Country Style Steak Recipe: Traditional Southern Comfort with Nutritional Tips

Country Style Steak Recipe: Traditional Southern Comfort with Nutritional Tips

Country style steak, often called cube steak, is a staple in Southern cuisine. This dish traces its origins to rural kitchens where cooks utilized tougher cuts of beef. By tenderizing and slow-cooking the meat, they transformed it into a flavorful, comforting meal. Traditionally, the steak is dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried before being simmered in a rich gravy. The gravy often includes ingredients like onions and mushrooms, adding depth to the dish.

Comparison to Other Steak Dishes

Country style steak differs from other steak dishes in both preparation and texture. Unlike ribeye or filet mignon, which are prized for their tenderness, country style steak starts with a tougher cut of beef such as round steak. The meat undergoes a mechanical tenderizing process, creating the characteristic cube-like indentations. While other steaks are usually grilled or broiled, country style steak is pan-fried and then simmered in gravy, making it more similar to a stew. The slow-cooking method ensures the meat becomes tender and flavorful, distinguishing it from quick-cooking steaks.

Ingredients and Preparation

Key Ingredients for a Classic Recipe

Country style steak requires specific ingredients to achieve its rich, comforting flavor. Here’s a list of the essential items:

  • Cube steak – 1.5-2 lbs, known for its tenderness post-cooking.
  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup, seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Beef broth – 2 cups, for a deep, savory base.
  • Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced for sweetness.
  • Garlic powder – 1 tsp, adds depth.
  • Salt and pepper – To taste, for seasoning.
  • Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp, for frying.
  • Mushrooms – 1 cup, optional but enhances flavor.
  • Milk or buttermilk – 1 cup, adds creaminess to the gravy.
  • Butter – 2 tbsp, used to enrich the gravy.
  1. Prepare Steak: Dredge cube steak in seasoned flour. Ensure each piece is coated evenly to form a light crust when fried. Shake off excess flour.
  2. Pan-Fry: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak pieces to the skillet, frying until each side is golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer steak to a plate and set aside.
  3. Cook Onions and Mushrooms: In the same skillet, add sliced onions and mushrooms. Sauté until onions are translucent and mushrooms are browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Create Gravy: Sprinkle remaining seasoned flour into the skillet. Stir continuously for 1 minute to cook the flour. Gradually pour in beef broth, stirring to combine. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Simmer Steak: Return the steak to the skillet, ensuring each piece is submerged in the gravy. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 1-1.5 hours, or until the steak is tender.
  6. Enrich with Dairy: Stir in milk or buttermilk and butter into the gravy, cooking for an additional 5 minutes until the gravy thickens and becomes creamy.

This detailed process ensures that your country style steak is flavorful and tender, aligning with its origins in Southern cuisine.

Cooking Techniques

On the Stove

Opting for the stove method for cooking country style steak ensures quick preparation with rich flavor. Start by dredging the cube steak in seasoned flour. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add oil. Once the oil’s hot, place the floured steaks in the skillet. Sear each side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove the steak and set it aside.

In the same skillet, add sliced onions and mushrooms, sautéing until they soften and release their flavors. Sprinkle the remaining seasoned flour into the skillet and stir to create a roux. Gradually pour in beef broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Return the steak to the skillet, ensuring it’s submerged in the gravy. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the steak is tender. For a creamier texture, finish with milk or buttermilk and a pat of butter.

In the Oven

Using the oven for country style steak involves a hands-off approach, allowing the meat to become incredibly tender. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Dredge the cube steak in seasoned flour. In an oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear the steak on both sides for 3-4 minutes until browned, then remove it from the skillet.

Add onions and mushrooms to the skillet, sautéing until they soften. Sprinkle the remaining seasoned flour over the vegetables and stir well. Slowly add beef broth, stirring to blend with the flour and create a smooth gravy. Place the steak back into the skillet, ensuring it’s covered with the gravy. Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer it to the oven.

Bake for 1.5-2 hours, checking for tenderness periodically. The slow oven heat allows the flavors to meld, resulting in a succulent dish. Just before serving, add a splash of milk or buttermilk and a pat of butter for added creaminess.

Serving Suggestions

Best Side Dishes

Classic Southern side dishes enhance country style steak, adding to its rich flavors. Consider mashed potatoes for a creamy companion that soaks up the gravy. Serve green beans seasoned with bacon for a savory experience. Offer cornbread for a touch of sweetness that contrasts the steak’s bold taste. Include collard greens or sautéed spinach for added texture and a slight bitterness. Biscuits make an excellent choice, especially when paired with honey or jam, creating a balance between savory and sweet.

Sauces and Gravies

The right sauce elevates the flavor of country style steak. Creamy mushroom gravy complements the dish with its earthy tones. Use a brown onion gravy for a deep, robust taste. For a slight kick, add a peppercorn sauce that blends heat and creaminess. Consider a red wine reduction for a sophisticated touch that pairs well with the steak’s tenderness. If you prefer a Southern staple, offer white gravy, which provides a rich and creamy contrast to the meat’s texture.

Nutritional Information

Health Benefits of Beef

Beef offers a variety of essential nutrients important for your body. It provides a high-quality source of protein necessary for muscle growth and repair. Beef also contains vitamins like B12, B6, and niacin, which support brain function and energy levels. Minerals such as iron and zinc boost immune function and promote overall health.

Considerations for Dietary Restrictions

If you have dietary restrictions, you might adjust the recipe for country style steak. Those on a low-sodium diet can omit the seasoning salt and use low-sodium broth. For gluten-free diets, substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. If you’re avoiding dairy, use plant-based milk alternatives for the gravy. Consider leaner cuts of beef if you’re managing your fat intake.


Country style steak isn’t just a meal; it’s a comforting experience that brings the flavors of Southern cuisine to your table. With its tender, flavorful beef and rich gravy, it’s a dish that satisfies both your taste buds and nutritional needs. Whether you’re serving it with classic sides like mashed potatoes and green beans or customizing it to fit dietary restrictions, this versatile dish can be adapted to suit any palate. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a hearty, home-cooked meal, consider making country style steak. It’s sure to become a favorite in your household.

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