From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I haven't been tracking the cost of beef lately. The Silver Fox and I don't eat a lot of it, so when I buy beef I generally go for the higher end cuts and don't pay too much attention to what they cost. I was, however, really set back on my heels last week when I went to purchase a pound of ground beef. Hamburger meat was a dinner staple in the early years of our marriage. Its cost was perfect for a pauper's purse and most women my age owned, or were familiar with, a little book called 101 Ways to Cook Ground Beef. We knew them all, but with its cost approaching $5 a pound I'm not sure our younger counterparts would find the book a terrific money saver. The irony was that some steaks cost less than ground meat and I was able to buy cube steaks for $2.99 a pound. I was looking for something I could share with you on Frugal Friday, so I picked up a package and decided that "cube steak something" would be my feature for the week. Fortunately, I found a terrific recipe for cube steaks on the Epicurious website and can report, that while these steaks are not filet mignon, the sauce makes this pedestrian cut of beef quite delicious. If you use red onion instead of shallots and beef stock or chicken stock instead of vermouth, the cost of this entree will fit within the confines of most food budgets. The steaks are simple to prepare, and if you don't overcook them, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by just how good they are. I served the steaks with a salad and rosemary roast potatoes. The rosemary in the potatoes was a great counterpoint to the mustard in the sauce and together the combination was a match made in heaven. I have one caution to share with you. The recipe calls for rubbed sage. Rubbed sage is feathery, so if you have to substitute the ground variety, cut way back on the quantity you use or your cube steaks will end up tasting like turkey dressing. Budget conscious or not, this is a nice family recipe that also happens to be easy on the cook. In my book, it's really hard to beat fast, easy and cheap. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. Here is how the cube steaks are made.
Cube Steaks with Dijon Cream Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Epicurious
2 12-ounce cube steaks
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/3 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1) Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks in single layer and cook until browned, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface and cut each steak in half.
2) Melt 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sage, sautéing until soft, about 30 seconds. Add vermouth and boil until slightly reduced, about 30 seconds. Stir in cream and mustard. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Divide steaks among plates, spoon sauce over, and serve. Yield: 4 servings.
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