Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Swiss steak with mojo sauce

Swiss steak is so called not because its Switzerland's national dish but because the meat preparation, thinly slicing a cheap cut of beef and tenderizing the devil out of it, is called swissing. This begs the question, if it's called swissing doesn't it still have something to do with Switzerland?

There are a number of ways to prepare Swiss steak, but the essentials involve browning the steaks first and then braising. Simply Recipes has a family recipe involving tomato sauce. To prepare mine, I dredged the steaks in flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), browned over high heat on both sides, and then braised the meat in chicken stock and a little wine (beef stock would have been better, probably, but I only had chicken) with fresh marjoram and rosemary. This makes for a very soft, flavorful piece of meat. I could have used the cooking juices as a gravy, but I was in the mood for mojo.

Mojo the Latin American green sauce, not the other kind, though I can always use the latter as well. Mojo sauce is typically made with fresh herbs, garlic, anchovies, capers, vinegar and oil. I made mine by mashing together one anchovy fillet with 2 tablespoons of rinsed capers (always, ALWAYS buy the salted kind) and 2 minced cloves of garlic in a mortar. I put the mixture in a small bowl and added about half a cup of finely chopped parsley leaves, a tablespoon of wine vinegar, and about 2 tablespoon of olive oil. I give these measurements as approximations -- you can alter according to your own tastes. For that matter, you could use lemon instead of vinegar and leave out the anchovy. This is a slightly unstable sauce, and I like it that way. Give it a little stir once more before serving yourself the sauce.

Jasper loved the Swiss steak and fresh peas. He refrained from sampling the mojo.

For dessert we had strawberry crumble with vanilla ice cream. Someone in Switzerland gave me this cool little cast-iron pot. You can't tell from the picture, but it's about 5 inches in diameter. So cute! Thanks, Swizzies.


liz said...

I love this blog. I love the photos of food, the recipes I am too scared to make, the ingredients I won't dare to find. It's like looking at a vacation magazine! I need to allow it to inspire me more to cook new things. Or take a vacation so someone else can cook for me.

Swizzies said...

Oh, the wee pot has found a use - yay!!!

And thus we now see: all those times I told you I needed to get my mojo back, who knew you were HOLDING OUT ON ME?!

Swissing=taking something cheap and making it edible, aka schnitzeling I should imagine. They also take otherwise not-so-great cuts of meat and slice them into small, thin strips called Geschnetzelltes (eff, I can't spell it, I can barely say it) and smother them in gravy of varying sorts, sometimes add mushrooms and other veg, and call it delish. I'm so sick of it, I have sworn off it in perpetuity. It is, however, along with Roesti, Carmen's Favorite Thing To Eat In Der Schweiz. Alas.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Di, there's a recipe in the latest Cook's for Roesti, which I'm thinking I may have to try. What's not to like about fried potatoes, in whatever form?

Adriana Velez said...

Ah-hah, thanks for the explanation!

I saw Roesti at the Coop the other day and brought it home. And burned it. And then I never saw it again. Crying shame! Will have to look at the Cooks issue.