Cube Steak with Mushroom Gravy

published Jul 21, 2021
Cube Steak

The filets have been tenderized with a meat mallet, making them tender and quick-cooking.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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Cube Steak, which is ground beef cooked with gravy and vegetables, on a plate mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans as side dishes. There is a fork on the plate
Credit: Laura Rege
Cube Steak

Steak night just got a little more delicious with an unexpected main ingredient: the cube steak. Although this cut has long been a mainstay on the meat counter, we often look toward more classic cuts like filet mignon, ribeye, or flank when we think of steak. This gravy-drenched recipe, however, earns cube steak a spot in our rotation.

What Is Cube Steak?

Cube steak is a piece of meat that has been tenderized from a tougher cut of meat, usually top round or top sirloin. They’d normally be tough to sear up in the pan, but the filets have been tenderized with a meat mallet, making them tender and quick-cooking. One key characteristic of cube steak is indentations that form on the filet from the meat mallet. Tenderizing takes a bit of effort, so we opt for buying pre-tenderized cube steaks from the butcher.

If you can’t find pre-tenderized steaks at the store or choose to tenderize your own, place a filet between two pieces of plastic and pound with a meat mallet using both the flat and textured sides.

Credit: Laura Rege
Cube Steak

Tips for Cooking with Cube Steak

Beyond starting with well-tenderized steaks, there are two keys to delicious cube steak.

  • Dredge the steaks in flour. Doing so before searing helps insulate the steaks from the high heat and enhances the texture on the outside of the meat. 
  • Smother the steaks in a mouth-watering gravy. Here we take a time-honored, grandma-approved approach to enjoying cube steak: making a gravy with onion soup mix, but adding in some fresh onion and mushrooms. Then, we thickened the umami-rich gravy with flour and butter so it perfectly coats the steaks. To account for the rest of the meal, we made sure there was enough gravy to smother the sides.

What to Serve with Cube Steak

Since cube steak is typically prepared with a gravy, it’s especially great over mashed potatoes or buttered noodles with a vegetable side.

Cube Steak

The filets have been tenderized with a meat mallet, making them tender and quick-cooking.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 8 ounces

    baby bella or cremini mushrooms

  • 1 sprig

    fresh parsley

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

  • 4

    cube steaks (about 1 pound total)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium beef broth

  • 1 (1-ounce) packet

    onion soup mix

Instructions

  1. Peel and trim 1 large yellow onion, then cut 1/4-inch-thick rings. Thinly slice 8 ounces cremini mushrooms. Strip the leaves from 1 sprig fresh parsley and finely chop until you have 1/2 teaspoon.

  2. Place 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Pat 4 cube steaks dry with a paper towel, then season all over with the salt mixture. Dredge the steaks in the flour and shake off the excess flour.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 2 of the steaks and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 steaks. Wipe out any excess oil in the skillet with a paper towel.

  4. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onion and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon until the brown bits are incorporated into the onion mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and just starting to turn golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until both the onion and mushrooms are golden-brown, about 5 minutes more.

  5. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flour is lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in 1 cup water, 1 cup low-sodium beef broth, and 1 packet onion soup mix. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens to gravy consistency, about 3 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt and pepper as needed.

  6. Return the steaks to skillet, turn to coat in the gravy, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Beef broth substitutions: Water or low-sodium chicken broth can be substituted for the beef broth, but will make a a lighter-colored sauce.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For an amazing snack, reheat chopped leftover steak in the sauce then serve it over a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread.