The Best Cubed Steak Smothered with Mushroom Gravy

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Last Updated on August 8, 2023

This simple recipe for cubed steak not only makes for an affordable meal, it’s also AIP and paleo compliant. Made from scratch using simple ingredients, this is the best cubed steak recipe, and your whole family will love this delicious meal.

cubed steak

Cubed Steak

You’ve probably had beef cube steak before, or perhaps you know it as minute steak. It’s a budget-friendly cut of beef, and if cooked right, can be super delicious! It’s also the cut that’s often used for chicken fried steak (even though it’s beef and not chicken).

When I was a kid, we ate cubed steak with cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix gravy. My cubed steak recipe steers clear of anything processed or in a can – it’s all from scratch, but super easy to make.

What is Cube Steak

Cubed steak is a lean cut of beef, typically from the top round or chuck, expertly tenderized by a series of precise cuts made into the meat. These cuts resemble little cubes, giving the steak its quirky name.

The best way to cook a tender cube steak is by using a meat tenderizer (or meat mallet), marinating it, and searing it to a golden brown. Topping it with a savory gravy is my favorite way to serve it.

Easy Cube Steak Recipe

What makes cubed steak great is its ability to soak up flavors like a sponge. My cubed steak recipe is full of bold flavors and topped with a rich gravy, sautéed mushrooms, and onions.

It’s also gluten free, dairy free, and made from whole ingredients.

With just 10-15 minutes of prep-time and 30-35 minutes of cook time, it will be on your dinner table in about 45 minutes.

cubed steak

Cube Steak Ingredients

This is an easy recipe for flavorful cubed steak. The main ingredients are pantry staples. We’ll cover the steps you need to take to make this easy meal, but you can always scroll down to the recipe card if you’re in a hurry.

Ingredients for the Cubed Steak

  • cubed steak (about 1 pound)
  • coconut aminos
  • granulated garlic
  • onion powder
  • ghee (or avocado oil for AIP)
  • salt and black pepper to taste (omit pepper for strict AIP)

cube steak ingredients

Ingredients for Gravy with Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions

Some people perfer to make just an onion gravy, but I think the mushrooms give it a more bold and earthy flavor.

  • onions, thinly sliced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • ghee (avocado oil or olive oil for AIP)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • balsamic vinegar
  • beef or vegetable broth
  • coconut aminos
  • arrowroot powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for strict AIP)
  • sprigs of fresh thyme

cubed steak ingredients

How to Make Cubed Steak

First, let’s start by explaining how to make cubed steak with a flavorful gravy. There are some steps you need to take to make sure the steaks are tender. There’s nothing worse than tough cubed steak!

Step One: Tenderize Cubed Steak

Tenderizing cubed steak is a crucial step to ensure a melt-in-your-mouth experience when cooking this flavorful cut of meat.

Follow these simple steps to achieve tender perfection:

1. Begin by selecting a fresh, high-quality cubed steak. Look for evenly marbled meat with a bright red color, as this indicates tenderness and flavor.

2. Before tenderizing, let the cubed steak reach room temperature. This allows for even cooking and enhances the tenderness of the meat.

3. To start the tenderizing process, gently pound the cubed steak using a meat mallet or the back of a heavy-duty skillet. This helps break down the muscle fibers and softens the meat. Be sure not to overdo it, as excessive pounding can lead to a loss of texture.

4. For an extra tenderizing boost, we will marinate the cubed steak. Allow the meat to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours for maximum tenderness.

marinating cubed steak

Step Two: Marinate Cubed Steak

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, garlic powder, and onion powder to create the marinade.

Place the tenderized cubed steak in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the steaks. Make sure each piece is coated with the marinade. Cover the dish and let the steaks marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Sautéing the Mushrooms and Onions

While the cubed steak is marinating, you’ll move on to the gravy. You’ll need to get the mushrooms and onions nice and carmelized.

1.) First, grab a large skillet or cast iron pan and heat it over medium heat. Then add the ghee or oil.

2.) Next, add the sliced onions and cook for about 12-15 minutes until they start to caramelize, stirring occasionally.

3.) After that, add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and golden.

4.) Next, stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.

5.) Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the onions and mushrooms and stir to coat them evenly. Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

6.) Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from the skillet and set aside.

carmelized mushrooms and onions for cubed steak

Making Brown Gravy for Cube Steak

1.) In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and coconut aminos until the powder is dissolved.

2.) Deglaze the pan by pouring the beef broth into the warm skillet, scraping up any browned bits and pan drippings. Then add the sprigs of thyme. Let it heat up over medium heat.

3.) Stir in the arrowroot mixture and let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency.

4.) Now add the mushrooms and onions back to the skillet and stir until well combined.

5.) Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

cubed steak brown gravy

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How to Cook Cube Steak Perfectly

1.) Grab the cubed steaks from the refrigerator and discard the marinade. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

2.) In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the ghee (or oil), and let the pan get hot.

3.) Add the cubed steaks to the hot oil and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until they are browned and cooked to your desired level of doneness.

4.) Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest for a few minutes. This will result in a more tender steak.

5.) Pour the gravy over the cubed steak and serve with broccoli and mashed malanga or white sweet potatoes.

cooked cubed steak

Tips for Making Cube Steak

Choose the right cut: Cubed steak is typically made from tougher cuts of beef, such as top round or bottom round. Look for well-marbled steaks with a rich red color, as this indicates tenderness and flavor.

Tenderize the meat: Cubed steak is already mechanically tenderized, but you can further enhance its tenderness by using a meat mallet or a tenderizing tool. Gently pound the steak on both sides to break down the muscle fibers.

Marinate the cubed steak: Marinating cubed steak helps to locin in the flavors. A quick 30 minute marinade will do the trick, you can even leave it to marinate overnight.

Pat the steaks dry: In order to get a good sear on the cubed steak, be sure to pat it dry with a paper towel before seasoning it.

Season generously: Cubed steak can be quite bland on its own, so don’t be afraid to season it generously with your favorite spices and herbs. A simple combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder works wonders.

Sear it right: This will give it a nice brown color and lock in the flavors. Make sure your pan is hot and your steaks are dry.

Cook to perfection: Cubed steak is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness. Depending on the thickness of the steak, this usually takes about 4-5 minutes per side. Avoid overcooking, as it can make the meat tough and dry.

Let it rest: After cooking, transfer the cube steak to a plate and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

cubed steak with mushroom gravy

What to Serve With Cubed Steak

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic choice that pairs perfectly with cubed steak. The smooth texture of the potatoes provides a delightful contrast to the tender, juicy meat.

Alternatively, if you cannot eat nightshade foods, mashed white sweet potatoes or mashed malanga are great potato substitutes.

Roasted Vegetables: Roasting root vegetables or broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and brussels sprouts adds a wonderful depth of flavor to your meal. The caramelized edges of the vegetables enhance the savory taste of the cubed steak. Southern-style green beans are also a great veggie side.

Grilled Asparagus: Grilling asparagus brings out its natural sweetness and adds a subtle smoky flavor. The crispness of the asparagus complements the tenderness of the cubed steak, creating a well-balanced dish.

Creamed Spinach: Rich and creamy, creamed spinach is a decadent side dish that elevates the flavors of cubed steak. Its velvety texture and earthy taste provide a delectable contrast to the meat.

Baked Potatoes: A classic choice, baked potatoes are a versatile and satisfying side dish. Top them with coconut sour cream (to keep it dairy-free), chives, and grated cheese to enhance the overall taste of your meal.

forkfull of cubed steak with brown gravy

How to Store Leftover Cube Steak

Store any leftover cubed steak in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Cube Steak

To freeze leftover cubed steak, place in a freezer-safe container in single layers, separated by parchement paper to avoid the steaks sticking together. You can store cooked cubed steak in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cubed Steak FAQs

If you have questions about cubed steak, take heart, you are not the only one! Here are some frequently asked questions about this cut of meat.

Is cube steak a good steak?

Cube steak is a unique cut of beef that may leave many steak enthusiasts wondering if it lives up to the standards of a good steak. While cube steak may not be as popular as the classic ribeye or filet mignon, it certainly has its own merits.

In terms of flavor, cube steak can be quite delicious when cooked properly. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cut that can be transformed into delicious dishes with a little creativity, cubed steak is definitely worth a try.

How long does it take cube steak to get tender?

When it comes to cooking cube steak, the key to achieving tenderness lies in the cooking method. Marinating cubed steaks for at least 30 minutes helps break down the muscle fibers, as does using a meat mallet prior to marinating them.

Marinating the steaks for at least 30 minutes after tenderizing them will result in much more tender cubed steaks.

Why is cube steak so cheap?

Cubed steak is generally cut from tougher, less-expensive cuts of beef, such as top round or bottom round. It’s cubed to help it become more tender when cooked.

Selecting well-marbled cubed steaks with a rich red color will result in more tender steaks.

How do you make cube steak not tough?

Tenderizing the steaks before marinating them will help to keep them tender and from getting tough after cooking.

What is another name for cube steak?

Cubed steaks are also known as minute steaks because the cook fast.

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Cubed Steak with Mushroom & Onion Gravy

cubed steak recipe

  • Author: My Big Fat Grain Free Life
  • Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course

Ingredients

Units Scale

Cubed Steak Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces of cubed steak (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or oil/fat of choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for strict AIP)

Brown Gravy Ingredients:

  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or oil/fat of choice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for strict AIP)
  • 34 sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions

  • Before tenderizing, let the cubed steak reach room temperature. This allows for even cooking and enhances the tenderness of the meat.
  • Gently pound the cubed steak using a meat mallet or the back of a heavy-duty skillet. Be sure not to overdo it, as excessive pounding can lead to a loss of texture.
  • Next, marinate the cubed steaks: In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, garlic powder, and onion powder to create the marinade.
  • Place the cubed steak in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the steaks. Make sure each piece is coated with the marinade. Cover the dish and let the steaks marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Then start making the gravy: in a large skillet over medium heat, melt ghee (or oil/fat of choice).
  • Add the sliced onions and cook for about 12-15 minutes until they start to caramelize, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and golden.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the onions and mushrooms and stir to coat them evenly. Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and coconut aminos until the powder is dissolved.
  • Deglaze the pan by pouring the beef broth into the warm skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add the sprigs of thyme. Let it heat up over medium heat.
  • Stir in the arrowroot mixture and let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Now add the mushrooms and onions back to the skillet and stir until well combined.
  • Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Now prepare the cubed steaks: remove the cubed steaks from the dish and discard the marinade. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the ghee, and let the pan get hot.
  • Add the cubed steaks to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until they are browned and cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest for a few minutes.
  • Pour the gravy over the cubed steak and serve with broccoli and mashed malanga (or your choice of sides).

Notes

  • Choose the right cut: Look for well-marbled steaks with a rich red color, as this indicates tenderness and flavor.
  • Tenderize the meat: Cubed steak is already mechanically tenderized, but you can further enhance its tenderness by using a meat mallet or a tenderizing tool.
  • Marinate the cubed steak: A quick 30 minute marinade will do the trick, you can even leave it to marinate overnight.
  • Pat the steaks dry: In order to get a good sear on the cubed steak, be sure to pat it dry with a paper towel before seasoning it.
  • Sear it right: This will give it a nice brown color and lock in the flavors. Make sure your pan is hot and your steaks are dry.
  • Cook to perfection: Cubed steak is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness.
  • Let it rest: After cooking, transfer the cube steak to a plate and let it rest for a few minutes.

Keywords: cubed steak, cube steak, minute steak, cube steak with mushroom gravy

 

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