No, I'm talking about the food of my grandparents, food that leaves your belly warm and happy, food that can fill up a man. I'm talking about meat and potatoes. Well, I guess potatoes aren't technically "paleo" but I've learned in my 3 years of ancestral eating that sometimes you can color outside the lines. And it's okay. Maybe you can't do it all the time, but once you've gotten your body and gut healed, foods like potatoes can sometimes make its way back onto the menu. (Yay!!!)
So yesterday I was scrounging around my freezer and pulled out a tenderized round steak -- also called swiss steak. But I didn't really know what to do with it. I mean, I knew it needed to be braised in order to be tender, but other than that, my mind was blank. My internet searches for recipes were troublesome. They looked good, but all of them included either tomato paste or diced tomatoes -- and tomatoes literally kick our butts. James will get a terrible stomach ache, almost to the point of hospitalization, and I'll become severely stiff and sore (sometimes with a stomach ache, too). Yeah, it's sad. I do fine without butter and milk and pasta and all that, but I really do miss spaghetti sauce and sloppy joes and tacos. Sigh.
Anyway, I came up with my own Swiss Steak recipe sans tomatoes that was great. Think of it as a rich, Salsbury steak but without the ground beef texture. Brown gravy, onions and garlic, oh my! And if you take away the potatoes, it's even autoimmune Paleo-friendly.
Swiss Steak with Gravy
1.5 to 2 lbs tenderized top round/Swiss steak
fat for browning -- lard, bacon grease, duck fat, beef tallow, etc
2 onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced/pressed (for max. health benefits, allow to sit at least 10 minutes before using)
3 TBSP arrowroot flour
2 cups beef stock
1 TBSP fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
salt and pepper
4 potatoes (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat a large, oven-safe dutch oven over medium high heat. Cut your steak into serving-size portions, pat dry with paper towels and salt both sides. Add some fat to the dutch oven and let it heat for a minute or so.
2. When the dutch oven is really hot, gently brown each steak, cooking about 2-3 minutes per side until a brown crust has formed. Be sure not too overcrowd your dutch oven or else they won't brown. I did each steak separately -- tedious but worth it. Set aside each steak as it's browned.
3. Turn heat down to medium and add a little more fat to the dutch oven. Saute onions, stirring frequently, for about 8-10 minutes until soft and starting to caramelize. Next add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
4. Toss in arrowroot powder and stir to coat onions. Then add broth, mixing well and being sure to scrape up any lovely brown bits on the bottom of the dish. Add rosemary, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
5. Nestle steaks into the sauce, place the lid on the dutch oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender. If potatoes are desired, wrap in foil and place in oven with dutch oven, then remove the same time steaks are done.