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Time sensitive! Tempted to throw an anchovy into the braised "Swiss Steak" -- could it help?

  • w
  • Willa Dec 1, 2012 06:09 PM

For the first time in twenty years I am making swiss steak -- braised round steak like Mom used to make. It is a bit of a yawn. Nobody is helping me and I have just grabbed the anchovies out of the pantry. Should I do it???

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  1. Do it. It will add umami, and no one will know what that deep, wonderful flavor is.

    4 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      Thank you! That's what I thought! I'm thinking two anchovies.

      1. re: Willa

        I went with six or seven anchovies. Some I sauteed until they melted and a few I just threw in whole. Much better.

        1. re: Willa

          Yes, anchovies is a great "secret" ingredient since they melt away leaving behind just a certain, undefinable essence. It works wonders in lots of things!

          1. re: Willa

            Willa, your posts crack me up. I will remember the anchovies next time I make Swiss steak!

      2. Soy sauce is a little secret too.

        But I prefer anchovies when I can sneak them in

        7 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster

          The anchovies were a great addition!

          1. re: Willa

            Funny, speaking of sneaking ingredients in. Last night I made cauliflower and cabbage soup, with simple homemade chicken stock, a couple tablespoons of sweet onion sauteed in butter and olive oil, all boiled until tender, pureed until silky smooth and with parmesan and cream stirred in. My 14 year old nephew walked in as I was stirring the parm into the creamy soup and said that looks great what is it? He loves fettucine alfredo but hates almost all vegetables. I told him it was Cream of Parmesan soup. He said fantastic! Ate three bowls of it. It had only 1/4 cup of parm, a whole head of cabbage and a whole head of cauliflower. LOL!

            1. re: Willa

              Very tricky, Willa!

              1. re: Willa

                Cream of Parmesan! That's great :)

                1. re: Willa

                  "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill"........ :-) good one, Auntie! (pssst not saying you're old....)

                  1. re: applgrl

                    I have a few years behind me but I'm going into the next half of my life so in that sense I'm a baby! After the cauliflower/cabbage soup caper, I made stuffed red and orange peppers. Instead of rice, I used farro. Tomato sauce, worcestershire, ground beef and sausage...not much more. The stuffed peppers were delicious after they baked and the juice released from the peppers mixed with the tomato and meat juices. HOWEVER. Stuffed peppers would never go over for a kid. So, I scooped the stuffing out of the pepper and piled it on a toasted bun. Told my 14 year old nephew that it was a sloppy joe with tiny spaetzle (which he loves). Farro looks a little like spaetzle. Once again! He inhaled it.

                    1. re: Willa

                      I like your style. And look at the healthy food your snesking in him

            2. Can someone please explain to me about the certain something that happens when you smoosh/disintegrate anchovies olive oil or sauce. RR always say it adds a certain omp. But what can I as a not usual liker of anchovies expect taste wise? And what about anchovy paste in the tube?

              4 Replies
              1. re: miss_belle

                The fishiness is dissapated and you are left with a salty nuttiness that adds an umami that you wouldn't expect from fish to be honest. And I like the paste in a tube because it is easier to deal with vs all those leftover fishes in salt or oil. These opinions are coming from a anti fish fan. I don't dislike all fish, but I dislike quite a few. Give them a try

                1. re: suzigirl

                  Thank you suzigirl. I will give it a shot:-)

                  1. re: miss_belle

                    I was anchovy gunshy for years but my sweet boyfriend schooled me and I was converted. If you don't cook it it's salty and fishy as all get out but a bit of heat in some olive oil makes a world of difference. Happy experimenting

                    1. re: suzigirl

                      you folks might be interested in this thread about umami
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/772158

              2. Fish sauce is a cheaper alternative, especially if you are going to braise for a long period of time.

                1. I put a squeeze of anchovy paste into pretty much anything I make.