Swiss Steak – Eleanor Kerr’s Recipe

Simple and delicious! This recipe comes from my late and dearly missed mother-in-law, Eleanor Kerr. Unlike most Swiss Steak recipes there is no tomato included – just pure beef for beef lovers. It must be served with mashed potatoes so you can mop up the gravy.

This could be made with the finest artisanal heritage locally sourced Wagyu beef, but actually it works really well with whatever you have.


  •  1 lb round steak
  • 1 good-sized onion
  • Beef stock or red wine
  • Flour to coat
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fat. The best thing is to get a piece of beef fat from the butcher. Otherwise render the fat from your beef and add oil to make up the required amount.

Remove all fat from beef and cut into 2″/2.5 cm cubes or strips

Place meat in a paper bag with one tbsp flour, salt (don’t be shy) and pepper. Shake to coat.

Heat the fat and then brown the beef pieces on all sides. Remove from the fat.

Roughly chop the onion and brown it in the same pan.

Remove the onion and shake the remaining flour from Step 2 into the pan. Turn this into a gravy by adding beef stock and/or red wine.

Arrange in a casserole: meat on the bottom, onions on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the gravy in to cover the meat.

Cover the casserole and cook for 1-2 hours at 350F (This is not a soufflé. As long as the meat is fully cooked it can be eaten, but longer cooking intensifies the gravy).

Check periodically and add boiling water if it starts to dry out.

Take the top off the casserole for the last half hour.


The ideal accompaniments are mashed potatoes, a green vegetable and a medium bodied, not very tannic red wine – Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, Nero d’Avola, Chilean Carmenere or something Spanish. It helps to have a baguette or crusty bread to mop up any remaining gravy.


Make lots and freeze the leftovers – it’s one of the best things to pull out of the freezer on a dark winter evening.


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