Slow Cooking Transforms This Tough, Inexpensive Cut
Round steak is a budget-friendly piece of beef, but it's not cut out for grilling or other traditional steak-style cooking methods. It's tough and relatively fine-grained, which makes it perfect for slow cooking. Most recipes for round steak in a slow cooker call for powdered soup mix, canned soups, or both. This Crock-Pot round steak recipe makes its own scratch gravy instead, which takes a bit longer but means you'll know exactly what you're feeding your family.
Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 pounds round steak, cut into individual portions
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper, or more to taste
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over a hot burner. Add half the oil, and then sear one or two pieces of steak at a time until well browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per piece. Remove the browned steak slices to a plate, and reduce the heat to medium.
- Pour the rest of the oil into the pan, then add the onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and the onions have softened. Add the garlic and stir for one more minute, until nicely aromatic.
- Stir in the flour, until the onions and mushrooms are well coated and no dry flour is visible. Stir in the first half-cup of broth, whisking until it's incorporated and makes a thick paste, then add the remainder of the broth and the salt and pepper. Stir until there are no visible lumps of flour, then remove from the heat.
Spray your Crock-Pot or fill it with a slow cooker liner bag, then arrange the steak pieces on the bottom. Pour the onion gravy over the meat
— it will still be slightly thin at this point
— and cover. Cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low, until the meat is fork-tender. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.
5. Serve hot over potatoes or broad noodles, with your choice of vegetables.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
- Browning the beef is an optional step. You can skip it if you're pressed for time, but it does add a lot of flavor to the finished dish.
- If you want the whole meal to be waiting when you get home, add quartered medium Yukon Gold potatoes to the Crock-Pot and carrot pieces cut lengthwise into halves.
- You can make Swiss steak much the same way, substituting 2 cans of whole tomatoes with their juice for the beef broth. Mash the tomatoes lightly with a fork before adding them to the Crock-Pot.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.