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Dawn, here is the original post from the old swap with more directions, but still vague.

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Joined: Dec 12, 2005


Posted to Thread #9948 at 1:18 am on Mar 4, 2008

Posted: Nov 15, 2005 10:51 AM

Rec: Mom's Serbian Steak (or "Finding a Tender Heart in a Tough Piece Of Meat";)

Serves 6 adults easily.

3 lb of bottom round steak
3 Tbl Crisco shortening
4 large onions
1 18-oz bottle of ketchup
3 Tbl white vinegar
Water (fill the empty ketchup bottle for the first go-around...then add more as the sauce cooks down)

Cut the meat into pieces the size of a deck of cards...then cut those in half again (as you can tell, this is not going to be a very specific recipe, so just work with me here)

Melt the crisco over high heat in a heavy pan (Mom's was a heavy cast metal pan (not black iron, but almost as heavy) and brown the meat. Cut the onions into large slices and place on top of the meat. Dump the entire bottle of ketchup over them. (Yes, I realize this is sounds somewhat unappealing, but I promise, the ketchup cooks down, losing its somewhat pedestrian flavor and the sauce developes a meaty, rich taste.)

Fill the empty bottle with water and pour over the meat. Add the vinegar. Cover (leaving the lid just slightly off) and simmer slowly for 2 hours.

As the meat cooks, the water evaporates, so you have to keep supplementing it. Check every now and then, adding more water as needed. (Now, since you've never made this, I realize it sounds somewhat presumptuous to assume "as needed". What you're looking for is a thickness slightly thinner than ketchup.)

The meat ends up fork-tender--you should be able to easily pull off a piece of meat to test it. But it won't shred like pot roast. Don't skimp on the 2-hour mark. You're dealing with a tough piece of meat and it needs the time and the vinegar to tenderize it. If the meat is tender, but the sauce is too watery, just leave the lid completely off for 15-20 minutes and it will cook down.

By this time, the sauce should be a rich, brown-tinted red, the onions should be almost completely cooked down, and the kitchen should smell wonderful.

To complete this meal "a la Mom", make real mashed potatoes and Niblets canned corn. Serve with a crusty Italian bread, Tarquino's if you're in Pittsburgh. Make an indentation in the mashed potatoes and fill with the red sauce. If you're like me, you can completely skip the meat and just eat potatoes and sauce, although the meat is good too. Enjoy.

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