How to Cook Cube Steak to Perfection

Americans are known for their love of meat, and if you consider yourself a “meatatarian,” then it’s time to try cube steak. This underrated cut of meat is not only affordable but also offers a delicious taste. However, cooking it can be a challenge if not done properly. In this article, we will explore the basics of cube steak, its versatility, and share some simple recipes to make it tender and flavorful.

What Makes Cube Steak Special?

Cube steak is derived from the hind end or shoulder of the cow. It gets its name from the tenderizing process that leaves small indentations on the meat’s surface. These indentations enhance the tenderness and make it easier to chew. You can also find variations of cube steak made from elk, deer, or pork.

Preparing Cube Steak for Cooking

To further enhance the texture of your cube steak, there are a few techniques you can try. Marinating the meat in a buttermilk or vinegar-based marinade will help tenderize it. Additionally, using a home meat mallet to break down the muscle fibers or slicing against the grain before cooking methods like stir-frying and sautéing can make a significant difference.

Skillet Cooking for Perfect Cube Steak

One of the most popular ways to cook cube steak is in a skillet. Start by seasoning the meat with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and place the meat in the pan. Make sure not to crowd the skillet to avoid overcooking.

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Cook the steak for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, totaling 4 to 6 minutes. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cooked, your steak is ready to be served. Pair it with hearty vegetables for a complete meal.

Exploring Chicken Fried Steak

Another delicious way to make cube steak tender is to prepare it using a chicken fried steak recipe. This simple method involves coating the steak in seasoned flour, dipping it in an egg wash, and then frying it in oil. The result is a crispy exterior and a tender, flavorful interior. Serve it with gravy for a truly comforting meal.

Adding Gravy to Cube Steak

Gravy can elevate the flavor and tenderness of cube steak even further. You can slow-cook the steak in beef broth using a slow cooker for several hours to achieve perfect tenderness. Alternatively, you can pan-fry the steak and prepare a delicious gravy using ranch mix, beef broth, and onions.

Storing and Reheating Cube Steak

If you have leftovers, store them in a Tupperware container to keep the air out. Place it in the refrigerator if you plan to consume it within a few days or in the freezer for longer storage. When reheating, be cautious not to dry out the meat. It’s best to use short increments in the microwave or heat it on the stovetop with a bit of olive oil.

Why Cube Steak Can Be Tough

Cube steak comes from tougher cuts of meat, which can result in a chewy texture if not cooked properly. The top round and top sirloin cuts, in particular, contain connective tissue that needs to be broken down. It’s crucial not to overcook the steak, as high heat can cause the muscle fibers to tighten, resulting in a tough texture.

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In conclusion, cube steak is an affordable and versatile cut of meat that can be transformed into a delicious meal. Whether you choose to cook it in a skillet, prepare it as chicken fried steak, or slow-cook it with gravy, following the right techniques will ensure a tender and flavorful result. So, give cube steak a try and enjoy a budget-friendly and satisfying dinner!

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