Minute steak?

I ended up with about 2lb of grass fed "minute steak" in the freezer. It's time to use it up, and I'm a little daunted. The label just says "minute steak", no further info. I'm thinking steak tacos; summer is nearly in full swing and it's too hot for any kind of heavy sauce or gravy preparation. But any advice on cooking technique, timing, tips, recipes, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks!



curious May 28, 2012
Thanks all for the great answers, as always. They're still defrosting so I'll cook them tomorrow night. (I marked as urgent because I was shopping this morning; hope that wasn't an abuse of the urgent tag!) We don't have a grill--or yard for one, sadly--so I'll get the cast iron skillet as hot as I can and hope for the best. Will report back for sure.
bugbitten May 28, 2012
Hmmm. Getting them apart may be the biggest challenge. I think you can do them hot on the iron skillet, but you'll have to be careful of them curling up, and also of any smoke detectors. Whatever you do, I think we all agree that you should keep it to a real one minute.
ChefOno May 28, 2012

Hey, no worries. There are many ways of approaching the flavoring issue. Lime before and lime after are both common in Mexico, as are fancier preparations. You do need to be careful though with such high heat and spices that burn.

My worst experience with a similar cut (flank) involved attempting to follow one of Alton Brown's crazy techniques. He called for setting the steak directly on the coals for the quickest possible sear. It wasn't until I was chewing on and subsequently spitting out numerous crunchy black bits that it dawned on me I should have used lump charcoal and I'd grabbed the briquettes without thinking.

bugbitten May 28, 2012
ChefOno, The "sooty vs. smokey" thing seems to come up more and more now, and that's surely a good thing.
ChefOno May 28, 2012

Sorry, I'm not following. Can you explain?
bugbitten May 28, 2012
I think one reason I'm often put off by smoked foods is that they're allowed to smoke too long, to where they take on a soot taste, and I think this is finally, only now, getting addressed. Best
bugbitten May 28, 2012
I think the taco idea is a good one, especially if you have the enchiladas, lime, cilantro, etc. I think usuba dashi is correct in that it is certainly from the round. That means no marbling, and very little flavor. It might benefit from a marinade without any acid, like soy, oil, and some cumin and chili powder. You could, if you're grilling, build up an extremely hot surface where you can basically set the steaks on fire for a minute. That would give you some char, at least.

I'm thinking that at 1/4 inch thickness, you have two or three square feet of product, so you will have to work in batches. That might afford the opportunity to do something like "minute steak six ways."

Please write tomorrow and let everyone know how you made out. Happy holiday!
bugbitten May 28, 2012
Hi, again. ChefOno's post was not yet up when I replied with mine, so I didn't mean to be contrary in any way. Short story: Years ago I might have tried heating a can of chills in adobo in a skillet and adding the sliced steak. I've repressed the memory of the result, but I'm sure it was something like the texture of little toy truck tires. So, please don't do that.

I think the only truth in advertising here is the word "minute," so burn 'em good, and I'd save the lime juice for the finish and surround "the hero" with lots of caramelized onion and everything else you have on hand. Oil and char the enchiladas on the grill and it's a happy holiday.
ChefOno May 28, 2012

Funny, my first thought was tacos as well.

The key is high heat -- *very* high heat and quick cooking to sear the outside without overcooking the inside. Kiawe (mesquite) lump charcoal is best, briquettes second best, everything else a distant second. Timing will depend on the heat source but figure 1 minute per side. They don't call 'em minute steaks for nothing. (But of course let them rest a few minutes before slicing.)

Cut the steaks with the grain into strips about 3-inches wide, squeeze on a little lime juice, salt and pepper 10 min. before grilling.

You can build the entire meal around the grill -- onions, corn, peppers, pineapples…

And it's an excellent opportunity to practice your corn tortilla making skills!


usuba D. May 28, 2012
If it is real minute steak, then it should have been run through a macerator that has scored the thin steak with lots of little cuts that break down the tough fibers of a more tough muscle section of the beef, generally from the rounds. This was very popular in the 50's thru 70's when there where still locker plants that custom cut local farmers animals and stored them in freezers if you did not have a home freezer. Their name says it all . . . it cooks in a minute, sometimes served in a roll with cheese, onions, etc. Almost in the same vein as Philly cheese steaks.
bigpan May 28, 2012
Minute steaks are usually a thin cut so forget medium rare, but you can slice into strips and use in a taco, a salad topping, a stir fry, chop for a hamburger soup, grind for a steak tartar, etc.
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