• Leigh

Cheap Beef Dinner: Sauerbraten Cube Steak


Every once in a while when my husband declares he's growing fins and feathers, I'll relent and cook beef. Usually, though, I opt for beef that's fairly lean and economical over cuts that tend to be more marbled with fat and, correspondingly, more expensive. Round steak is great because it's lean, cheap, and will braise to fork tenderness. Unfortunately, braises take substantial time. Enter cube steak. It's round steak that's been tenderized. Cube steak cooks quickly, so is easy to turn into a great weeknight meal. One of my favorite options is Sauerbraten Cube Steak. Unlike the "real" sauerbraten, this version requires no marinating for days, can be cooked in a skillet, and takes less than an hour. The Sauerbraten Cube Steak is savory, spicy, sweet, and tangy. The sauce is enriched with vegetables, red wine, and, for beef, an unusual ingredient--raisins. Try the Sauerbraten Cube Steak with noodles or fluffy mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce.

Sauerbraten Cube Steak -- Serves 4

1 - 2 tablespoons of canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 - 1 1/4 pounds of cube steak (4 pieces)

1/2 cup of flour

1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon of allspice

1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/4 cup of shredded carrots

2 cups of reduced sodium beef broth (or 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of reduced sodium beef

"Better Than Bullion"

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of red wine

2 tablespoons of raisins

1 tablespoon of brown sugar (preferably dark brown)

1/4 cup of flour

1/2 cup of water

Fresh parsley (optional)

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion and celery. Saute them for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften and the onion is a little browned. While the onion and celery are cooking, place the cube steaks and flour in a large plastic bag, seal the bag, and shake the bag to coat the steaks with flour. Push the onion and celery to the edges of the skillet and add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet if necessary. Put the steaks in the skillet and brown them for 4-5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle on the parsley, cloves, allspice, ginger, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Add the carrots, broth (or water and "Better Than Bullion"), Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, wine, raisins, and brown sugar and stir gently to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down the heat, cover the pan, and let the steaks simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. If you'd like a thicker sauce, whisk together 1/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water and stir the mixture into the pan. Let the sauce cook a few minutes more, continuing to stir it periodically. Fish out the bay leaves, sprinkle the steaks with parsley, if you like, and serve the cube steaks and sauce over noodles or mashed potatoes.

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