Sunday, January 30, 2011

Roti de Boeuf Arlesien (AKA Swiss Steak)

 Now.....don't let the frenchi-ness of this title scare you. I've mentioned before, one of my grandmothers was indeed of French/Spanish nativity. But I've always referred to this one as simply Swiss Steak. Not to be confused with some "American-ized" versions of so-called Swiss Steak I've seen on some recipe websites. While they may be good, they certainly don't seem close to resembling ours. (By "ours", I suppose I mean, my Mémé, my mother and myself, collectively. We've all served this one as a staple in our individual families.)

Speaking of the Mom Who LOVES to Cook, (as my mother will from here on out be referred to, since I've coined myself, the Mom Who DOESN'T love to Cook), I hope she won't mind that I'm pretty much going to copy and paste from her own recipe post on her Facebook notes. It saves me from more typing than is necessary. :) Thanks Mom.

This recipe for thick steak smothered in onions and tomatoes can be cooked in a Dutch oven on top of a range or in a heavy duty roasting pan in the oven – or my preferred method is to let it simmer all day in a crock pot.  If you are planning to use a crock pot, you’ll want to do the preparation in a roasting pan, large pot or Dutch oven on top of the stove. I use a large stockpot or even a skillet.
My mother’s original recipe specifies a slice of top or bottom round steak 2 inches thick.  Over the years, I think I’ve more generally used a nice thick boneless chuck roast.
What you need:
2-3 lbs. round steak or boneless chuck roast
2 large onions, sliced
one or two 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes, or use fresh tomatoes, 6-10 cut/sliced (today I used four 14.5 oz. cans. Yep that's a lot of tomatoes. Mr. Wonderful looooooves how these tomatoes take on all the yumminess of the flavors after they've been simmering all day, so the more the merrier here.)
1 T. chopped parsley
1 crushed garlic clove
4 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
How you make it:
1. Salt and pepper both sides of meat. Sear in hot oil both sides. When outside of meat is crisp, remove into crockpot.
2. In meat drippings, saute onion. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, thyme, basil, bay leaves, parsley, garlic, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add mixture to meat in crockpot, and work together. Simmer for 5 hours or until meat is very tender when pricked with a fork.
We serve this over wide egg noodles or for gluten-free, brown rice fusilli noodles. With salad and some crusty bread, (thanks to my fellow-gluten-free-mother-in-law for bringing over some Laurel's GF homemade bread to go with dinner tonight! YUM!) this meal is super-scrumptious and we always have lots for lunch leftovers the next day or days....
So, I guess that means if you want to sample before you make, come stop by for lunch one day this week and see for yourself. :)


  1. You are very welcome!

  2. So neat about the old cookbooks found. Can't wait to see them!

  3. This sounds wonderful! It seems like you've got a great mom. :-)

  4. AH! Thanks for reading, Stephanie! Yes, she's great. She'll be glad to hear it too... :)

  5. Well, thanks all around. And I had a great mom - which I guess I must say, since it was her recipe. Her mother was Spanish and they lived in Algiers, so can't say for sure if my mother's mom would have ever even heard of this - we'll have to settle for comfirming this as 4 generation (counting Marissa's kidos)favorite!