With so many cuts of beef out there, many home chefs ask the question, “what is minute steak?” The short answer is that it’s a thin cut, typically pan-fried piece of beef that requires hardly any cooking time.
However, the subject is more nuanced than you might think.
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Traditionalists cut minute steak from a round roast or sirloin. To muddy the waters of what a minute steak is, some people use the term to describe any thinly cut beef. What distinguishes a proper minute steak is that it is very lean and should take no more than thirty seconds per side to fry.
This cut is popular because it bursts with flavor and nutrients yet takes minutes to prepare. So, whether you’re a busy parent rushing to get food to the table or a single person looking for something easy and nutritious to cook, minute steaks fit the bill.
If you search for minute steak, look for butchers that cut it from a piece of sirloin or round roast. This way, you’ll be able to get the most nutritious portion of meat with the lowest fat and cholesterol levels. There should be little to no gristle or connective tissue.
You may find the term “minute steak” describing any boneless cut of beef that’s ¼ inch thick. In most instances, the butcher slices the meat to the correct thickness.
They may also pound a thicker piece of meat until it flattens to ¼ inch thickness. We call this cubed steak in such cases, referring to the marks the tenderizer leaves. You may also see minute steak referred to as round steak or sirloin steak.
Contact the butcher and ask them what cut of meat it is whenever you are in doubt.
Your butcher may either cut your steak one thin piece at a time or flatten out thicker meat to the correct thickness. Butchers may use a mallet on each piece to do so or use an industrial-strength machine instead.
For the home chef, cooking three or four steaks, tenderizing the meat is simple. All you need is a mallet and a little time. However, if you run a large butchery, you don’t have the time to even out each piece individually.
Butchers may, instead, use a machine that pounds many pieces at once. This tenderizes the beef and leaves the tell-tale cubed indentations from which the steak takes its name.
Either way, the results differ from a straight minute steak. A sliced minute steak should retain its juices during cooking, meaning you’ll have to rest the meat before eating. Overcooking your steak can lead to it being extremely dry and tough.
A cube steak is usually far more tender and easier to cut than a plain minute steak. When you cook it to perfection, you’ll find that it’s fork-tender. You’ll also be able to minimize the cooking time, as it’s far faster to cook.
When selecting your perfect piece of beef, there are a few factors to consider:
- Organic: Organic meat is free of nasty chemicals and likely to taste better. If the cattle are grass-fed, the meat is more nutritious as well.
- Traceability: How transparent is the butchery about where your meat’s source? The more traceable the meat is, the better for you.
- Age: A minute steak should undergo 21 days of aging for the best taste.
- Color and texture: Fresh beef has a rosy blush on the surface. Greying meat might mean the blood settled to the bottom.
There are several ways to cook and season your meat. You know you’re done when the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145°F, whichever method you use:
- Frying: Set a pan on a hot stove and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Season your steak with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds, flip it, and then cook for a further 30 seconds. Remove and serve immediately.
- Braise: Set the stove temperature to low or medium. Place half a cup of beef stock into the pan and the vegetables of your choice. Cook the steak until done.
- Grill: Heat the grill and cook the steak for around two or three minutes.
- Roast: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Sear the steaks in a large skillet before placing them into the oven. You may then season them for additional flavor.
The taste of the cooked steak depends mainly on the seasoning that you use. There is little fat and cholesterol, so be ready for a rich, satisfying flavor. The meat is an excellent accompaniment to a sauce or gravy as it complements rather than overpowers other flavors.
A single serving of minute steak should deliver around 22% of your body’s cholesterol and 21% of your sodium requirement. The average slice contains about 8 grams of fat, of which 3.5 grams are saturated. There are no carbohydrates in the meat.
What piece of meat will you learn about next? A juicy porterhouse or the ultimate indulgence, the filet mignon? Check out our site for more information.