Steak, Cubed

Cube steak (often called Minute Steak in Canada) has a  downmarket reputation. You know them, all laid out in a “Family Size”‘ plastic tray in the meat department, all crinkly from their run though a meat tenderizer in the butcher’s back room . When they go on sale, I buy them. Lookee, mes amis, it’s not as if I can spring for a strip steak, and I just plain like them. My foodie cred may be in tatters, especially after writing about my love affair with Jiffy Cornbread Mix, but let me count the ways.

A cube steak is skinny, and forget about cooking it rare.  In fact I doubt that it would taste great rare. And that crenelation: pure brill — you get the pure deep beefy taste and it’s not tough. In fact, after you’ve browned it for one minute a side, think about a shortish braise — some red wine,some onions, some mushrooms, some cream,  some diced tomatoes, some chicken stock and soy sauce.

I like to think about  is my mother’s culinary  life pre JC: Julia Child. She’d sautee some cube steaks and add a package of Lipton’s dried Onion Soup Mix. We were mad for it.  A cube steak makes a damn good Chicken Fried Steak. If you press lots of pepper into its rippled surface, it’s a great steak sandwich.  It tastes good. And it’s cooked in a minute, unless you want to braise it. I have a sturdy working-class affection for the cube steak.



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4 responses to “Steak, Cubed

  1. Minute steak, it is—way Down South. Chris likes them what he calls “flash fried”—just a minute per side or less, just to brown.

    You didn’t mention a little dust with seasoned flour, but that’s the standard where I’m from—I don’t think I’ve ever seen one cooked naked.

    Except maybe that one time Mrs. Davenport made the Sallis-Berry Steak from the Eastern Star Cookbook and put WINE in the sauce. THAT was talked about for DAYS, and the butcher couldn’t keep them in stock.

  2. Oh, the dusting with flour is taken for granted in our Yankee household. And you’re so all-knowing: I was gonna talk about Salisburry steak — a great dish.

    OMG: WINE is the sauce? Bring on the vinaigrette and the fan.

  3. sparrowgrass

    I buy local beef, and I always have the round steaks cubed. They are good on a nice hot grill, with just a little salt and pepper.

    But if you want to win the heart of my oldest boy, you have to chicken fry them, AND make gravy with the grease from the pan, AND make a big pan of cat head biscuits. He will follow you around like a puppy, guaranteed.

  4. kim shook

    I adore cube steak. It was one of the few things that my grandmother, Bomo, made that was good. She would flour it (no salt or pepper), fry it and then drown it in Franco American brown gravy and simmer for a hour or so. Served on slippy buttered egg noodles with some canned green beans on the side with Kraft Zesty Italian dressing on them. I actually loved this meal and serve it myself (I do add some onions, S&P and some wine – not Mogen David ;^) – to the steak).

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