Down-Home Smothered Steak
Published by Robert Rose
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. And if you thought this recipe couldn't get any easier to make, it does. You can even make part of the recipe ahead of time. It truly doesn't much more Southern than smothered steak!
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
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe CourseMain Course
Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory
- Medium (approx. 3½ quart) slow cooker
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) clarified butter or beef tallow (see Notes below), divided
- 2 lbs (1 kg) round steak or “simmering” steak, patted dry (see Notes below)
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (see Notes below)
- ½ tsp (2 mL) sea salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
- 2 cups (500 mL) beef stock
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
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.
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.
Pour over meat. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until meat is tender.
Stir in bell peppers. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until peppers are tender. Serve piping hot.
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 2 quart) slow cooker.
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.
If you are using the outer stalks of celery, peel them before slicing to remove the fibrous exterior.
Be aware that these cooking times are general estimates. Not only do cooking times vary substantially among slow cookers, 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.
Complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate mixture for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.
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.
2013 Judith Finlayson