While a cube steak may closely resemble a hamburger patty, technically there is some slight difference since the meat of the former, while it's been mechanically tenderized, hasn't quite reached the stage where it's all ground up like the latter. Still, the resulting beef is just as soft and easy to chew and digest. It's also a boon for the utensil-challenged as it's the kind of thing that can be eaten with no need for a knife.
Developer Laura Sampson's crock pot cube steak is somewhat similar to a Salisbury steak recipe. The main difference is that the latter, a dish you may remember from your elementary school days, may be made with ground beef formed into a cube steak-shaped patty and tends to be served with brown mushroom gravy. Sampson, however, prefers a creamy gravy with a canned mushroom soup base. She also cooks the meat, not in a pan, but in a slow cooker because meat cooked in moist steam heat comes out, as she puts it, "so tender you can cut it with a fork."
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What To Eat With Cube Steak In Gravy
Using a crockpot instead of an Instant Pot is convenient, practical, and budget-friendly because the appliance itself is considerably less costly and doesn't require any expensive accessories, but it does have a kind of retro '70s feel to it. So, too, does cooking with canned mushroom soup. Not that there's any problem with this, as Sampson suggests leaning into the vintage vibe by "serv[ing] this with mashed potatoes for [an] old-fashioned meal."
Whether or not you were even alive in the '70s, you can always evoke childhood nostalgia by pairing the cube steaks with tater tots. The cube steaks, as previously mentioned, are fairly similar to a school cafeteria staple, and tater tots, too, scream third-grade lunchroom with recess to follow. If you'd like a more sophisticated side dish, however, Sampson suggests something like mashed turnips or buttered egg noodles, while steamed rice or a green salad could also work.
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