I'm in Oklahoma, plenty of beef around here. We raise our own, as well as my parents and in-laws. When we have beef butchered, we always tell them to tenderize the round. (Tenderized meaning ran through a motorized Jaccard cutter-type thing a few times in a few different directions, not chemically tenderized.) I'm well versed on the battered and fried version. Paired with mashed potatoes and white gravy made from the drippings at least once a week was probably the leading cause of my weight problem for the first 18 years of my life.
Quick side note here. Egg washed and battered is chicken fried steak, battered without an egg wash is just fried round steak. I never had chicken fried steak until I was on my own and looking for that home grown flavor I grew up with and ordered it at a restaurant. They are not even close to the same. Chicken fried steak could be meat of anything, there's so much batter there's not much meat flavor left. Fried round steak on the other hand has a very light breading and an excellent beef flavor.
We still have some fried round steak on occasion from our beef. Fried with taters and gravy, Swiss style in the slow cooker, or marinated, seared on the grill and sliced thin for fajita meat. All with beef that we fed out and had butchered at our packer. My in-laws don't eat round steak at all, no matter how it's cooked. They barely eat roast. It's either steak from the backbone or ground beef pretty much. Once they found out that we eat our round steak, they've been giving me all of theirs from their herd and from their packer. And I can see why they don't eat their round steak, it's terrible! I don't know if it's how they feed out their steers or how their packer is tenderizing it. Swiss steak is the ONLY way that stuff can be cooked edible that I've found. I think the acid of the tomatoes in addition to the long cook is what makes it work, because other slow cooker recipes without tomato still come out a little tough.
I've also been on the complete opposite side of this problem with store bought cube steak and round steak. It's tenderized to the point it might as well be super lean ground beef, Can't even pick it up without it crumbling to pieces. Or try to cook it and end up with a pan of meat-sauce. So makes me think it's more of a packer/tenderizer problem than a fattening/finishing problem.
So I've got all this round steak, and a man can only eat so much Swiss steak... I was hoping to find a bunch of wonderful recipes on how to smoke this stuff and get it out of my freezer, but there's nothing. I thought maybe a bacon weave then stuff with something...?? Any suggestions would be great. Even if it was something tried and failed, at least I'd know not to try it.