Italian-style braised beef: not exactly an ideal meal for the deep heat of August, is it? But it is an ideal topping for the fresh fettucini remaining from my pasta-making efforts earlier this week. Red wine, carrots, crushed plum tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary yield a mellow, medium-thick sauce when braised with tenderized round steak for a little less than an hour.
Tenderized round steak, sometimes called as cube steak, is simply a piece of beef subjected to mechanical tenderization. The meat passes through a tenderizing or cubing blade, which makes cuts into the muscle fibers and connective tissue. Shorter fibers mean greatly reduced cooking times resulting in a softer-textured piece of meat. Frequently, tenderized round steak becomes chicken fried steak….a dish I can easily live without. (Who dreamed up the white cream gravy that accompanies chicken fried steak? Don’t these people understand that browner is better when it comes to food?)
I ordinarily don’t buy tenderized round steak, but several packages of it were included in my meat selection when I bought a grass-fed quarter-calf. So I decided to try it in an Italian-accented braise….
Italian-style brasato (braised) beef
- 6-8 individual serving sized pieces of tenderized beef round steak
- 2 T all purpose flour
- black pepper & salt
- 2 T olive oil, butter, or other fat
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, diced small
- 2 t fresh rosemary, chopped
- 14-ounce can of plum tomatoes, pureed in blender or food processor
- 1/2 bottle dry red wine
- additional salt and black pepper, to taste