Cooking with Clear Jel or Ultra Gel...Sue's Instant Pot Swiss Steak

 Here’s a dish right out of Mom’s kitchen…and we served it with traditional sides, freezer mashed potatoes and home canned green beans.   My husband loves the tender meat and delicious gravy, I like the fact it doesn’t have to cook all day.  I often make this and freeze extra meal portions with the sauce for a busy-day lunch; simply reheat in the microwave or a non-stick covered skillet.  Round steak is usually reasonably priced here, and this recipe makes it really tender.
I use my Instant Pot, or I have also used my 6 quart pressure cooker.  I use cook-type clear jel or Ultra Gel so that this dish will freeze and reheat without the sauce "breaking" and getting runny.  You can use corn starch if you plan to serve all of it at one meal.
This is a recipe that was popular for Sunday or company dinners back in the fifties and sixties, and we still enjoy it.              

Sue's Instant Pot  Swiss Steak
  2             pounds  round steak -- 8 pieces; 3 ½ -4 ounces each
  15           ounces  tomatoes, canned
     1/2      cup  water
  1             cup  onion -- chopped
     1/2       cup  green pepper -- chopped
     1/2       cup  celery -- sliced
     1/2      teaspoon  garlic salt
     1/2      teaspoon  pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  Italian seasoning
For sauce:
     1/4       cup  cook-type clear jel or ultra jel or cornstarch
     1/4       cup  water
  1              teaspoon  beef base
Total Time:  1 hour 15 minutes+
  1. Cut the steak into 8 even-sized pieces.  Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  2. Plug in instant pot and press sauté; wait until the pot registers hot.  Heat 2 tablespoons lard or oil and brown the pieces, 
  3. Once all the meat has been browned; return to the pot and pour remaining sauce ingredients and vegetables over the meat.  Secure the lid.
  4. Reset pot to Meat/Stew or high pressure; set timer for 20 minutes with the pressure valve closed.
  5. Once timer goes off, TURN OFF and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes; twist valve for quick release to remove the remaining pressure. (Use a hot pad to protect your hands from any steam).
  6. Remove steak and keep warm.  Combine clear jel or ultra jel or cornstarch and water until smooth and stir into cooking liquid in pressure cooker.  Turn pot to sauté; cook and stir until sauce boils and thickens.
  • Serve sauce over steak and your choice of potatoes, noodles or rice.  MAKES ABOUT A QUART OF can save some in a freezer bag to combine with hamburger, if there is leftover.
  • Serve with 1 1/2 ounces dry noodles, cooked for 2 servings
  • Makes 4 freezer meat and gravy separately, portion into quart freezer bags, 2 pieces of meat and 3/4 cup sauce each.
  • Per Serving: 239 Calories; 14g Fat (52.7% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 67mg Cholesterol; 271mg Sodium.  


  1. I've always liked meat with a tomato based gravy. Looks good.

  2. I have been looking for a swiss steak with red gravy for years. My mom used to make this and for some reason, she never filled out a recipe card. Last week I tried and failed. I think this is the recipe!!!

    My mouth is watering it looks so good. I've never heard of Clear Jel or Ultra Gel - Maybe Walmart has it.

    Thanks for posting this recipe. Since the pandemic I have been revisiting some old vintage family recipes, for old times sake.

    1. Cornstarch works for this instead of clear jel or Ultra just doesn't freeze as well.

  3. I'm going to try this, with my regular pressure canner, I'm not a fan of the instant pot. Thank you for all the great recipes you post!!

    1. Did you notice that if you click on the words "6 quart pressure cooker" in the introduction it will take you to the recipe using the regular pressure's the recipe I have used for years.


Hi...we'd love to hear from you.
Comments are moderated before appearing...Thanks.