The name does not refer to Switzerland, but instead to the process of "swissing", which refers to fabric or other materials being pounded or run through rollers in order to soften it. Swiss steak is typically made from relatively tough cuts of meat, such as the round, which have been pounded with a tenderizing hammer, or run through a set of bladed rollers to produce so-called "cube steak". The meat is typically coated with flour and seasonings and cooked in a gravy made from tomato and sometimes onions and peppers.
The process of swissing meat is done to enable tougher and cheaper pieces of meat to be tenderized. Cube steak is the usual meat used in producing Swiss steak by most home cooks. Cube steak has had the connective fibers that make the meat tough physically broken by the butcher and the braising process further breaks down the connective tissue in the meat. Swiss steak should be tender enough to be eaten without a knife. In Switzerland a steak prepared in this way is called "roast mincemeat".
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