18 March 2011

Swiss Steak

I'm going to the beach tomorrow. It's going to be in the 80's. It's going to be glorious!

But some people will still be experiencing cold weather. Weather that makes you want to stay inside, bundle up, and eat something nice and hearty. Something easy and comforting. And affordable. Which brings me to another rant that I'm sure you can all relate to, whether or not you like to cook. It's the price of groceries. And it's crazy.

For the past few months (or longer) I've been hearing how food prices have skyrocketed, but I wasn't really sure if I noticed or not. I spend a lot of money on groceries for 2 people, and for the past 6 months or so, I've been trying to shop exclusively at the commissary. The first few times I did major shopping there, I was blown away by how many groceries I brought home for the money. I was curious to find out exactly how much I saved. So later that week I brought my receipt to a normal grocery store I use to shop at and looked up every item on my receipt. I saved about 35%!!! That's crazy! And very fortunate that I work less than 10 minutes from a very decent commissary.

Ever since then I have bought nearly everything there. They have the best fruit and vegetable selection around, their deli is great and carries all Boar's Head products, and they even have a bakery that sells Portuguese rolls (yay!)! The only things I don't pick up there is juice, cereal (those are still cheaper at Sam's Club, and in the bulk we need), and seafood (no fresh seafood department).

Anyway, so I'm getting to my rant. Eventually.

So once in a blue moon I forget something and I need to pick up a few things from a regular grocery store. One of these things was unsalted butter. I go to the store, walk to the butter section, and gasp!!! You know how much they wanted?! $4.99 for 4 sticks of STORE BRAND BUTTER!!! What the hell?!

I was furious. I went home without butter. I refused to do it. I didn't cook whatever it was I was going to cook. A few days later I went to the commissary to pick it up for under $3.50. That was a month ago, and I'm still mad about it.

It's still expensive though, no matter where you go. And trying new things all of the time increases my food budget dramatically. We'll talk about this more, I'm sure. The point is, a great tasting meal and inexpensive meal like this make me happy.

I also like it because it's little mess using a ziploc bag. And because your cooking it so long to get the meat nice and tender, you'll have plenty of time to clean up everything else before dinner is ready!

This also makes for great leftovers, and would freeze easily if you were to make a big batch of it (minus the noodles of course!).

Swiss Steak

  • 1 1/2 pounds chuck steak
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 crimini mushrooms quartered
  • 1/2 cup beef or mushroom broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 pound egg noodles
  1. Cut steak into bite size pieces. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Place cut meat into the bag and shake to coat completely.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Shake excess flour off of meat and cook just until browned. Add more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. In the same pan that you cooked the beef in, cook onion, garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Return beef to the pan. Pour in broth, diced tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce. Add in bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. Stirring occasionally and skimming any fat that accumulates at the top.
  4. When you are just about ready to serve begin boiling the water for the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  5. Remove bay leaves and spoon Swiss steak over the hot noodles and serve.


  1. You raised an interesting point. It is true that prices are pretty outrageous. However, what got me thinking was your comment on spending more to constantly try out new recipes for our blogs. I do find myself going out of my way for a certain ingredient at times. Lately I have been trying look for a recipe according to what I have in my fridge and not the other way around. And I try to improvise with an ingredient I already have if the recipe requires something I don't.

  2. Based on what I've read, I'm pretty sure that you and I shop at the same commissary!!! I am on the same bandwagon of buy as much as you can there instead of the chain grocery stores. It's ridiculous how much you can save.

  3. Margaret, do you live in the Pensacola area?

  4. No, I found you through looking up one of the restaurants downtown - you had posted a review of it. I made your tater tots for the Superbowl though, Yum!