Pressure Cooker Smoky Swiss Steak

A Smoky Twist On The Classic

Swiss Steak Reduced

I don’t know if there is actually anything Swiss about this dish. According to Wikipedia there actually is a way of preparing steak in Switzerland that is similar to this, but I don’t know if I’m buying it.

My guess is that tenderizing the meat by poking holes in it recalls Swiss Cheese, but that is just my guess.

Swiss Steak Ingredients

This is something I grew up with. I don’t think I have seen it once since I have been on the West Coast, but in Michigan we probably had it once a week or so the entire time I was growing up.

Speaking of the West Coast, temperatures are still in the nineties, so once again I got up early to do my cooking. I have posted salad recipes for the past few weeks, but from what I hear, it is actually seeming like Autumn in parts of the country (and the rest of the world), so I thought I would prepare something a bit more Autumn-y for those of you not sweating in a hot apartment.

Meat Whole

I used top round, but bottom round or chuck will work fine. Sirloin would work, but that’s getting into spendy territory, which you are probably trying to avoid if you are making this type of dish.

Start by taking 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of meat and cut into serving-size pieces, which would probably be 4 pieces for 1-1/2 pounds and about 6 pieces for 2 pounds. I did this by cutting my steak in half, so I have two pieces. Now, cut each of these pieces horizontally through the center so that it is half as thick as before. The goal is to end up with four equal-sized pieces, which I failed miserably at.

Meat Divided

Now, go to town on them with one of these poundy poky things:


You don’t need to get it super-thin, you just want to get all the meat to a fairly uniform thickness.

Meat Tenderized

Slice a couple small onions. I used “The Widowmaker” (my nickname for my mandoline). This will make short work of those onions (and anything else that you might get a little too close to it).

Slice a large green pepper into thin strips and press a couple cloves of garlic.


The “smoky” part of this Swiss Steak comes from using fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika.

In a couple tablespoons of coconut oil (or any cooking oil), brown the steak lightly on both sides. It is pretty thin at this point, so you don’t want to overdo it. Do a couple at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove to a plate.

Meat Browning

Add the onions and peppers to the pan (adding a bit more oil if necessary) and sauté until they start to soften a bit. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so.

Onions_Peppers_CookingAdd just a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan. Now, pour in a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, some Worcestershire sauce, the smoked paprika, a little dried thyme and some salt and pepper.

Veggies_PanAdd the meat to the pan and toss in a couple bay leaves.

Swiss Steak Cooked

Lock the cover on the pan and turn heat to high.

Bring it to high pressure, then adjust heat to maintain high pressure.

Set the time for 20 minutes.

When the time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

Swiss Steak Reduced2

If you would like the sauce a bit thicker, put over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until it cooks down to desired thickness.

Serve with potatoes, rice or egg noodles.



Pressure Cooker Smoky Swiss Steak
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Fire roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika give a slightly smoky twist to this classic
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, or other cooking oil
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds round or chuck steak, cut into individual portions
  • 2 small or one large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 splash red wine
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), more for seasoning meat
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste), more for seasoning meat
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Tenderize steaks with spiky side of mallet and season with a little salt and pepper
  2. Heat oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  3. Brown meat lightly on both sides and set aside on plate
  4. Sauté onions and peppers until slightly soft (add a little more oil if necessary)
  5. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  6. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan
  7. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato paste
  8. Add the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper
  9. Stir, then add meat back to pan
  10. Toss a couple bay leaves on top
  11. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  12. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 20 minutes
  13. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  14. Serve meat and sauce with rice, egg noodles or potatoes.

38 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Smoky Swiss Steak

    • It’s nice to hear that you chose one of my recipes to inaugurate your new pot, and even nicer to hear that you enjoyed it!

  1. 4th meal with the instant pot
    BEEN wanting to do swiss steak so tonight I made it
    Tender as a mother in laws kiss and tasty to boot
    Thanks for the recipe delicious
    Family loved it

      • I made this last night but I don’t have a pressure cooker so I made it in my covered cast iron casserole (Le Creuset) and put it in the oven at 325° for three hours. It was absolutely fantastic! This is truly a keeper and I’ll be making it again and again.

  2. We are new to pressure cooking. We bought a Fagor this fall and are learning. You’re recipe for this round steak turned out fantastic. Fork tender and we did a baked potato to accompany. Delicious.

    • Thanks! It’s great to hear that some people are still buying stove top pressure cookers, since everyone seems to be jumping on the electric bandwagon lately. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!

  3. I made this today using an Instant Pot and it was delicious. I was surprised how tender the meat was. It was as tender as a slow cooker swiss steak is that cooks for 8 hours. The ingredients and instructions are spot on. This is a keeper for me.

  4. So glad to find this recipe! I was born and raised in California, still here, darnit! But when I was growing up we ate this a lot! I love it and can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for the recipe I remember!!

    • Thanks for visiting the site! The onions and peppers will release a lot of liquid, and combined with the tomatoes it should be enough. Also, if you are not using the wine I would add about 1/4 cup of water or broth. I hope this helps.

  5. This looks yummy. Just bought an instapot and made some vegetable soup which turned out great. Can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow. Keep those instapot recipes coming!

    • Sorry for the delayed reply. Thanks for visiting the site. If you have tried the recipe, let me know how it turned out!

  6. This is one of the best things I’ve ever made, I’m not kidding. It’s my first month with the Instant Pot and you have convinced me to scroll through your site and start making it all!! Thanks for the fantastic recipe!! LOVE IT!!

    • I can’t really answer that, since I have never used a Crockpot. I might possibly need a little more liquid but I can’t say for sure.

  7. I made this tonight! I’m fairly new to the Instant Pot world and have been looking for good recipes and I found one! We had Swiss Steak all the time growing up in North Dakota and this was close to my mom’s recipe.One tip is to dredge meat in flour (not too much- shake off excess after pounding) and then pound the steak and brown. That will thicken the sauce just enough!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe. I realize that dredging with flour is traditional, but I usually try to avoid using flour if I can get away with it. Absolutely nothing wrong with dredging in flour, though!

  8. Hi. Making now. Just to clarify…no extra water just the tomatoes?
    Also don’t have fire roasted tomatoes do you know what spice I might add to mimic the flavor?

    • Sorry see answer to liquid in another post, so just am left wondering if regular tomatoes that aren’t fire roasted will be ok

      • I am probably too late with this answer, but if you have any smoked paprika or liquid smoke,you could use about a teaspoon of paprika or 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke. If you don’t have these it should still be fine, just slightly less smoky. Either way, let me know how it turns out.

        • Why have you also jumped on the insta pot bandwagon? Don’t the ones that buy them know that the pots operate at 8 pounds slow slow pressure? Their liners are weak and they burn out often?

  9. Yum! Made it exactly as written. The more I use my electric pressure cooker the more I love It! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  10. I made it tonight it was a nice change . I think it would be really good with the herb & garlic tomatoes also . I know it won’t be the same recipe then but a good variety . I did 25 mins.and the meat was nice and tender but not falling apart . 18 mins NPR just when everything else was ready lol . I didn’t hit it with a meat tenderizer either . I think this would be a good recipe to make early in the day and let it sit on keep warm until supper time , it would develop even more flavour . I made it in the Instant Pot .

  11. Have made this a few times now. Becoming a family fave. Takes it up a notch when I used fire roasted peppers instead of tomatoes! 😉

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