Smothered Swiss Steak, Italian style

Cooking Time: 5 Hr    

Products needed:

Traditional 18 Year Balsamic Vinegar


From Dave Hershorin

  • 2 lb “Swiss” steaks, cubed/pre-tenderized
  • 1 lb fresh sausage, hot or mild
  • 1 1/2 c cornstarch 
  • water
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder (optional)
  • 2 c Olive Scene bold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium/large onion, coarsely diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms of choice
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled only
  • 1 c parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon. lemon peel, finely chopped/grated
  • 32 oz chicken or veal stock 
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c Olive Scene Traditional 18 Year Balsamic Vinegar*
  • 1/4 c hot sauce (mild preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard


  1. Initially, combine the cornstarch and enough water into a glue-like sluree.
  2. In a flat dish, bowl or plastic container (at least two-quart), pour the sluree over the raw Swiss steaks, making sure to flip and coat the steaks liberally and evenly.
  3. Put aside and allow the meat/sluree to sit for at least 20 minutes (up to 3-4 hours) so every nook and cranny gets the starchy white liquid inside to penetrate/permeate.
  4. In another large, flat dish/bowl/container, place flour and mix in salt and pepper (and paprika, if chosen).
  5. Set aside next to sluree-coated steaks.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Heat a large saute pan to medium high.
  8. Add about 1/2 cup of the olive oil, then add the sausage and cook for 5-7 minutes, constantly breaking the pieces up with a spatula as they cook.
  9. Once the edges of the sausage begin to brown and crisp a bit, add onion, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, salt and pepper. If necessary, as it all cooks together, add enough extra oil to keep the ingredients in your pan coated.
  10. Cook until all of the ingredients soften and brown a bit on the outside.
  11. Now, add the hot sauce, vinegar, parsley, thyme, lemon peel and mustard.
  12. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until a thick coat of dark orange sauce covers everything evenly.
  13. Remove from pan and put cooked mixture into your casserole dish.
  14. Set aside and cover to retain residual heat.
  15. Place (cleaned) pan back onto the stove over a medium high heat.
  16. Take sluree-coated steaks out one at a time and dredge each in flour mixture, fully covering all wet areas as you work the flour in with your fingers. Be thorough in your efforts…the more flour you can get to stick, the more flavors that will be absorbed once the steaks become smothered.
  17. Add remaining olive oil to pan.
  18. Once the oil is well heated, place steaks in the pan carefully, to avoid initial splatter.
  19. Cook approximately 5 minutes on each side, until sides are nicely browned.
  20. Remove steaks and put them in the casserole dish atop/within already-sauted ingredients.
  21. If pan size won't fry all of your steaks, repeat this step as needed.
  22. Once all steaks are done, place used pan back onto a medium burner.
  23. Add about ¼ cup of the used flour to the residual oil.
  24. Mix them together and keep mixing…don’t stop stirring.
  25. Once the roux mixture melds and browns slightly (takes a minute or two), add tomatoes and continue stirring, breaking down any roux clumps into the tomato liquid.
  26. After another minute, add stock and bring the sauce to a boil.
  27. Add about half of the sausage-onion-mushroom-carrot combo back into the pan and mix with thickening sauce for a minute or so.
  28. Pour entire mixture over steaks, making sure the meat is totally covered. Cover casserole and immediately place into oven.
  29. Cook for 1 hour at 400F, then turn heat down to 300F and cook for 2-4 more hours, uncovering for the last hour (or so) to thicken the sauce. The longer it cooks, the softer the meat will become, but it will already be amply tender after just two hours.
  30. Serve over rice or pasta, or with potatoes. Top with grated cheese.