|Poor man's steak, made with bottom round steak and slow simmered in a cream soup mushroom gravy with caramelized onion.|
Steak and Gravy with OnionThe first cookbook I ever received, was the 1973 red, ring-bound Betty Crocker's Cookbook, given to me by my mama. I still have it. Anybody else?
Round steak and gravy is one of the first dishes that I learned to cook from Betty Crocker as a young bride, what seems now 100 years ago, though the dish has gone through a bit of transition since back then. In fact, I'd say that the School of Betty Crocker was the beginning of my book learnin' culinary education!
As a young couple, we were pretty much dirt poor back in those days - I can't recall how long we used lawn furniture in our living room before we got an actual couch, chair and recliner - but I can tell you, it was awhile. Course, at that age, didn't matter much to us! Our first purchase as a young married couple was not furniture, but a Curtis Mathis console television that we bought on time and let me tell you, we were big time to own one of those. Funny thing though... we managed just fine to be happy without a lot of material trappings back then.
Round steak was far less expensive than a prime cut of beef so this dish quickly became a favorite. I don't know why I don't make it more often these days, because its easy, filling and tasty. And the meat and potatoes eating Cajun loves it.
Not much to the prep work with this really, and it works just as well in the crockpot as it does on top of the stove, so it's perfect for this time of year when time is short and the holidays are approaching.
You start by caramelizing some onion and add in a bit of garlic if you like; remove from the pan and set that aside. Pound the meat a bit to tenderize it, cut it into serving pieces and dredge in flour. You can also substitute already tenderized cube steaks for this recipe, or check out this tutorial on making your own.
Brown the meat in some oil and deglaze the pan with a little bit of water.
You're deglazing because we want to scrape up all of those brown yum-yums in the bottom of the pan from browning the meat. Mix the soup, water, crushed dried thyme, and a bit of Kitchen Bouquet together, pour half of that into the pan and stir to combine.
Add the meat to the skillet turning it to coat both sides. Add the caramelized onions on top of the meat.
Pour the other half of the soup mix on top, cover and simmer about 2 hours, or until meat is very tender. If you're doing this in the crockpot, you'll simply transfer all of this to the cooker.
Serve that up with some homemade mashed potatoes and some southern style green beans made with onion and bacon, and you have one man pleasin' meal around my house for sure!
When I asked The Cajun to swing by and pick up round steak for this photo op, the kind he brought home, though it was marked only as "round steak," was apparently top round, the better part of the round, and more expensive than what I would have used for this dish. I had to adjust the cooking time, and though it was good of course, this recipe is more suited for for the cheapest cut - or what is known as bottom round. After long stewing, whether stovetop or crockpot, the result will be fall apart tender and delicious.
Recipe: Round Steak and Gravy with Onion©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 2 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3 pound beef bottom round steak
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, divided
- About 1/4 cup of water for deglazing
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 soup can of water
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet
Heat about half of the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelized, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Remove onion and garlic from pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut meat up into 6 to 8 serving sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Pound several times with a meat mallet on both sides to tenderize, then dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess flour. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet you cooked the onion in over medium heat, and brown the steak on both sides in batches, setting the pieces aside as you brown them.
Deglaze the pan by adding in about 1/4 cup of water to the empty skillet, simmering and scraping up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Meanwhile combine the cream of mushroom soup, water, thyme and Kitchen Bouquet in a small bowl. Add half of the soup mixture to the pan juices and stir until blended. Return the meat to the skillet, turning to coat each piece and top with the caramelized onions. Pour the remaining soup mix over the top, cover, reduce heat and low simmer, stirring and turning occasionally, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is very tender.
Transfer meat to a platter or on individual plates and pour the gravy over the meat. Serve with homemade mashed potatoes or rice and a green salad or vegetable, like southern style green beans with bacon and onion.
Crockpot: Prepare onions; set aside. Brown meat and transfer to crockpot and deglaze the pan. Top the meat with the prepared onions and the soup mixture. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Note: Braising steaks are best for this dish. Braising is not recommended for top round (which is often just marked as "round,"), so use an eye or bottom round steak for this dish. Good braising steaks include chuck eye, chuck arm, chuck 7-bone steak, mock tender, chuck tender steak and flat iron.
Variations: Substitute cube steak for the round steak. Add in about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms.
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©Deep South Dish
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