Monday, March 1, 2010

Italian Style Cube Steak with Tomatoes and Peppers

I was planning out our meals for this week, and realized I hadn't made anything with beef in a while.  I sure don't want the hubby to get cranky and suffer from beef withdrawl.  I've made this before, but didn't blog it, so here's a easy-as-pie, skillet supper that is tasty to boot.

My mom never made cube steak growing up.  She would buy sirloin steaks or other "higher" quality beef and use it for her stir-frys.  David grew up eating cube steak, and I have made chicken fried steak a few times.  But I'll have to save that for another post.  CFC isn't hard, but it is a technique, and I didn't have the time to make it properly tonight. 


My van's transmission is out, so I dropped it off at the dealership this morning, and their shuttle took me and Gabriel home.  We found out later the van would not be ready until sometime tomorrow, so I called a rental car place.  They said they'd come "pick me up."  Well, 45 minutes later, no ride.  I am beyond frustrated because I live 3 minutes from them...literally.  There's NO WAY this driver could get lost.  I called 2x and said, "Um...where's my ride???"  Turns out the gal they sent out was brand new...first day on the job, first day in town, period.  Well Lord have mercy! 

Finally, nearly an hour later, my ride shows up.  This gal (not the original driver they sent out) apologized profusely, got me to their office, and very expediently got my rental ready to go in under 5 minutes, plus she threw in a 10% discount.  All righty...I get the keys and high tail it home so I can get dinner going. 

So now it's past 5:00, but thankfully, I'd already done all my prep work, so I got everything in the pan and I had dinner on the table just before 6:30.  Whew!  I can't do any 30 minute meals, but I can cook under pressure!

Hopefully you can make this meal at your leisure, and not speed cook like I did!

Italian Style Cube Steak with Tomatoes and Peppers

6-8 cube steaks, (make 8 if you're feeding a family of 6 like ours)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 can (15 ounces) Italian style diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound  penne or other tube-shaped pasta

Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a large, zip-top plastic bag.

Place the cube steaks in the bag, 2 at a time, and shake to coat.  Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining steaks. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the cube steaks on both sides.  I cooked just 4 at a time because you don't want to crowd the pan.  This will only take 2-3 minutes per side. 

Once you've browned all the cube steaks return them to the pan.  Add the onions, peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce,  red wine, and garlic. 

You can give everything a stir at this point, but I usually wait until later.  I like keeping the tomatoes, onions, and peppers on keeps the meat moist while it's cooking.  And if you don't want to used color peppers (I know they can be expensive...I got mine for $1 each on sale this week at Kroger), green bell peppers will work just fine.  You might like to add a pinch or two of sugar to conteract the acidity of the tomatoes.  Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers have enough natural sugars, so you don't need to add any extra sugar to the dish.  I also threw some Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle in the pan strictly on a whim...if you don't have any, more Italian seasoning will work just fine. 

Cover the pan and simmer the steaks for 45 minutes to an hour.  The meat should be nice and knife required!  The flour used to coat the steaks should have thickened the sauce...if you like it thinner, you can add a bit of water or wine.   

During the last 10 minutes of the cooking time, drop your pasta and cook until al dente. 

To serve, make a bed of pasta on a plate.  Top with one of the steaks, and and some of the sauce. 

Doesn't this look like a perfect meal for a cold, rainy night? 

All of the kids (except Christina) inhaled their dinner...Gabriel had seconds! 

Hope you get a chance to make this comforting meal for you family sometime.  I wanted to post something that wasn't meatless.  But I'll be back in a couple of days for a meatless entree for Friday!

God bless your table tonight!

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