Living on a tight budget causes you to learn how to take cheap cuts of meat and turn them into flavorful dishes. One of those cheap cuts that I use and have talked about before on this blog is bottom round. It's a cut that will be tough if you don't do it right. I previously talked about how to roast this cut. But today I am going to take a different direction, one influenced by Alton Brown. Bottom round can be turned into a swiss steak that you can cut with a fork come dinner time.
Below you will find my notes from Alton's Swiss Steak recipe. The recipe is available for printing via Food Network's website.
1. You will first need to take your bottom round roast and trim of it any excess fat. Then slice the meat into as close of slices as you can get to ½ inch. I have some brand new knives, making the slicing task much easier.
2. Alton uses a needle blade meat tenderizer. You can buy these online via Amazon. I actually got mine as a gift one year bought at Cost Plus World Market.
3. For the dredging I opted to use potato starch instead of all-purpose flour. My son seems to have a sensitive to wheat. Going gluten free with the potato starch was a better option for our family. I also have to watch out for gluten in the stock I am using unless it's homemade.
4. When you born the meat make sure to watch your heat. Cast iron heats up pretty good. You don't want really high heat or you will blacken instead of brown. I had to turn my heat down as the surface was getting too dark.
5. Instead of canned tomatoes, I pulled out some tomato sauce from the freezer that I made late last summer. I didn't want any chunks of tomatoes in it, but you don't have to follow my example if you don't mind chunks.
6. I did not have any smoked paprika on hand. Next time I want to use it to add a smoky component to the dish, which I really think completes it.
7. I cooked mine for 2 hours. At that point was a easy to cut with a fork.
Definitely a tasty way to stretch a piece of beef that didn't cost an arm and a leg. It was easy to make and I had enough leftover to serve again. The only thing I was missing was the smokiness from the smoked paprika. I really got to try that next time, I think it would put the dish over the top.