SWISS STEAK WITH EGG NOODLES
- 5 pounds or so 7-bone chuck roast
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (necessary for its silky texture)
- 3 tablespoons butter or bacon fat
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil (not extra virgin)
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 2 large Spanish yellow onions cut thinly
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Spanish Amontillado or Cream Sherry (not cooking sherry)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon. canned chipotle
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch curly parsley, chopped for garnish
- 1 cup celery hearts, sliced thin on the bias
- Serve with cooked egg noodles, buttered, a little chopped parsley, seasoned with salt and pepper.
Adapted from ming.com
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Pat dry the chunk of meat with paper towels - important as the salt and pepper won't stick to the meat if it is not dry and you won't be able to get a good sear on it. Be very generous with your salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure the meat is covered. Put your flour in a large bowl and roll the entire piece of meat in the flour to coat it. Take the meat out of the bowl, place it on your cutting board and LITERALLY pound the flour left in the bowl INTO the meat. Yes, it may sound strange but this is Swiss Steak! Good Swiss Steak is dependent on this rather large amount of flour cooking for hours and absorbing the fat from the meat as it renders itself in the oven for approximately 3 hours or so.
3. Place the oil and butter or bacon fat in a heated large Dutch oven or any baking pan you have with a cover that fits well. Put your sliced onions into the hot pot and slowly cook until caramelized, about 6-8 minutes. Salt and pepper the onions. During the last few minutes add the garlic. Cook another 2 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl and set aside.
4. Using same pot, add a little more olive oil and place on high heat. When hot, lower the meat into the pot carefully to brown (don't splash yourself with the hot fat). Don't move the meat until you are sure the first side is brown and has developed a crust, about 8-10 minutes. With tongs, flip over the meat. Again lower meat gently and brown this side, another 6-8 minutes. You may have to regulate the heat turning it down a tad. You don't want to blacken the flour, just a deep golden brown.
5. Add the onions on top of the beef. Immediately deglaze with a cup of sherry around the perimeter of the pan so as not to "wash away" all the seasoning and maintain crust. Add 1 more cup of water around the perimeter, but do not cover the meat. The liquid should only come half way up to the top of the meat. And if there was any flour left in your first bowl, just throw it in. Add the tomato paste and a teaspoon (or to taste) of canned chipotle, again around the perimeter. Lastly add the tomato halves on top.
6. Place cover on the pot and put into oven. Slowly braise for at least 2- 3 hours, checking your liquid level and whether you can easily pierce the meat with a skewer.
7. Transfer to a heated platter spoon the remaining sauce from the pan over the meat. Garnish with chopped parsley and celery leaves. Serve immediately with seasoned egg noodles.