Are Swiss And Cube Steak The Same Thing?

smothered swiss steak in a skillet
smothered swiss steak in a skillet - AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

Let's face it -- beef nomenclature is confusing. Consult a guide to the different cuts of steak, and all the options available at a butcher counter can seem overwhelming. Throw in the fact that many pieces have multiple names, and navigating all the possibilities may feel downright impossible.

Well, with some internet guidance -- or perhaps a chat with a friendly butcher -- certain confusions can be rectified. Take the distinction between Swiss and cube steak. The names may evoke different associations, but they actually refer to the same thing.

Such a steak doesn't refer to a specific part of the beef but rather a processing style. Cuts that are naturally less tender go into an industrial meat tenderizer, which imprints them with the checkered pattern. Such a design is the clever reason cube steak got its name. And its alternate title doesn't refer to the European nation but instead to the method of imprinting, which is called swissing. While it might go by two different names, this cut is a delicious type of beef ready for many preparations.

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Swiss And Cube Steak Both Refer To A Mechanically Tenderized Steak

close up of pounded steak
close up of pounded steak - ValdisOsins/Shutterstock

Most buy Swiss or cube steak already pounded into its checkered pattern-- the steak is commonly softened industrially. However, it's also possible to do the tenderizing yourself. This beef cut sources from a round steak, or possibly the chuck. It's dependably low in fat, with any extra bits trimmed away prior to pounding. Manually, the cube effect is achieved by sprinkling the meat with flour and repeatedly pounding it with a mallet.

Such a tenderizing process makes the cut ready for high-heat preparations, like grilling and sautéing. The cut tends to dry out, hence its other moniker, minute steak. However, the absolute best way to cook cube steak is by breading; it's a common star of chicken-fried steak. It's delicious paired with a tomato sauce, a combination that's intertwined with the Swiss steak moniker. So, by intense pounding, combined with some nifty cooking techniques, less coveted beef cuts turn into delicious steak dinners.

Read the original article on Tasting Table