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Cube Steak Sandwich

November 29, 2011

Cube steak?  That was my reaction to.  For the uninitiated, or those who are not in the know with their cuts of beef, like me, cube steak is a cut of beef that generally comes from either the top round or top sirloin that has been extra tenderized.  That still doesn’t mean that much to me.  I guess the round cut of the beef is from its hind quarters and is generally considered the least desirable cut of meat.  When I told my husband that we were using cube steak, he said to me, “oh, the cheapy meat.”  Apparently, he, unlike me, is not uninitiated when it comes to cuts of beef.

Ok, good.  That whole explanation is out of the way.

Moving on, my husband and I are huge meat lovers.  I don’t think that either of us could ever become vegetarians.  We both love our meat too much.  But eating steak all the time, or having tacos at home, or making spaghetti with meat sauce gets old.  Sometimes, it seems that there’s just not that much you can do with meat, and while it’s always good, it always seems to be the same old, same old.

Well, I recently discovered this recipe for cube steak sandwich which looked oh-so-good; right up our alleys as far as food goes.  It’s really a simple and basic recipe that’s full of flavor and made for the beef lover.

The ingredients are pretty simple: cube steak, onions, garlic, butter, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, steak seasoning, french roll/demi baguette.  Done!  Super simple ingredients for a super simple meal.

Start with a couple of onions.  You’ll want to slice them up.  The amount of onions you use is up to your personal preference.  As you can tell, we really like our onions.

Put a couple of dabs of butter into a cast iron skillet or heavy pan set to medium heat.  When the butter has melted, throw the onions and minced garlic into the skillet and allow them to cook. 

 After about 10 minutes, they’ll become tender and slightly brown.  That’s perfect.  Transfer the onions to a plate.

While the onions are cooking, prepare your cube steak.  As the steak has been tenderized by being put through a meat tenderizer at the butcher, you can see a defined grain in the cut of the meat.  You’ll want to cut against the grain.

Slice the cube steak into long strips about 1/2″ wide.

Now here’s where you can take some personal liberties.  It’s time to season the steak strips.  You can doctor it up however you like to match your own taste preferences.  Something simple like seasoned salt would be perfect, if you had some on hand.  For me, I used fresh ground salt and pepper, ground coriander, ginger powder, and onion powder.  Make sure you season the steak liberally.

In the same skillet that you cooked the onions, throw another couple of dabs of butter and turn the heat up to high.  Allow the butter to melt.  Even brown the butter for a minute or so before you put the steak in.

When the butter is melted and slightly browned in your cast iron skillet, put your steak right into the skillet.  Now just let it sit for a couple of minutes.  Don’t stir it around, don’t mix it up.  Just allow the heat and the butter to sear the meat on one side and develop a bit of a crispy crust.

Now that the steak has browned on one side, flip it over to the other side and allow it to brown on the other side completely as well.

Once the meat has cooked, add Worcestershire sauce directly into the skillet.  Start with about 1/2 cup.  You can always add more later if it starts to cook off and there’s no sauce for your steak.  You don’t want your cube steak to be drowning in Worcestershire sauce, but you do want there to be sauce to add flavor and richness to your meal.

Next, it’s time to add a little kick to your steak sauce.  Depending on how spicy you like it, add a few sprinkles of tabasco sauce into your skillet.  It’s amazing how far a few dabs will go.  You’ll just be able to taste a little bit of a kick when you’re eating your sandwich.

Ok, it’s sinfully bad (although no one ever said this was a healthy meal), but it’s time to add a little more butter to the dish.  Take a dab of butter and add it right into your skillet.  This will help thicken up your steak sauce a bit, and also add even more flavor to the dish.  Allow the butter to melt right in, and stir it around to combine.

Finally, it’s time to add the cooked onions that you set aside back into the skillet with the steak.  Stir everything together.  Reduce the heat and allow the steak and onions to continue to cook while you prepare the rolls.

You can use any sort of roll you wish for this dish.  We actually ended up using 2 different kinds of rolls, because that’s what we had on hand.  It’s easy to use pre-cut center sliced deli rolls, or you can also buy demi baguettes and slice them down the middle (be careful though, I sliced up my finger pretty good with the bread knife trying to cut through the baguette!).

One more time for butter in this recipe.  You’ll need to take room temperature butter and spread it on both halves of the bread.  Spread a liberal amount of butter on.  Or, another option, if your butter isn’t spreadable, is to take a dab of butter and put it directly onto the surface of a hot flat top grill and allow it to melt over the flat top.

What you’re going to be doing is grilling your bread.  The butter will help to put a nice crunchy crust on your bread.  You’ll want to grill it first butter side down.  Once that’s all crunchy and golden brown, flip your rolls over and grill the other side for a few minutes.

When your rolls are grilled, you’re ready to begin assembling the sandwich.  Take your cooked steak and onions and start piling them onto the bottom half of your roll.  Don’t be afraid, pile the sandwich as high as you want.  When you’re done piling, don’t forget to take a spoon and spoon some of the yummy flavorful sauce right over the steak and onions.  Put the top half of the roll on top of your pile of meat, and you’ve got yourself a flavorful cube steak sandwich.

I promise that the beef lover in your family will fall in love with this sandwich.  What is there not to love about it?  Steak, onions, lots of flavor and butter!  You can, of course add your own additions to this dish.  Along with the onions, you can saute mushrooms or bell peppers to add more flavor and color.  You can melt some provolone or swiss cheese right on top of the steak and onions.  You can also pile your sandwich high with some peppery arugula to add some greens to your sandwich.  It’s completely customizable.  This dish was even good the next day as a lunch leftover at work.  Steak and onions into the microwave  to heat them up.  Rolls with butter put into the toaster to toast up the bread.  Put the sandwich together and you have one delicious lunch sandwich!  My husband and I both loved these cube steak sandwiches.  This dish was a home run and you can be assured that we’ll be making this again soon at our house.

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