Swiss Steak

My butcher always labels some of the cuts I get as “Swiss Steak”.  I have been unable to find Swiss steak on a butcher’s chart, but when you look at a bone-in sirloin or bone-in round steak, you can tell that they come from generally the same part of the cow.


There is a leg bone and several muscle bundles that run parallel to the bone.  This is just a cut that works really well with slow braising.

My mom used to make great Swiss steak and I had a feeling I could easily make it low carb.


1 1/2- 2 lbs Swiss steak or bottom round (you could probably also use chuck steak)

1 10 oz can diced tomatoes (Italian style if desired)

1 med Onion (sliced)

1 clove garlic (chopped)

1 Green Pepper (sliced)

Nature’s Seasons or your favorite meat seasoning

1 Cup Beef boullion (I like to use “Better Than Boullion”)

Xanthan Gum (optional)




  1. Separate the Swiss steak into serving size pieces (I separated according to muscle bundle)
  2. Pound meat with a tenderizing mallet (the kind with spikes)
  3. Season the meat with Nature’s Seasons or as desired
  4. Brown the meat in a hot skillet for about 2 minutes on each side
  5. Remove the meat to a plate
  6. Saute the green pepper, onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion is just starting to become translucent.
  7. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes and bring the reserved fluid up to 1 Cup and use as the based for the beef boullion.
  8. Add the tomatoes and beef boullion to the skillet and stir well.
  9. Add the meat back to the skillet and heap the tomato, onion and green pepper mixture on top of the meat
  10. Put a lid on the skillet and place into an oven at 250 F to braise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours
  11. When the meat is cooked to your preferred tenderness, remove to a warm plate with the topping mixture.
  12. Reserve about 1 cup of the topping and transfer to a saucepan.
  13. Use an immersion mixer to blend the topping into a smooth purée.  If you would like the purée to be thicker, blend in 1.0 gm Xanthan Gum per 200 ml (0.5%) of purée. Use in addition to the veggie topping or as a gravy.



Post Mortem

This was a lot like mom’s Swiss steak and would have been even more spot on it I had braised the meat in the thickened gravy rather than adding the thickening at the end.  In the original recipe the meat is dredged in flour twice before browning.  All of that nice browned flour is great for making a natural gravy as the meat braises.

Xanthan Gum has 0 net carbs so it is a perfect thickener for low carb sauces.  It is also very stable from stove to freezer and back.  Hence, I could have used a thickened braising liquid.

Xanthan Gum is a little tricky in that you can’t very well hydrate it with a little water and then add it to your sauce base.  The Xanthan Gum becomes very sticky and gooey and almost impossible to dissolve.  The best method I have found is to sprinkle the Xanthan Gum over the surface of the liquid I wish to thicken and blend it in on high speed with an immersion mixer or regular mixer with a whisk.  You could even use a hand whisk if you want, but the main thing is to mix rapidly until the powder is all hydrated.

I have found that a 0.5% mixture (0.5 g/100 ml) gives a nice sauce with good mouth feel, true flavor profile and a nice viscosity.  I need to experiment with higher concentrations to find the limit for thickening sauces while maintaining a good mouth feel and a true flavor profile.  The literature I reviewed cautions against using too much Xanthan Gum to prevent a “slimy” mouth feel, but they didn’t indicate what that level is.

I’m guessing that 1.0% is going to be too much, but I’ll keep you posted.

Carb counting   👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I served the Swiss steak with mashed cauliflower and steamed broccoli and I would guess that each meal was about 5-6 g of Carbs.

Broccoli 1 gm

Mashed cauliflower 1 gm

Swiss steak with topping 3-4 gm


One Comment Add yours

  1. Shane Sanford says:

    Nice post! Very informative and sounds delicious!


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