Down-Home Smothered Steak

Updated June 02, 2016
Down-Home Smothered Steak
Down-Home Smothered Steak
This image courtesy of Colin Ericcson

Editor's Note: This Down-Home Smothered Steak is one of those classic Southern recipes that families love to eat. This particular steak recipe cooks up in a slow cooker, making it ideal for busy weeknight dinners - just throw it on to cook and you can forget about it until it's ready! Vegetables and a savory brown sauce provide a mouthwatering finishing touch. This easy steak recipe is a favorite among all ages and makes for a flavorful addition to your dinner table.

This traditional favorite from the Deep South is usually cooked on top of the stove, where it requires a fair bit of watching. Not only does the slow cooker do away with that tedious work, it produces outstanding results. Serve the rich gravy over mashed yellow squash.

Cooking MethodSlow Cooking



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

EquipmentCrock Pot


Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory


  • Medium (approx. 3½ quart) slow cooker
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or beef tallow (see Notes), divided 30 mL
  • 2 lbs round steak or “simmering” steak, patted dry (see Notes) 1 kg
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (see Notes)
  • ½ tsp sea salt 2 mL
  • ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
  • 2 cups beef stock 500 mL
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips


  1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the clarified butter over medium-high heat. Add steak, in pieces, if necessary, and brown on both sides. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

  2. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tbsp (15 mL) of butter to pan. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sea salt and peppercorns. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.

  3. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until meat is tender.

  4. Stir in bell peppers. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until peppers are tender. Serve piping hot.


  1. Serves 6.

  2. If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 2 quart) slow cooker.

  3. While round steak is traditionally used for this dish, an equally successful version can be made with “simmering steak,” which is cut from the blade or cross rib.

  4. If you are using the outer stalks of celery, peel them before slicing to remove the fibrous exterior.

  5. Be aware that these cooking times are general estimates. Not only do cooking times vary substantially among slow cookers (see Notes), but people have different preferences with regard to how well they like their meat done. If you prefer fork-tender results, start checking after the food has cooked for 6 hours on Low.

Make Ahead

Complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate mixture for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.

Beef Tallow

Beef tallow is rendered beef fat. It is a very stable fat, only about half of which is saturated, although saturated fats play a significant role in keeping us healthy by performing functions such as boosting immunity and promoting bone health. Beef tallow is excellent for frying. Among other benefits, it is a source of palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty acid, which appears to have a beneficial effect on certain health conditions.



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