What Is Swiss Steak? – Full Guide

what is swiss steak

Swiss steak is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s simple, basic, and delicious!

But what is swiss steak?

This dish typically consists of beef rounds that are tenderized by pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin, then braised in either wine or tomato sauce.

Sometimes it is breaded before browning for extra texture on the outside.

Let’s take a closer look…

What Exactly Is Swiss Steak?

Swiss steak is essentially a braised meat dish, which consists of beef rounds cut into one-inch thick pieces.

This dish is traditionally cooked using a red wine sauce, but many use tomato sauce instead if they prefer.

This classic comfort food is also often served with mashed or baked potatoes, rice, or noodles.

The meat is “swissed” by pounding it with a meat mallet or rolling pin to tenderize it before cooking.

This breaks up the connective tissue in the beef rounds, giving them a more steak-like texture when cooked.

Swiss steaks are often breaded before browning for extra texture on the outside.

Why Is It Called Swiss Steak?

Swiss steak gets its name from the fact that it is often prepared in an oven.

This style of cooking was introduced to the United States by European immigrants right around the turn of the 20th century.

These immigrants settled in swiss neighborhoods, which were home to many German immigrants, who were known for preparing meat dishes in the oven.

Swiss steaks are also fairly similar to German beef rouladen, which are often served with sauerkraut.

How Is Swiss Steak Best Cooked?

When it comes to cooking swiss steak, there are various options.

Some like to braise it in tomato sauce, while others prefer red wine or even beef broth.

It is often baked, but can also be pan-fried or simmered (slow-cooked).

Once cooked, the meat rounds are typically sliced into strips.

It’s a relatively easy dish to cook once you have found a recipe that you’re going to follow.

To cook swiss steak, follow these steps: Braise the beef in your sauce of choice; Cover and cook until fork-tender (1 ½ to 2 hours); Serve and enjoy!

How Is Swiss Steak Best Prepared?

Prepping swiss steak is actually pretty simple.

The meat rounds are typically breaded and then browned in a skillet with oil or butter before transferring to the oven to finish cooking through, which gives them a flavorful golden crust on the outside.  

If you want to beef up your swiss steak, try adding some diced vegetables and/or spices such as garlic, herbs, or chili flakes to the sauce.

The red wine variation can also be served alongside mashed potatoes for a hearty plate of comfort food.

Swiss steak was originally created as inexpensive and easy way to create a steak-like dish without needing expensive ingredients or cutlery.

It has since become one of my favorite dishes for its simplicity, ease of preparation, and rich taste.

Simply season the steak, brown it, and then simmer in wine or your favorite sauce.

It’s a simple recipe that will leave you feeling full of warmth on cold days!

How Is Swiss Steak Best Served?

Swiss steak is best served with a side of mashed or baked potatoes, rice, or noodles, as mentioned above.

It’s also great alongside a creamy vegetable like creamed spinach and some buttered bread!

However, you can choose to serve swiss steak with other alternatives.

For example, my mom used to serve it alongside macaroni and cheese.

Swiss steak is also good with a side of corn on the cob!

How Expensive Is Swiss Steak?

The price is Swiss steak is going to vary depending on where you purchase it from as well as your geographical location.

However, for the most part, this is a relatively low-cost dish that’s certainly accessible to most.

As with other wine-based dishes, prices can be higher for this recipe if you’re purchasing the ingredients from a gourmet store or specialty butcher.

However, more often than not you’ll find recipes like this one on sale at your local grocery store or farmer’s market during the summer months.

The average cost for the ingredients for Swiss steak will cost around $7 – $8.

The cost of your meal will also depend on whether or not you’re making it as a one-plate dish with sides and what those sides are.

A one-plate version will often cost around $10, while adding noodles or potatoes to the plate raises this price by about $2 per side.

Where Is Swiss Steak Commonly Found?

Swiss steak is commonly found in various regions of the world such as the US and Europe.

Swiss steak recipes are often found in French cookbooks, while other variations can be found in German and Russian cookbooks.

The dish is also similar to a Greek dish called stifado.

However, it’s difficult to find this dish outside of its respective countries and regions.

Restaurants will often have this dish on their menus, but it’s more likely that you’ll find swiss steak in your kitchen and decide to cook it up yourself.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of Swiss Steak?

As with all dishes, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the nutritional value of what you’re eating.

Swiss steak contains high levels of salt, which can damage your health if consumed in too high of a quantity.

The dish also contains high levels of protein and carbohydrates, but it is still low in both cholesterol and calories.

Granted, you won’t be consuming the entire steak on its own; however, it’s still important to know how much salt you’re consuming in total.

Below is the nutritional information for one serving of Swiss Steak with sauce (232g)

  • Calories = 351
  • Fat = 21g
  • Saturated Fat = 3.8g
  • Carbohydrates = 10g
  • Sugars = 3.3g
  • Protein = 30g

As you can see, this dish is relatively low in calories but does have a high-fat content.

However, the saturated fat levels are not high enough to be of concern, and the sodium content is well below what people typically consume on a daily basis.

Swiss steak would be fine for your average person to eat occasionally if they so desired.

It’s a dish that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet or as a treat for those with adventurous palates.

Other Considerations

It’s important to keep in mind that Swiss steak does not contain a large number of essential nutrients.

It’s a salty, greasy dish that will leave you feeling full but can also lead to health problems if consumed too frequently.

It’s best to enjoy swiss steak as an occasional treat rather than as a staple in your diet.

Whether you’re cooking it up in your kitchen or buying it from a restaurant, be sure to identify the serving size and nutritional content before diving in!

Another note is that swiss steak is a good source of iron.

This means that it will help to build up your red blood cells! That’s important for any meat dish you are eating.


In conclusion, Swiss steak is a dish that is often found in French, German and Russian cookbooks.

Swiss steak is not difficult to make; however, if you’re attempting it in your own kitchen, be sure to follow the recipe carefully.

This dish is tasty, cheap, and can be part of a balanced diet.

That being said, eating it too frequently can lead to health problems if you’re not careful!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about Swiss steak.

Feel free to share it with other steak lovers who may be on the lookout for a new steak dish to try.

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