Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Food Post!

I keep wanting to do regular food posts, but I'm awful at remembering to take my camera with me into the kitchen, and even worse at remembering to take pictures as I go along. But in the past couple of weeks, I've managed not to drop the ball-- twice! So I get to show you cube steaks with gravy (my Hubby's favorite meal), and How Not to Make a Lemon Meringue Pie. (The pie post will come later, though, as I'm hoping today to turn that into a how-to, rather than a how-not-to. It was my first try. And it ended up being lemon meringue soup. Tasty, pretty, but not pie. Today will be a re-do. Hopefully a successful re-do, but either way, I'll share my results!)

Anyway, cube steaks with gravy is my Hubby's favorite meal. I learned how to make it by watching my mother-in-law, and while I have yet to get mine exactly like hers, it still comes out incredible almost every time. The Hubby prefers his served over rice. I, on the other hand didn't really grow up putting gravy on rice (and didn't even know it was something people did until I moved to Alabama); I prefer mine over mashed potatoes.

I'm not a great follower of recipes (except when baking, where precision matters), so any measurements I give are rough estimates. You may need more or less of something. Also, I was already about halfway through making this when I remembered to grab my camera, so I've only got pictures of the actual cooking process. Go me! Fair warning-- one of my New Year's Resolutions is to work on my food photography. So far, my skills are fairly underwhelming.

To begin with, you're going to need a package of cube steaks (how many depends on how many people you're serving. One per person should do it.), some flour, salt & pepper, and a can each of beef broth and beef consomme. (For a package with four cube steaks. The more you have, the more gravy you're making, and the more consomme and broth you'll need.) I also like to add an 8oz package of mushrooms (baby portobellos are my favorite), and half an onion.

First, cut each steak in half. In a shallow dish, mix together about 1/2 a cup of flour with a dash of salt and pepper. Dredge each steak in the flour, and set aside. Heat a large skillet over med-high, and add about 1/4 cup of oil (olive, vegetable, canola, whatever). Once the oil is heated, add the steaks, and cook until the crust is just browned. Remove the steaks from the skillet and set aside. While the steaks are browning, chop your mushrooms and onions.

This is the point at which I remembered to grab my camera.

Add the chopped mushrooms and onions to your skillet, turn the heat down to medium, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the onions are translucent:

Remove the mushrooms and onions from the pan. (You don't have to, but I think it makes it a little easier to make the gravy.) Add about 1/4 cup of oil to the pan, and about the same amount of flour (I use the flour I dredged the meat in. Why not? It's already there, preseasoned, and this way I'm not wasting anything). Whisk the flour and oil together...

...until it turns a nice, golden brown color. (For some reason, all the pictures I took of the roux-making process look the same... must have been the lighting?) Then, pour in your consomme and broth, whisking all the while to prevent lumps. I also like to add in a splash or two of worcestershire.

You'll also want to test the seasoning at this point. Add a little salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Return the steaks and mushrooms to the pan, cover with a lid, and then either let it simmer for about an hour, or let it cook in a 350 degree oven for an hour. (I use the oven method if I need to free up stove top space.) 

The cube steaks just get all tender and fall-apart-y and fantastic as they cook. It's like food magic.

While the steaks finish cooking in the gravy, make your rice or mashed potatoes according to your favorite recipe. Serve the cube steaks and gravy over the rice or potatoes.

Mmm... (I served mine with sauteed squash and zucchini, also.)

(I'll be linking to this post over at My Chef-ish Friends and Me, where my friends and I all swap recipes. There's a lot of great stuff over there-- check it out!)

1 comment:

  1. Wow that looks so good! Hey, next time you need a photographer/videographer... I can some how make myself avaluable for a plate :)