyond flavorful, this Swiss Steak Stew is one of my favorites of my mom’s recipes. Modified and updated for the oven or pressure cooker, this one delivers big time in the flavor department and feeds a crowd.
A wonderful mushroom, onion gravy is made while this cooks, and with a variety of vegetables, is a full meal. But you need some biscuits to sop up all that savory goodness, and I have just the ones, too. 🙂
There seems to be a myth surrounding pressure cookers that is negative and I for one find them invaluable in the kitchen, especially when time is of the essence. These are time savers people, really. Gone are the days where it may explode and it’s contents are on the ceiling of your kitchen. Don’t be afraid as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use common sense you’re fine. I use my trusty Instant Pot at least once a week and love it for it’s time saving usefulness. Besides, you can focus your time better spent making things for the upcoming holiday like these Slab Pumpkin Pie Bars.
Like anything, read the instructions. These are not rocket science technology, actually they’ve been around since the 1600s really. Though I do prefer my Instant Pot over the older versions. It’s electric and is a 7 in 1 tool that also is a slow cooker and rice cooker to name a few of the things it can do. Check out the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel (IP-DUO60) here. Such a lifesaver!
A quick sear of the meat in some oil (because the InstantPot has a sauté feature!), the other ingredients are added and the lid goes on. Push a button and after it heats up the timer goes on and you are already doing other things while the meal is cooking. It even has a timer that keep things warm after it’s done. No need to stand around waiting.
For this recipe I used some rendered bacon fat I had in the refrigerator instead of oil to sear the beef for some added flavor. My mom’s recipe calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup, and while I can appreciate the convenience of it, I also have a recipe to make your own Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup from scratch if you choose to use it. I also like to add the frozen peas at the end of cooking so they are not dull grey green and overcooked. We do eat with our eyes, right?
To better understand the way a pressure cooker works it’s all about the steam pressure that builds up inside, which forces liquid into the food and that helps cook things faster. The liquids like water, broth etc. are turned into steam and that raises the pressure inside the pot. It is also a great way to take advantage of less expensive meats and make them beyond tender. Go ahead, read that last line one more time, I’ll wait.
OK, and we’re back… The first time I released the steam valve after my timer went off it seemed startling, but not like the old days of running the entire pot in the sink under cold running water and then removing the valve. Rest assured it does need to be released and it is safe. Once the steam has been released, the lid can be removed and the cooked contents are ready for the table. The possibilities of this are endless. Soups, stews, rice, fruit preserving cooking etc.
Mom's Swiss Steak Stew
- 1 tbsp olive oil or bacon fat
- 1 1/2 lbs beef sirloin strips chopped (See Note1)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 10.5 oz can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 2 Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped small
- 2 ribs of celery diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Cut meat into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Chop the onion, and garlic. Peel and chop potatoes and carrots. Dice the celery.
- If cooking in oven: Brown the steak in oil on all sides. Add the chopped onion and cook until transparent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (optional), thyme and sprinkle the flour on top. Mix to coat and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, condensed soup and broth, mix thoroughly. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and cook covered 1 1/2 hours in a 350˚F oven.
- Prior to serving add frozen peas and stir in to combine. Cover and allow to rest 5 minutes and serve.
- If using a pressure cooker: Brown the steak in oil on all sides. Add the chopped onion and cook until transparent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (optional), thyme and sprinkle the flour on top. Mix to coat and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, condensed soup and broth, mix thoroughly. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and cover with lid. Cook for 20 minutes after regulator starts to rock.
- When done, release steam per manufacturer's instructions and add frozen peas. Stir in to combine with stew. Cover and allow to rest 5 minutes then serve.