Cube steak, also known as minute steak, is a cut of beef from the top sirloin of the cow. It is run through a special tenderising machine twice to help break down the muscle tissue. Tough cuts of meat, like cube steak, are best prepared using moist-heat cooking methods such as braising.
Salt and pepper are the only seasonings used to flavour the cube steak in this recipe. Chicken stock is used to add additional flavour, and to form the basis of the gravy. If desired, beef stock or water may be used instead. However, using water will decrease the flavour of the gravy. Vegetable oil, flour and onions are also required.
Cut the cube steak into 142gr pieces. Slice half of a small onion per steak into thin rings. For example, if you were cooking four steaks, you'd need about two small onions cut into rings. Onions compliment the flavour of cube steak, but can be omitted if desired. Season the top and bottom of each steak with salt and pepper to taste, and heat a few inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Coat each steak with flour, and transfer to the skillet.
Fry each cube steak for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the onion slices to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, or until soft. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of flour per steak over the onions and reduce the heat to low. The flour will thicken the liquid, creating a gravy as it is heated. Cook the onions and flour for 4 to 5 minutes and stir in approximately 1/3 cup of chicken or beef broth per steak. If you aren't using onions, simply add the chicken broth and then the flour to the hot skillet.
Increase the heat to high while stirring the mixture constantly. Any lapse in stirring can result in lumps of uncooked flour throughout the gravy. Bring the gravy to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and then add the steaks. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the steaks are tender. If desired, the steaks can be cooked for 5-10 additional minutes to make them even more moist and tender.
Transfer the steaks to a serving platter after cooking. Test the flavour of the gravy and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Place each cube steak onto a bed of white rice or mashed potatoes, pour the gravy and onions over each and serve hot. Steamed vegetables or roasted potatoes are popular side dishes often served with braised cube steak, but you may serve with any of your family's favourites.