Cooking On A Budget: Quick and Easy: Beef Cube Steak

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quick and Easy: Beef Cube Steak


You probably think that a cube steak would be tough and leathery and I would agree if it were cooked improperly. There are two main cuts of cube steak that are taken from the top sirloin or the round. Another less likely to be found are cube steaks from the chuck section. Those are the ones that are the most flavorful in my estimation as there is more fat running through the steak.

To make a cube steak, the butcher generally takes an ordinary, round steak cut from the top or bottom round and runs it through a butcher's tenderizer. Sometimes a sirloin steak is used and chefs tend to use a gadget that has many metal prongs and pounds the daylights out of the steak.

Cube steak or as some refer to as "minute" steak is the cut used in Chicken Fried Steak - you know the one where you coat it and fry it and make a creamy Southern style gravy.
I often find this an inexpensive meal for the two of us. Generally the price for family packs are anywhere from $3.29 to $3.99 per pound. We chose a package with three steaks which was a little over four dollars and with a store coupon it cost us a mere $3.69. Feeding three for just $1.23 per portion of steak. Adding in the potatoes, onions and vegetable the cost was $5.84 making each total dinner just $1.94.

  • 3 cube steaks
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup water or beef broth
  • cornstarch
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  1. Give some flavor to the outside of the beef by sprinkling on salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder. Let them rest on a plate while you saute the onions.
  2. In a skillet large enough to pan fry the steaks as well, melt one tablespoon of the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions for 15 minutes or so until softened and caramelized. (You may want to turn the heat down to medium low as I find a lower heat allows the natural juices to come out and helps caramelize.)
  3. When the onions are ready remove them from the pan to a waiting dish or bowl.
  4. Make a slurry with 2 tbsp. cornstarch and 3-4 tbsp. water.
  5. Turn the heat up to high and melt the last two tablespoon of butter. When the butter begins to sizzle and is slightly brown add in the cube steaks - keeping space between them so they do not steam.
  6. Cook each cube steak for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side to a nice seared brown color.
  7. Turn the heat down to medium, remove the steaks to a platter.
  8. Add in a cup of water or beef broth, whisk to get all of the good bits from around the pan (bottom and sides). Let this come to a boil and whisk in the slurry to thicken. Add in the onions, stir and cook for a minute. Add the steaks back to the pan for 30 seconds and drench in the gravy. Serve immediately.

This is just one good, quick and easy meal you can prepare on those busy weeknights especially during a rather hectic holiday season. It's a winner, winner, easy beef dinner.

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