Minute Steak Isn't As Quick As It Sounds

Dinnertime is approaching, and you're starting to regret not having prepped anything. It's not that you don't enjoy cooking, it's just that sometimes you want the night off from being in the kitchen. As you avoid reaching for the phone to get something delivered, you realize there's a minute steak sitting in the fridge. The name implies it takes only 60 seconds to prepare, so minute steak to the rescue, right? Well, sort of. 

It does cook quickly, but the term "minute" is a bit of a misnomer. Typically, a minute steak should cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on how rare or well done you want it. A minute steak is a cut of beef that has been cut thin during the initial butchering process or was pounded flat afterward. Sirloin and round are commonly used for minute steak, as is chuck, though the cut of the beef doesn't necessarily determine whether or not it's minute steak. 

This category includes what is commonly referred to as "cube steak," so called because of the square-shaped depressions some commercial tenderizers can imprint into it. Though not ready in a clean minute, a minute steak may be just what you are looking for — and we don't mean just a sad little browned patty. 

What is minute steak used for?

Minute steak is a popular option for those who may not have much time to cook or are trying to stretch their food budget. Because it generally comes from cuts that aren't top-quality parts of the cow, it tends to be more affordable than many other beef choices. Nevertheless, it's a versatile piece of meat used in various flavorsome dishes. One beloved cuisine that uses minute steak is the Southern classic, chicken fried steak. Another comfort food classic made with minute steak is beef stroganoff. Simply seasoning the steak with salt and pepper is all you need to do before starting a beef stroganoff, but for some dishes, you may want to punch the flavor up a bit. One way to do this is by applying a dry rub with your favorite seasonings to the steak.

If you really want to save yourself some time, consider making a few dry-rubbed steak wraps for your lunches for a few days. With minimal time spent in the kitchen, you'll be rewarded with delicious steak wraps for lunch over the next few days. The bold flavors of the rub will accent the tasty umami of the steak and complement the other ingredients within. You could also apply a dry rub to the minute steak you're going to throw in a stir fry, but there is an even better way to get the flavor of the steak to shine in that type of meal.

Give your minute steak a little extra time

The best way to prepare a minute steak depends on the dish you're incorporating it into. With tasty fare like fajitas and stir fry, a good marinade may be your best friend when preparing the steak. A little time marinating will help tenderize the steak by breaking down the fibrous muscle within, creating a piece of meat that will melt in your mouth after cooking. Choose flavors that will complement both the steak and the overall dish, like Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce. If you want to go a little outside of the box, try marinating your steak in a Coca-Cola mixture. The acidity of the soda will tenderize the steak, and the sugars and flavorings will give it some pleasantly unique flavors after it's been prepared.

The name may be a bit misleading, but a minute steak is still one of your fastest options to have a delicious steak ready to eat quickly. Not only that, but it is also one of the most affordable ways to include beef in your diet. The next time you walk past the butcher's section of the supermarket and see that thin, sometimes underwhelming minute steak sitting on the shelf, don't pass it by without giving it a second thought. It's a healthy way to get some protein in your diet without breaking the bank or committing to a night of cooking when you really just want to chill with your quick eats. 

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