Make cubed steaks (from any roast)

I got a bit of sticker shock the last time my husband mentioned he wanted chicken fried steaks.  Cubed steaks were nearly $5/lb at a local store and that was sale price! Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who only buys beef ground.  Every roast and steak we eat (which is quite often) is venison.  Always.  And our venison is almost always free because we are called out to pick up fresh deer that have been hit by a car and the tags are free!  I haven’t purchased beef products other than ground beef in a really long time.  Boy, it’s expensive!  Even before we were eating venison regularly, I just never would buy roast unless I could find it at a fantastic price.

I did a little price comparison and found that you can buy roast, depending on the cut (and this particular time of year/location/store/moon phase/whatever), for  less per pound. Commonly, bottom round is the roast used for cubed steaks – but technically you can use any roast you want.   You can turn a less tender cut of meat into a tender one through the cubing process. All you need is a needle tenderizer and a meat mallet (if you had to choose one or the other, go with the needle tenderizer – it will eventually thin your steaks out too without having to be pounded thin).   The needle tenderizer will puncture the meat – and the tissues that can tighten during the cooking process and become tough – and the meat mallet will pound the meat to an even thickness.  You don’t want to turn the meat into mush, so be careful not to overdue the pounding.

Before you cut your roast, poke it with the needle tenderizer on all sides pretty well.  Then, slice it into 1/2 inch thick steaks.  Poke it with the needle tenderizer again on both sides pretty liberally.  Finally, pound the steak out thin with the meat mallet.  I prefer the side with the smaller teeth for smaller cuts of meat.

Now you are free to do with it what you wish – chicken or country fried steak, swiss steak, etc.


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