In addition to broiled or grilled Pepper Steak with Horsey Sauce there is also our family recipe for a skillet Swiss Pepper Steak.
This is the written version of our family recipe for Swiss Pepper Steak passed down that we have:
Saute chopped sweet onion to caramelize in butter, lightly flour and season room temperature steaks , sear and brown outside of steaks, do not drain pan, stir in diced tomatoes and chopped green onions, season to taste, and simmer until meat is done. Remove steaks and stir sour cream into tomatoes. Wait for sauce to start bubbling again. Return steaks and simmer 5 minutes more.
No measurements were given nor seasonings named. No other vegetables are mentioned although I vividly recall that other vegetables are used, because I had to learn how and when they were to be cooked, and they were always present in the dish — although not mentioned at all in the written recipe.
This is probably because there was a rule — that “family” recipes weren’t shared (not fully and complete anyway) with anyone outside of the family. If not related by blood or marriage, then something would be missing!
It is one family rule and tradition, however, that I do not follow. I’ll never intentionally skip listing an ingredient or leave out any important details when sharing a recipe — even those time honored family recipes.
Leaner cuts of meat used today do not give up as much juice and fats so I now also add a bit of beef broth after searing the steaks along with some Worcestershire sauce and let it heat up before adding the diced tomatoes, etc.
It can also be made with burger patties if they are pressed together well enough and browned until fully cooked then remove and set aside — rather than just searing the outside like actual steaks — so that the burger patties will hold up better in the sauce without falling apart. Set the fully cooked burgers aside and finish making and cooking the rest of the vegetables and sauce. Unlike the steaks, don’t put the hamburger patties back into the sauce until the last five minutes or so of cooking — right after the sour cream has been added and is bubbling.
If desired, may substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts and adjust cook times as needed for the size and quantity used. It is a wonderfully delicious twist!
I usually serve it with rice, but it is also good served with pasta, or better still — serve it with fried spaeltzle (a sort of homemade egg noodle or dumpling). Once boiled and drained, saute the spaeltzle in a skillet with a little butter.
Swiss Pepper Steaks & Rice
Yield: 4 servings
1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms or egg plant, sliced (optional)
1 stalk celery, chopped thin
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely minced
1 red pepper, chopped or thin sliced
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (plus more “as needed” to saute vegetables)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 steaks, thick (2 to 2-1/2 inch) cut, boneless, room temperature
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
onion powder and garlic powder, to taste
a pinch of cumin or to taste
5 to 6 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, do not drain
1/4 cup beef broth (or less depending upon amount of meat juices)
4 Tbsp. Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 to 4 cups cooked rice
Sprinkle seasonings on both sides of steaks and set aside.
Optional: If desired, may coat with a additional Worcestershire sauce to help make the seasonings stick a bit better as well as provide additional flavoring.
Due to the sauce in which the steaks will be simmered, this recipe does not require the steaks to be marinated ahead of time.
Recommend for a starting point using approximately 1/8 tsp. to 1/4 tsp. salt and onion powder per each side of each steak and 1/16 to 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper and garlic powder and just a small pinch 1/16 tsp. or less of cumin — but more or less may be used as desired. Alternately, you may use any preferred steak seasoning blend or blends desired or just some salt and pepper.
Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat.
If desired, add mushrooms or egg plant and saute just until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add celery and saute until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute until the sweet or yellow onion is caramelized and golden brown.
Dust both sides of the seasoned steaks with a light coating of flour by sifting the flour to dust the surface of the dredging dish then lay steaks on top and press the steaks into the flour. Repeat on the other side. Avoid dragging the steaks through the flour which could cause a loss of salt and seasonings.
NOTE: A heavy coating of flour doesn’t really work since it isn’t going to stay put on the meat in this recipe. The coating is actually absorbed into the sauce and intended to thicken the sauce rather than as a breading for the meat. If you want chicken fried steak then this is not the recipe needed.
Push the onion mixture out of the way towards the sides of the skillet. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the center and heat for 1 minute.
Seer the coated steaks in the skillet until the outsides of the steaks are browned on both sides. About 3 minutes on each side.
Add beef broth (enough mixed with the beef juices already in the pan to equal about 1/4 cup) and the Worcestershire sauce. Simmer until bubbling.
Add diced tomatoes. Season as desired with salt and pepper. (See below for additional suggestions). Sprinkle in the green onions.
Continue to simmer until steaks are fully cooked, turning over half way. About 6 to 8 minutes on each side.
Remove the steaks and set aside.
Return celery to pan. If using egg plant, also return to the pan now. (Wait if using mushrooms). Simmer for 1 minute.
Add sour cream to tomato mixture and mix well. Simmer until bubbling and sauce has started to thicken.
When bubbling and starting to thicken, return steaks to pan and simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes or until sauce has fully thickened as desired.
If using mushrooms, add them to mixture afterwards and simmer just until the mushrooms are heated through. About 1 minute.
Place a steak on each of four plates with 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked rice each. Divide up the remaining vegetables and sauce and spoon it over top of each serving of steak as well as the rice. Alternately, instead of rice, it can be served with pasta or spaeltzle that has been fried briefly in a little butter.
Seasonings for the tomatoes to flavor the sauce may include anything at all that you desire.
You can use Montreal Steak or even Montreal Chicken type seasoning blends or simply add the same seasonings as those used on the steak themselves.
Do you prefer Italian seasonings? Spicy Cajun seasonings? Tex-Mex? Do you want it to taste more like a chili, marinara, or spaghetti sauce?
You can even add vinegar, wine, sherry, sugar, etc. if desired. Or substitute pre-seasoned stewed tomatoes or canned tomatoes with chilies in place of regular diced tomatoes.
Or would you prefer to just let all of the natural flavors come through and just add a bit of salt and pepper to taste?
Be as conservative or as daring as you like!
Other suggestions include (but are not limited) to: salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, rubbed sage, cumin, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, chili peppers, lemon pepper, lemon or lime juice, cilantro, parsley, ginger, curry, fennel, coriander, celery seed, etc.
This Italian seasoning blend can be used to season dishes or it can be used as a mix when combined with oil and other ingredients to make an Italian salad dressing: