Tough Love ~ Bottom Round Steak ~ how to turn a cheap, tough, budget cut of steak into a tender meal

Swiss Steak ~ Have you ever bought some 'steak' on sale & then realized when you got it home it is not the kind of steak you can grill, but it is the really 'cheap steak' that must be braised to be edible? Well, then this is the recipe for you. It takes about 2 hours to make, but most of that time is just simmering. Roy really likes it, me too. :)

There I was, at the market, standing by the meat case, when I saw it.  ~ STEAK SALE! ~  My heart raced & I just knew it was my lucky day! I found a few nice sized steaks, for a really good price.  So, into the cart they went & I patted myself on the back for being such a thrifty shopper.

That night at home, I decided to treat myself to one of the steaks.  I seasoned & cooked it like I normally do was a medium rare, tough, tough, tough piece of steak.  I was NOT a happy camper.  Then I went to the packaging & really looked at the tag & found out it was a ~ Bottom Round Steak...ut oh.  Cheap steak, unfamiliar name, better look it up on the net.  I found out all about it, mystery solved.

A Bottom Round Steak is a very lean cut that comes from a well exercised part of the cow.  It is a cut that is often turned into Cube Steak & also goes by the name Swiss Steak. (Swiss stands for the process of running the meat through rollers that cut into the meat & tenderize it, not for the country) For it to turn out tender, you need to slow cook it & braising is the best method.  Ohhh...that is where I went wrong...

Cuban Beef Stew ~ This was made using the leftovers from the Swiss Steak dinner.  It was amazing & really very quick since the meat was already cooked from the other night. I love it when you can create a new dish out of what is already in the fridge. Check out the recipe ~ here ~ if you're starting from scratch.

So, for the next few pieces of steak, that is what I did. I first made a traditional Swiss Steak recipe, with tomatoes, mushrooms & onions.  And then I make a Cuban Beef Stew.  Boy, what a difference!  When cooked the proper way, the tough, dry ol' pieces of steak become tender & tasty.  Of course whatever you braise it in helps in the flavor department - tomatoes, wine, sherry - I found out the list goes on & on.  Since it's a lean cut you're not getting any flavor from the fat, so ya gotta get it from somewhere. I say whatever it takes to make a good meal out of a cheap cut of steak/beef works for me...and my shopping budget.

Roy really liked the Swiss Steak.  He said it reminded him of some good meals he had back in England.  I really liked the Cuban Beef Stew that I made using the leftover meat from the Swiss Steak dinner.  Since the meat had already been braised, it was just a quick bit of adding a few additional ingredients & an entirely new meal was created.  There are a few other recipes I came across while trying to figure out how to cook the tough beef I had, so now I think I will keep an eye out for another ~ STEAK SALE! ~ and try my hand at those recipes.  I'll let you know how they turn out.

After learning about it, I think Tough Love is alright by me....  :)

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