Swiss Steak and Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy
1 large, 3-4 pound arm or chuck roast
either 2 C. tomato juice or 1 can condensed tomato soup undiluted
either 1 can of mushrooms with juice or 1 onion halved
flour for coating the roast
salt and pepper
oil to brown the meat
large dutch oven with lid or heavy skillet with tight fitting lid
Unwrap the meat and season it well on all sides. Dredge it in flour. Heat the oil in the Dutch Oven and brown the roast on both sides well when the pan is hot. Turn the heat off and remove from the hot burner. Just dump in the tomatoes and mushrooms or onion, just right on top and put the lid on. You can either simmer this over very low heat on top of the stove for 2-3 hours or put it in the oven for 2-3 hour at 325 degrees F. or you can put it in the crock pot and just leave it all day on low. I have done it every which way and the only thing you have to watch is on top of the stove or in the oven you may have to add a bit of water and turn the meat once. It it not a labor intensive dish for the goodness of the end result. When ready to serve the meat should be fork tender and the gravy does not require anything further either. Just enjoy.
Wash and peel a potato for everyone eating diner and add one extra for the pot!! This was Grandma Neukam's method on their farm and it still works for me. She often cooked for "thrashers" (temporary hired help who came to assist with the thrashing of the wheat crop). She would take the head count and throw in , "one for the pot".
Use Russet or Idaho nice sized potatoes. *Do NOT use Red potatoes or new potatoes.
Cover with about 1 " of cold water in a large kettle and add a good teaspoon of salt. Half or quarter the potatoes so they are like sized and after they come to a boil turn them down to medium heat and cook about 20 minutes and test for doneness by piercing with a fork.
When done drain the potatoes and for a big pan, I put in 1 stick of butter (this would be to serve 6 or more people) and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and 1/4 C. milk. Using an electric mixer in the pan slowly start to mash the potatoes. Continue to mash and add milk a little at a time till desired consistency. Taste a couple of times and add more salt and pepper as it takes quite a bit of seasoning to get them to optimum flavor.
* Red potatoes and new potatoes are waxy and will not beat or mash. They are better to use when you want the potato to retain it's shape.