Cube Steak Recipe

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Tenderize your meat to perfection with this Cube Steak recipe—a flavorful cut of beef drenched in a rich and deep gravy.

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This is a story about food, but it’s also a story about technology and—wait for it—patents! (Watch you don’t drool all over your keyboard.) We start this delicious yarn in the 1930s when patents for mechanical cubing machines were granted. Why is this important? It meant butchers could use these machines to efficiently tenderize their meat. The future is now, folks (or then, as it were).

Cube steak, a Southern delicacy, earns its name from the square grid imprinted on its surface. It’s usually coated in flour then pan-fried to give it a nice crisp exterior. We do that here but add a few surprises here and there to differentiate it from other Cube Steak recipes. Brown sugar and paprika are used to add a sweetness and a spice that brings this beef alive. I compare Cube Steak to my Hamburger Steak recipe, as well as my Flank Steak with Garlic Butter Sauce. None of these dishes are sophisticated but they aren’t meant to be. They’re comfort food and, on a chilly day, if you had your choice of these steaks or some fancy dish, you’ll dig your knife and fork into these meals any day of the week!

What Is Dredging? //

Dredging is a cooking technique in which you coat something—meat or vegetables, usually—in a dry formula before cooking it. By doing so, you create a thin layer around the food, which adds flavor, promotes browning, and keeps in the juices. You can dredge chicken, beef, fish, and vegetables by first ensuring it is nice and dry (the coating sticks better that way). Then pat all sides in your coating—flour, bread crumbs, cornmeal, etc.—or put the food in a plastic bag along with the coating and shake away until the food is completely covered. Once you’ve removed any excess coating, fry, sauté, or bake as your recipe prescribes.

Ingredients //

  • 2 cube steaks
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
Cube Steak Recipe ingredients

How to Make Cube Steaks // The Steps

Step 1: In a small bowl combine the seasonings and set aside.

Cube Steak Recipe step 1

Step 2: Place a wrap over each cube steak and use the rough end of a meat tenderizer to pound it thin, about 1/2-inch thick.

Cube Steak Recipe step 2

Step 3: Rub the seasoning mix on each side of the steak, then rub with the flour.

Cube Steak Recipe step 3

Step 4: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the steaks for about 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the skillet and place on a plate to rest.

Cube Steak Recipe step 4

Step 5: Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat and use a spatula to clean the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and caramelized.

Cube Steak Recipe step 5

Step 6: Combine the broth with the cornstarch, then add the mixture to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the steaks back to the skillet and simmer covered for 5 minutes, until the gravy is thickened.

Cube Steak Recipe step 3

Step 7: Remove the skillet from the heat and place the steak with its gravy on a plate. Enjoy!

Top Tips For a Perfect Cube Steak //

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat has reached an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Use dried onion soup mix instead of the cornstarch.
  • When using the spatula to clean the bottom of the pan, don’t get rid of the scraps. Leave them there to add more flavor.
  • I like to add a bit of Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt when I want a twist in flavor
Cube Steak Recipe featured image below

FAQs //

What cut of meat is cube steak?

You usually use a tough cut of beef, usually from the top or bottom round or top sirloin. Thanks to the tenderizing machines, these tough cuts are made soft enough to eat comfortably.

Do I have to use cornstarch?

No. You can use arrowroot powder, if you prefer. Mix it with a small amount of water to make a paste. You can use it as you would the cornstarch in the recipe.

What can I use if I don’t have a tenderizer?

If you plan on making cube steak more than once, I highly recommend investing in a meat tenderizer. If you don’t have one, you can use a rolling pin or a meat mallet.

What does resting do to the steak?

During the resting period, the steak continues to cook due to the residual heat. It also lets the juice circulate throughout the meat. It’s an integral step that you should not skip.

Cube Steak Recipe featured image below

Serving Suggestions //

A fresh mix of vegetables would sit nicely beside your steak. If you’re looking for a vegetable in particular, I love Roasted Brussels Sprouts. You can also serve them up with egg noodles seasoned with salt and pepper (you’ll want to rub those noodles into the gravy!). Given this is a Southern fave, it would be a crime not to make some mashed potatoes—better yet, make my Boursin Mashed Potatoes for that cheesy creaminess. I also have a Cornbread, Sausage and Pecan Stuffing recipe, though I would leave out the sausage to keep the cube meat the main event in this meal.

How to Store Cube Steak //

Let the cube steak cool completely then put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It should keep for up to 4 days. If you want to keep it around longer, store that airtight container in the freezer where it should last for 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight then heat on the stove or in the microwave on LOW.

Cube Steak Recipe featured image above
Cube Steak Recipe featured image from above vertical

Cube Steak Recipe

Tenderize your meat to perfection with this Cube Steak recipe—a flavorful cut of beef drenched in a rich and deep gravy.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 166 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cube steaks
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl combine the seasonings and set aside.
  • Place a wrap over each cube steak and use the rough end of a meat tenderizer to pound it thin, about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Rub the seasoning mix on each side of the steak, then rub with the flour.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the steaks for about 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the skillet and place on a plate to rest.
  • Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat and use a spatula to clean the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and caramelized.
  • Combine the chicken or beef broth with the cornstarch, then add the mixture to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the steaks back to the skillet and simmer covered for 5 minutes, until the gravy is thickened.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and place the steak with its gravy on a plate. Serve with mashed potato or green beans. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat has reached an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Use dried onion soup mix instead of the the cornstarch and any additional salt you may have added for a nuanced flavor.
  • When using the spatula to clean the bottom of the pan, don’t get rid of the scraps. Leave them there to add more flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 12gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 200mgPotassium: 245mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 124IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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