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How to Tenderize Cube Steak?

Cube steak is a great beef cut for meat lovers because it is relatively inexpensive and provides an exquisite taste. However, it can turn out to be tough if it is not properly cooked. If you are wondering where cube steak comes from, it is extracted from the rear end or shoulder of the animal. Although butchers can make up cube steak from any part of the cow, the above-mentioned parts are the most popular due to their toughness. If you are not a fan of beef, you can find similar variations of the same from pork, elk, or deer. This article discusses some of the ways you can tenderize cube steak.

  • Score with a Sharp Knife

Cut slits or score both the top and underside of your cube steak very lightly. Making these small cuts does not damage the shape of your meat but is just enough to soften the topmost layer of your beef cut.

Fried sauteed beef tenderlion cubes with black pepper

You need to slice it in every possible direction as it helps break up the muscle fibers in the meat. Scoring increases the surface area of your steak that is exposed to heat and makes it easier to absorb marinades. To make this technique more effective, consider pressing a dry seasoning rub or chopped aromatics like ginger or garlic into the little pockets.

  • Pound with a Mallet

A mallet is also known as a meat tenderizer or a meat pounder. It can be either wooden or metallic and looks like a hammer with blunted spikes at the end.  To use a mallet, you need to cover your steak in a plastic wrap or plastic bag and pound it thoroughly. Just be careful enough not to turn your cube steak into a mash. The reason for pounding is to break the muscle fibers and you can always stop once the entire meat surface is covered with little marks from the blunted spikes of the mallet.

  • Cook In the Skillet

Cooking in the skillet over medium-high heat is one of the most popular ways to tenderize cube steak. The initial step is to season your meat with salt and pepper. Afterward, you need to ready your large skillet by heating a tablespoon of olive oil until it becomes hot. Place your cube steaks in the pan but make sure you do not overcrowd them in the skillet. Cook each steak for at least 2 to 3 minutes each on both sides at medium-high heat. If you want it to be thoroughly cooked, then the internal temperature should reach around 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Pan-Fry with Gravy

You can increase the delectability of your cube steak recipe by pan-frying with gravy. Coat it with a mixture of garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, flour, and paprika. Add cooking oil to the pan and let it heat at medium-high temperature before adding the beef cut. Cooke your cube steak for at least 5 minutes on each side then place it on a plate and cover it up with aluminum foil. With the same pan, add onions, beef broth, and ranch mix then heat the mixture until the onions take a translucent appearance. Add the cube steak back for a few moments so that it can heat back up before it is ready to serve. You can pair this dish with mashed potatoes if you want to create a full, hearty meal.

  • Slow Cook With Gravy

Breading and frying may not be the healthiest cooking option for your steak because they add a lot of calories and fat. Instead, consider braising your steak to make it more tender and tastier. Braising is a type of cooking method where you cover the entire beef cut with a liquid and then slow cook it until it becomes tender. Start by searing your steak in a skillet using olive oil and cook it over medium heat for at least one to two minutes on each side. Next, place your seared steak in the slow cooker, cover it with healthy gravy-like mushroom thyme, and cook on low for about 7 to 8 hours.

Just because cube steaks are generally inexpensive does not mean they cannot make a tasty meal for you and your family. With the above cooking techniques and recipes, you can prepare a filling and delicious cube steak dinner while staying within your budget. Try to go easy on the marinades and meat pounding since they need to take effect without causing the unwanted outcome. It is also important to observe your cooking timing to ensure the steak reaches your preferred doneness.

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