Mother’s Swiss Steak and Catsup Gravy


My mother was married and cooking for her family while she was still a teenager in the years of the Great Depression.  She made simple, low-cost meals with a minimum of ingredients and fuss.  My father wanted mashed potatoes with practically every meal, so her Swiss Steak and Catsup Gravy went perfectly with his mashed potatoes.  I personally didn’t like mashed potatoes – except when they were served this way with gravy that was rich and deep flavored from long, slow baking.

Mother & Daddy, 1933
Mother & Daddy, 1933


  • 1 lb round steak
  • Sprinkling of salt
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1-½ cups catsup
  • ½ cup water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Remove any large pieces of fat from steak and place in 9 inch casserole dish.  Sprinkle with seasoned salt and a grating of black pepper.

Slice onions and spread on top of steak.  In a two-cup measure, mix together the catsup and water.  Pour over meat and onions.

Cover and bake @ 300 degrees F for 3 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

4-6 servings 


My father would have liked creamed peas and sliced tomatoes with a dab of mayonnaise to go along with this dish.

Easy Beef, Rice and Beans

This is an easy, satisfying dish that I first put together a few years ago, using a package of flavored rice mix.  This time I used Knorr Cajun Sides Garlic Butter Rice mix, but any kind would do.


  • 5-6 oz package of flavored rice mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 lb. round or chuck steak, baked, cut into cubes*
  • 1/2 cup hominy, drained
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with juice
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin

In a large skillet, cook the rice mix and water, bringing to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer from 5-7 minutes according to package directions until rice is tender.

*I had baked the chuck/round steak earlier in the day, covered, for about 2 hours in a 300 degree oven. I used half of the cooked beef in this dish and put the remainder in the freezer for another night’s supper.

Add remaining ingredients, mixing well, and let simmer for 20 minutes until everything is piping hot.

Yield:  4 servings 

I have a note in my recipe binder:  “2/18/03 – very good – David (my husband) took seconds.”

For dessert, I fixed an old favorite – Grandma Martha’s Banana Pudding.

It was a nice weekday supper.

Really Good Ginger Beef

I discovered this recipe in our community newspaper and made a few changes to suit our tastes.  This makes good use of an economy cut of beef which is baked for a long, slow time and comes out of the oven juicy, tender and flavorful.  I like to serve this with seasoned brown rice and a broccoli/carrot/garlic sauté.


1-1/2# chuck or round steak, cut into cubes

¼ cup hot water

Approx 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

½ Tblsp. minced garlic

¼ cup teriyaki sauce

1 large onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Brown beef in a small amount of olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet.  Add water, ginger, garlic and teriyaki sauce, mixing well.  Spread sliced onions over the top of the beef mixture and bake covered @ about 300 degrees for 3-4 hours.  If meat is getting done beforehand, reduce heat and keep warm.  A small amount of water can be added if needed.

Yield:  4 dinner-sized portions