I can’t recall having cubed steak growing up – I think the closest we ever came was one of my dad’s all-time favorites: hamburger gravy – so when Rich saw the packet in the market AND the dollar-off coupon attached, I knew I’d be looking on da Google for a way to wrangle these puppies.
My first search brought me all the usual suspects (cream o’ ‘shroom soup; cook until REALLY dead, stuff like that) plus an option or two that just sounded ‘off’ to me (cube steak parmesan?!?). Back to the keyboard.
Epicurious.com had this interesting solution from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook that had me at the Worcestershire marinade and the concern expressed by some reviewers that this was just too, too spicy (!).
Spicy, my great aunt Effie. I was surprised at how LITTLE tang this recipe delivered, to the point where Rich added salt to his at the table. Still, I would make this again – next time adding additional boiled onion (an interesting touch, I thought), some sautéed ‘shrooms, and maybe some Greek yogurt to turn it into a sort of healthy-ish stroganoff kind of thing. Oh, and maybe a dash or three of crushed red pepper and Cajun Power Garlic Sauce, just because.
Here’s the original recipe:
•3 pounds cubed steak
•Pinch of garlic powder
•Flour for dredging
•1/4 cup vegetable oil
•1/2 cup minced onion
•3-1/4 cup hot water
•3 tbsp flour
Place the steak in a casserole dish and generously sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce. Cover and marinate overnight.
Boil the onion in 1/4 cup of water for five minutes in a small pot.
Remove steaks from the marinade and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Dip the steak in flour and shake. Heat the oil and quickly fry the steak until brown, but don’t cook the inside too much. This is done by cooking both sides on high heat, turning quickly, and then reducing heat to low to finish cooking.
When finished cooking as many steaks as desired, leave about 3 tablespoons browned crumbs (not burned) and drippings from steak in skillet. Add the boiled onion and three tablespoons of flour. Stir until slightly browned. Slowly pour in the remaining 3 cups hot water as it thickens.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. The gravy may be served over rice or steaks.
I served ours over buttered noodles with poppy seeds, and a romaine salad on the side with Catalina dressing.
I’m also thinking that next time; I will brown the steaks and pull them from the pan, then make the gravy, return the steaks, cover and simmer on low for a good while to let all the flavors blend and the meat tenderize a bit.
Just a thought.