The Cube Steak Journey

4 Apr

One of my fondest memories of my childhood is my Mom’s cube steaks. Her recipe went something like this:

  1. Place cube steaks in electric frying pan with onion soup mix and some water.
  2. Cook forever or until the texture is similar to that of shoe leather.
  3. Serve weekly to children.

Now, I love my Mom, and although if I needed help with my math homework growing up I found Dad, her cooking didn’t generally fail us. She taught me how to cook and how to bake, and I am a better man for that. Side note – for all the people that I pissed off because you think those last 2 sentences were sexist – that’s not what I am getting at. She just sucked at math, and we have always enjoyed reminding her about it. No, seriously, I could write a whole blog post about how long to cook a 9 pound ham.

The point is this: I’ve spent the better part of my adult life avoiding ever having to eat another cube steak. And until today – I was successful.

Rewind to Monday this week. Needed a healthy paleo meal. I found some spaghetti squash, pulled some sausage and  ground beef out of the freezer, and went to town making some meat sauce. As I am cooking up the meat, I go to dump in the ground beef, and to my surprise – out came 2 cube steaks. Turns out that when I bought the summer grilling pack from Seven Bridges Farms, it came with some cube steaks, which got put in the freezer next to the ground beef… you got the idea. So, cube steaks weren’t gonna work for spaghetti sauce. I put them in the fridge and vowed to find a way to cook them without needing to make a baseball glove out of them when I was finished.

My wife worked last night and so I was looking for a good paleo cube steak recipe (if such a thing exists). Turns out I found something that looked promising and thought I would make it. Until I realized that out of the ingredients that the recipe called for, I had salt and pepper and the cube steaks in the house. Apparently it was time to go grocery shopping. So, I had leftovers instead, and I brought the steaks to the firehouse thinking I would make them for lunch today.

We had a school inspection at lunch time. Clearly, none of us were responsible for scheduling THAT. Then 2 calls – needless to say – didn’t happen for lunch. So I told the guys about this recipe – and they actually got a little excited about it. Just the mere fact that anyone could be looking forward to eating cube steaks had to be a good sign.  The funny part is that, predictably, I had Rob at “wrappedIMG_0647 in bacon”, but it was, oddly, the sundried tomatoes that got Danny’s attention.  So – it took me all this time to tell you that I made these Stuffed Cube Steaks from FastPaleo for dinner, along with some fresh grilled asparagus and they were absolutely delicious, and they lived up to the “Fast Paleo” name! Ok, for the strict PALEO people, you just wasted the last 4 minutes reading this, because it has goat cheese, and dairy is dairy, blah blah blah. My challenge is over, and I can make some minor exceptions if I feel like it. So I did – and here’s what I learned:

  1. Love your Mom. I love my Mom.
  2. Be good to your Mom. You’ll never be sorry you were good to your mother. (She tells me that more than she served me cube steaks.) Did I mention how much she helped us out when we were doing the challenge? Every challenge WOD, every Potluck – she watched the kids so we could go. Not because no one else would, just because she’s a good Mom. She helps out a lot (not just for paleo challenges – but if you’re doing one, you might be able to hire her), and we truely appreciate it.
  3. Sometimes we love our Mom’s so much that we think they couldn’t possibly be the problem.  I did – and for 20 years I punished the cube steaks. Sorry Mom, I was wrong, this one’s on you – but I still love you.
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