My husband has been doing most of the grocery shopping lately. When I am not specific in what I would like in the meat department there is no doubt he will show up with something I would have not chosen. He came home with cubed steak the other day, and I just couldn’t bare to just fry it plain. I don’t like cubed steak, as I’d prefer to have either my meat ground or whole – not beaten to death in order to make it tender. However, there is a correct way to tenderize tough cuts of meat like round steak.
Alton Brown of Food Network does not suggest purchasing cube steak, as it may be a conglomeration of several meat cuts and you do not know what you are getting. Though Cubed Steak Special is all Bottom Round cut. He suggests purchasing a bottom round roast and having the butcher slice it for you in 1/2″ slices. Then when you get home, use a needler (type of meat tenderizer-see Amazon ad below) to tenderize the steak yourself. He emphatically suggests that you do not
use a mallet type tool to tenderize your steaks, as it just makes mush of it. See video below. He teaches us how to prepare round tenderized fried steak for baking, resulting in a fork tender steak.
Meanwhile, I was stuck with cubed steak. Alton suggests to lightly dredged in flour; lightly pan fried, and braise in a brown sauce, which is considered country fried steak. Well, I am a bit tired of brown sauce lately and have been spicing up my sauces in a number of ways. I changed Alton’s recipe considerably. I refuse to use that much oil in my gravy. However, it is traditional to use it all. And in one of his recipes he adds whole milk. I’ve kept my country fried steak dairy free. So, all in all, this is a much leaner recipe. I hope you enjoy!
Lean Chili Country Style Cubed Steak
It's time to remove the grease from country fried steak recipes and spice up the gravy! Make it fiery hot or mild.
- 4 Tablespoons cooking oil (extra virgin olive oil, etc.)
- 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. cubed steak
- 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 1 cup low-sodium gluten free chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat heavy skillet with oil on medium high heat.
- Place the gluten free all purpose flour in a plate. Dredge your steaks in the flour.
- Add steaks to preheat pan and brown each side; do not cook thoroughly.
- Remove steaks; drain the excess oil; deglaze pan by adding chicken broth and stirring the steak remnants from the pan. Add steaks back into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Set heat to high.
- In a small cup mix together 1 tablespoon potato starch and 1 tablespoon water. Once the broth begins to bubbly, add the starch mixture to the pan while stirring continuously, around the meat. Remove from heat. Serve gravy over steak.
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See Alton’s Part 2 Cubed Steak video to learn more ways of cooking tenderized round steak. Learn to make Swiss steak (cubed steak with onion and tomatoes), as well as traditional country style cubed steak (with brown gravy).