One of our favorite dishes involves tenderized steak. Before we took on the Whole30 challenge, we typically cut these tenderized steaks into strips, coated them in flour, and tossed them in the skillet with.... margarine (because butter burns at such a high heat).
Now, our new approach is just as tasty and much healthier.
You can buy thin cut tenderized steak at your local grocery store. They look like this and are often called "cube steak".
So, here's what you do.
Get enough cubed steak for your family. One steak per person should work, but it never hurts to have some extra. Put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil into a large skillet and turn heat to just a touch over medium.
Now, lay out the steaks so you can season them. Salt, pepper, garlic power, onion powder. Pat it in. Or, if you don't like touching the meat, don't pat it in. Whatever. Just season them well. Be generous with the onion and garlic powder. The steaks should look off-white because of how much you put on them. Season both sides. Be careful with the salt, and DO NOT use garlic salt because you will surely over-salt the steaks and that would be sad. In my opinion, you can't over garlic/onion them. Ha!
Now place them in the pan. You probably won't be able to fit them all in the skillet unless you have a really small family (which, we don't), so you might have to do several batches. Let them sizzle for a few minutes until they are crispy brown on that side. You may need to turn the heat down a little bit if the pan starts smoking. Just keep an eye on it. When the underside is browned and crispy (not just slightly brown, but crispy and delicious looking), flip them over and start cooking the other side. There's no specific timing on this because some cubed steaks are thicker than others. It's not terribly difficult to tell when they are done. They will be crispy. They will look delicious. You will just know. (And they actually taste good even when slightly burnt.) When both sides are done, remove and set on a plate. Cover the plate so they stay warm. Now you're going to toss some veggies in the pan, so do not turn the heat off!
First you need to deglaze the pan because there's all that yumminess stuck to the pan. So take about a half cup of water and pour it in the pan. Watch it steam and sizzle as you stir it around, picking up all those delicious bits of goodness from the bottom of the skillet.
Now toss in some veggies. Maybe you have a bag of frozen green beans*. Or maybe you sliced up some mushrooms, bellpeppers, and onions to toss in (do this while the steaks are sizzling away on the stovetop). Maybe you want to toss in some fresh spinach or cabbage. Whatever. It's your meal. You do what you want to. Toss in the vegetables you want to use, season them with a little salt and whatever else you want, and stir it around. Now you can put the steaks back in after the veggies are sufficiently cooked and you don't have a ton of dishes to wash.
*Note- peas, green beans, and sugar snap peas are allowed on the Whole30 even though they are legumes. Many Paleo folks still consume these things because they are easier to digest than other legumes. It's up to you whether you want to continue eating them or not.
So, for those of you who need an ingredient list, here you go:
- cubed steak (enough for your whole family)
- coconut oil (We have used bacon grease too. Sometimes we will cook a bunch of bacon in the skillet first, and then set aside for another meal, or to toss in with green beans later.)
- salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder (or Tony Chachere's!)
- vegetable of your choice