Beef steak with pizzaiola sauce and fresh salad close-up on a plate. vertical
Swiss Steak Is Probably Not What You Think It Is
By Matthew Wilson
Despite its name, Swiss steak doesn't originate from Switzerland. This hearty meal of beef cooked in tomato sauce is an American classic named after how the meat is tenderized.
The dish is typically made with less expensive cuts that are tough and hard to chew, like bottom round or chuck. They are tenderized with a machine called a swisser.
This machine leaves small, cube-shaped indentations on the meat. Swiss steak is also known as cube steak for this very reason, so you may have had it without realizing it.
You can still make Swiss steak manually if you don't have a swisser or electric meat tenderizer. You'll only need a meat mallet with cubed prongs to smash the steaks.
To tenderize or swiss your steak, place the meat between two pieces of parchment paper. For the best texture, smash the steaks until they're tender but not completely pulverized.
You can also use a slow cooker to break down the connective tissues in the meat and soften tough muscle fibers, though this technically wouldn't be considered a Swiss steak.