Saturday, February 6, 2010

Crockpot Swiss Steak

Among the many things that I'm thankful, every winter I'm reminded how thankful I am that my father, my nephew and my brother like to hunt.  And that they are good hunters.  And as sad as it is that they shoot Bambi's mom or dad, I cannot complain when my father sends me home with about 10 pounds of free meat that he no longer wants cluttering his freezer. 

I've heard people's complaints about vension ... it's very lean, it has a "gamey" taste, etc.  Personally, my husband and I think it smells terrible when it cooks, but I can't look at free steak or ground venison and turn it down - because it's cheap (FREE!), it's very lean and I am one of those odd people who do truly enjoy venison until I have ate it for about three weeks and would rather become a vegetarian until the next hunting season rolls around.

I don't think I have a secret to making venison great, unless I take a page from my aunt Sue's book and fry up a platter of steaks and then bake them off while wrapped in bacon.  But if I had a secret, I think it would be this recipe.  Again, I found it at an odd source - a recipe listed in a debt reduction blog that I subscribe to, but this recipe is so good that I nearly cried.

Crockpot Swiss Steak
adapted from

1 1/2 lbs round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (** you may use venison or beef)

What you are going to do is dredge this in a mixture of seasoned flour - since I doubled this recipe, I took about a cup of all purpose flour and mixed in some seasoned salt, black pepper, some cayenne pepper for kick and garlic powder.  Come to think of it, I used kosher salt too, because that's my new favorite seasoning.

Brown the dredged steaks in a mixture of butter and olive oil (about 1 T. of butter to 1 T. of olive oil.  I have no clue why I did this, it just felt like the right thing to do at the time.)
Move the steaks to a plate and add the following ingredients to the pan drippings:

    * 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes
    * 1 small onion, sliced
    * 1 stalk celery, sliced
    * 2 medium carrots, sliced

Saute until the vegetables are softened - about 5 to 7 minutes.

Put the steak, the vegetables and all the drippings into a large crockpot.  Add:

    * 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
    * 1/4 cup red wine
    * 1/4 cup water

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.  I came home from work at about hour four to make sure that my massive crock 'o deer was not drying out.  On the contrary, I had some awesome drippings going on in my crockpot.

Finally, when it is time to eat (and weep when you realize that the venison that's been so lovingly neglected in your Crockpot is fork tender), serve with hot noodles, rice or cheat like me and buy some Bob Evans' Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.  Seriously - I think they are laced with crack.  Never mind that I can make perfectly passable mashed potatoes, these are up there with my mom's.

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