Based on my blogging trends, you would believe that I eat sweets all the time. You’d be nearly right – I do love dessert. Lest you think I don’t make dinner, I present to you Country-Style Steak.
Alton Brown made cooking cubed steak so appealing in the episode I found this recipe in. With the cooler, fall-like temperatures we’ve had for the past few weekends, I looked forward to making something that cooked for a while in the oven. As a bonus, cubed steak is relatively inexpensive – and if you use simple round steak as Alton does, it’s generally even cheaper.
2 pounds round steak – 1/4-to-1/2 inch thick
salt (if you use low-sodium stock)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup flour
about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth or water + chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
I bought thinly cut round steak so I didn’t have to cut it myself. I peppered the steak and dredged it in flour, shaking off the excess. I used a meat mallet (not what Alton Brown calls for, but it’s what I have) to tenderize the meat, and then I dipped it in flour again. I set the pieces aside while worked on the other pieces of steak.
I heated enough oil in a stockpot to cover the bottom of the pot. I browned the steaks in batches for 2 minutes on each side. Once they were all browned, I added the chicken broth and thyme to the pan, scraped up all the browned bits of flour, and brought the liquid to a quick boil. I returned the steaks to the pot, submerged them in the liquid as best as I could, covered the pot, and put it in a 300F oven. I let it cook for 1.5 hours, until I was impatient and ready to eat.
The sauce really cooked up. In fact, I didn’t have much sauce left, and what was there was rather thick. It’s possible that my lid was a little too loose. I served the beef with green beans and baked potatoes.
The beef was very tender – no knife needed to eat this. I don’t like gravy but I surprisingly did enjoy the sauce. It thickened up a lot more after a day (and honestly, it was a little lumpy the day I made it, but it was nothing that couldn’t be stirred in) but I didn’t find that to be a problem. The sauce and meat was great paired with green beans and potatoes. The dish was a little salty since I used chicken bouillon, so I would leave out the additional salt if I make it with the bouillon again.
This dish wasn’t swimming in gravy. It was easy to make. And, it’s a great comfort food. I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this because it’s not the kind of meal I usually go for.