The Clever Reason Cube Steak Got Its Name
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The Clever Reason Cube Steak Got Its Name

Jun 27, 2023

It doesn't matter if you are living on a tight budget or living a life of luxury; cube steak makes for some of our favorite meals like chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and Swiss steak in a broth of onions and tomatoes. And, neither of these dishes would be the same without this cut of beef. While its appearance may have you wondering if this meat is steak or hamburger, rest assured it is steak.

Cube steak, which comes from the cow's backside, or top round if you want to be more formal, cleverly got its name from the process used to tenderize it. Making a piece of meat tender and mouthwatering is mission-critical and cube steak needs a little TLC to soften it up. Generally, a mechanical tenderizer is used to make small indentations in the meat that are shaped like cubes and produce a flattened, tender piece of beef that tastes smooth like butter.

How does mechanical cubing work? When creating those cute little indentations on these steaks, small blades on rollers are used that completely squash pieces of beef round while scoring them in the process. Mechanical cubing is reserved for very tough pieces of meat and can only be utilized with steak; however, nothing says you can't use your meat mallet to produce a similar result.

While everyone has their favorite way of eating this cut of meat, cube steak is versatile. It can be pan-fried, sautéed, or braised to perfection.

When it comes time to cook your cube steaks, a word to the wise: Use an appropriately sized skillet that will not have your pieces touching while they fry. This is important because if they are too close in proximity while they cook, your steaks could turn out chewy, making all that tenderizing for naught.