Cube Steak
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Cube Steak, NAMP 1100, is a boneless portion cut of tougher meat, technically from any part of the carcass but usually Top Round or Bottom Sirloin that has most often been tenderized twice (turned 90° between passes) by an Electric Meat Tenderizer.

Availability

Cube Steak is available all year long. 

Production

The production of beef is carried about by three primary types of operations: Cow & Calf Operations, Weaner Calf & Yearling Operations, and Dry-Lot Feeding Operations (also known as “Backrounders”) which are the most expensive operations in the Beef Industry. To learn more about Beef Producers just follow the link to Smart Kitchen’s Page on Beef Producers. The Beef Producers are represented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

American cattle production has remained almost stagnant between 1985 and 2009, growing just 6.4%, while the amount of beef imported has nearly tripled in that time, according to an analysis of USDA figures conducted by R-CALF USA, another the trade group that represents cattle producers.

Once raised, Beef is typically sold to Meat Packers who slaughter, inspect, and butcher the animals to provide Primal Cuts to butchers and portion cuts to consumers.

The Meat Packing Industry is in a period of consolidation. In 1999, the 10 largest beef-packing firms accounted for more than 90 percent of all Steer and Heifer slaughter in the U.S. In 2011, according to the Western Organization of Resources Councils three major companies controlled Beef market. Visit Smart Kitchen’s Meat Packers Resource Page to learn more.

Purchasing

When shopping for Cube Steak, look for Cube Steak that has a clear, red exterior color known as the “Bloom,” that come from exposure to oxygen and not the more normal purplish-red color of vacuum packed beef. Your purchase should be cold, firm to the touch and, if packaged, free of any punctures or rips. Notice the “sell-by” date on the label and make sure you are buying product that is well within its dates of safe use as specified by the sticker. 

Storage

Raw Cube Steak should last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Add an extra day of cold storage time if the Cube Steak is Marinated or oiled. Raw Cube Steak will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer without any appreciable deterioration in quality.

Cooked Cube Steak should be refrigerated for up to 1-3 days.

Culinary Uses

These tougher cuts need so much TLC that a physical tenderizer (like a mallet) will inflict too much mashing damage on the product. Cube Steak is often confused with Swiss Steak, or Minute Steak for good reason. They are all very similar with the main differences being the original location of the cut of meat and the tenderizing methods employed. Minute Steak may also be cut thinner for quicker “minute” cooking.

Cube Steak can cook quickly and is the preferred cut of meat for Chicken Fried Steak. Depending on what your grocer has in stock, they can almost be used interchangeably, that is you can use Cube Steak where Swiss is specified and vice versa.

Cube Steak is a tough Portion Cut of Beef. On Smart Kitchen’s Home Plate it should be Cooked, it is Tough, it can be Thin or Thick depending on how it is cut, it is Dry, and Lean. Using the Home Plate we would call it Cooked, Tough, Thin or Thick, Dry, and Lean or noted in the home plate shorthand Cube Steak would be (C, T1T3-T4, D, L).

Cube Steak is best cooked using the following techniques: GrillingBaking, BroilingFire RoastingRoastingSautéingPan FryingSimmeringBoilingBraising, Smoking and Stewing.

Portion Size

Allow 6 to 9 ounces (170 g to 255 g) per person of Cube Steak as a Serving Size.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

No

Low Calorie

No