My mother made a very good Swiss steak. It was one of my favorites as a child. This recipe combines her version with a few extras... sweet bell peppers, capers and balsamic vinegar. I think she would have loved my version. It is a very flavorful main dish and a good way to get some veggies into your family.
1(Using a plastic food storage bag is the easiest method for flouring, but you may use your preferred method.) Place flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian herb seasoning in a plastic bag; close top of bag and shake to combine; set aside.
2In large nonreactive skillet, heat oil on medium-high.
3While pan is heating, place steak portions in bag with flour and spices; shake well to cover steaks thoroughly with flour.
4Place steaks in skillet and fry until browned (about 3 or 4 minutes); turn them over and fry until browned (about 3 to 4 minutes.)
5Remove steak from skillet and place on a plate or baking sheet, temporarily, crispiest side up. (It is not necessary for the meat to be fully cooked, at this point, because it will continue cooking after the vegetables are added.)
6Add onions, sweet peppers and mushrooms (if using) and saute until onions begin to turn translucent.
7Add tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, bay leaf and pinch of red pepper flakes (if using); stir to combine.
8Simmer over medium high heat, for 8 to 10 minutes, to reduce liquid a bit.
9Nestle steaks, crispiest side up, into the sauce, being careful to avoid totally submerging them; reduce heat to medium-low; cover with lid or tightly fitted aluminum foil and slowly simmer for 30 minutes.
10Remove cover from skillet and continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until liquid is reduced and has become a sauce, stirring vegetables occasionally. (You may increase heat some to speed reduction of juice.)
11When sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove steaks to a warm plate.
12Remove and discard bay leaf; stir into the vegetables and sauce, balsamic vinegar, capers and a generous pinch of parsley.
13Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste. (It will probably need salt.)
14Serve the steaks over a generous bed of the vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.