how do you cook beef cube steak

Season cube steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl; press steaks into the flour and shake off any excess. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Learn how to cook cube steak perfectly so that it’s tender with a great crust. Serve it on its own, or make some real comfort food with onions, gravy, and a side of mashed potatoes.

Cube steak is a budget-friendly cut of beef that comes already-tenderized but can still be a bit dry and chewy. Most people counter that by smothering it in gravy. But, there’s another way! I’ve figured out the technique to make cube steak tender and juicy on its own so that you can use it in all kinds of recipes.

Learn more about how to cook cube steak perfectly below or click here to head straight to the recipe.

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Tenderize the cube steaks until about 1/2 inch thick. Rub with seasoning mix and then with flour.

Sear the steaks in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side.

Set the steaks aside on a plate. Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pan with the fond. (The fond is what is leftover in the pan from searing the meat and adds good flavor to the gravy.)

Add onions to the butter and toss to coat. Sauté for 15-20 minutes, until reduced to desired size/texture. (I like mine to cook until almost caramelized.)

Add the remaining gravy ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.

Add the steaks back to the pan and spoon gravy over the top. Simmer, partially covered, for 5-7 minutes or until gravy is thick and meat is to your desired level of doneness. Serve with mashed potatoes and buttermilk biscuits.

  • Tenderize and season the steaks as outlined.
  • Sear for 2-3 minutes per side instead of 4-5 and set aside.
  • Prepare gravy as outlined, then transfer to the Slow Cooker along with the steaks.
  • PRO TIP: The above steps can be done the night before and cooked in the Slow Cooker the next day.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4.
  • Tenderize, season, and sear the steaks as outlined. Set aside, and prepare the gravy as outlined.
  • Remove from heat and let the gravy cool.
  • Store the steaks and gravy together in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, then reheat on the stove top.
  • Add a little beef broth or a splash of water if you need to thin the gravy out during the reheating process.
  • For best results, cook mushrooms separately to release some of the water, concentrate their flavor, and give them a nice golden color. Remove them and only add them back at the end when the gravy is finished. This lets them retain their color, texture, and flavor.
  • Otherwise, feel free to add them during the last 3-5 minutes of softening the onions and keep them in the pan for the remainder of the cooking process.
  • Aim for an internal temperature of 125° or so for tender results. It will increase an additional 5° or so after it’s removed from the heat.
  • The gravy recipe uses a combination of beef and chicken broth for depth of flavor, but all beef broth may be used.
  • Tenderizing the meat is key for melt-in-your-mouth texture. (Even though cube steak has already been tenderized, a second round at home makes a huge difference.)
  • Onions can be omitted if preferred, or mushrooms can be used instead.
  • A cast iron skillet will give your steaks a nice crusty sear.
  • Cornbread makes a great side dish with this meal!

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

What is Cube Steak

  • Cube steak is a cut of Top Round or Top Sirloin that’s been tenderized, (pounded with a textured mallet), which leaves small indentations on the meat. This helps break down the muscle fibers, which makes it less tough and more tender.

Getting Tender Cube Steak

Even with the mechanical tenderizing process, cube steaks can still be a little tough, chewy, and dry. I tested a few different versions of cooking cube steak to find the best one. I pan-fried in oil as well as browning in the pan, then adding some stock. Those versions were okay, but ended up chewy and even a little dry.

To keep them moist and tender, first dredge the steaks in all-purpose flour. The flour not only helps to form a flavorful outside crust on the steak, but it also helps retain moisture by locking in juices. I was skeptical but this was truly the best way to cook cube steaks.

Season cube steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl; press steaks into the flour and shake off any excess. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

FAQ

How do you cook cube steak so it’s not tough?

The best way to cook cube steak for tenderness is slowly and evenly, so a slow cooker can do the trick when you have ample time to spare. However, braising, pan-frying, and sauteing also work. Just be sure to cook with enough liquid to keep the steak moist.

What is beef cubed steak good for?

Cube steak, can be found in stores labeled as “cubed steak” or “minute steak.” It is an inexpensive cut of meat used in recipes for quick dinner ideas, soups and stews. You will also see it on restaurant menus or find recipes for country fried steak” or chicken-fried steak.

Is cube steak supposed to be tender?

Cube steak is a cut of Top Round or Top Sirloin that’s been tenderized, (pounded with a textured mallet), which leaves small indentations on the meat. This helps break down the muscle fibers, which makes it less tough and more tender.

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