Cube Steak with Gravy

Cube steak (or minute steak) is partly a cut of beef but is also identified by how it has been tenderized. It begins as Top Round or Top Sirloin, both of which are rather tough cuts of steak. It is tenderized by pounding the bejeebers our of it with metal prongs. You can buy cube steak at the market or purchase the aforementioned cuts of beef and tenderize it at home. Some will use a maillot but I personally don’t think it does the job right. A blade tenderizer is a single use device but definitely worth buying if you want to make your own cube steak at home.

Just one of several versions available to purchase
Just one of several versions available to purchase

INGREDIENTS

2-4 pieces if Cube Steak

1 Medium onion

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

Milk

Salt

Black Pepper

2 tsp Garlic Powder

Oil

While your frying pan is heating, season your steak. This is one time I feel the meat really, really needs salt. Also season with black pepper. Sauté the onions until soft and lightly brown. Add the steaks and brown on both sides. Push everything to the side and add the soup. Fill the soup can with milk and combine in the pan to deglaze and form a gravy. Add the garlic powder. Spread the steaks even in the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.

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i prefer to make this dish in my electric skillet as it cooks evenly and I don’t have to keep coming back to stir. Depending on your pan and burner, check occasionally to make sure the gravy isn’t sticking. Check the steak to ensure it is as tender as you prefer. The thicker the cube steak, the longer this will take.

if you really like mushrooms, sauté some with the onions.

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My family loves this best with mashed potatoes. Tonight I served with home canned carrots for a little color. A tough bit of steak is so tender I can cut it with a fork.

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Italian Green Beens home canned

There are certain vegetables I think taste better canned than frozen, and green beans is one of them. There are so many ways to add flavor in the canning process that making small batches works perfectly. There are two ways to can green beans, raw or hot pack. Raw pack means the beans go into the jar raw and are then processed. Hot pack has you boiling the beans for 5 minutes and then packing into the jar. Hot packed beans allow you to get slightly more in the jar and since they are already cooked you won’t increase your head space. The batch of beans I made over the weekend was done raw pack, but when I do more this coming weekend I will do them hot packed so you can see th difference.

Ingredients for quart jars
Green Beans
1 tsp Canning Salt
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 c Sliced Onions
Hot Water

Canning beans requires that they be as fresh as possible. While there are many foods that can sit around for a while, beans go limp quickly. I really prefer to can them within 48 hours of being picked.to preprint the beans, give the kids a bag and a bowl. Yes,this is a project I make them do because it is easy and they can do it while watching NCiS on Netflix. Snap off both ends of the bean, just the very tips. Sometimes the sting down the middle will start to peel off and I just finish the task, but don’t work about it if it doesn’t start when strapping the ends.

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Canning salt is always used because it doesn’t have the additives that your Mortins salt will have. These can add flavors you don’t like and will cause the water to become cloudy. Keep I mind that salt is not required, but the amount is significantly less than you will find in store-bought canned beans. It is added because when cooking with salt, it amplifies the flavor of the foods being cooked.

This is for quart sized jars, but can easily be adjusted for pints. I like quarts because while we won’t eat a whole jar in one meal, the leftovers will be eaten a few days later. So why not do pints? I can can twice as much intense same time and use half as many jars to store.

While you can place the garlic cloves whole, I prefer to smoosh them a little first. This releases the oils and infusing the beans with more flavor.

In each jar place all the ingredients and top with green beans. Or, you can put the onions on top as I did in a few jars, you just need to save room. Everything will get mixed as they work in the pressure canner. Heck, half it it gets mixed up as you work out the air.

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Be sure to remove all air bubbles. This is much harder with raw means than ones that have been cooked. You literally have to jam your utensil down to find air pockets. If you don’t remove all the air when you are done processing you could be stuck with jars that only have liquid covering half your beans. Leave one inch of head space, wipe the rims and place in the pressure canner. Process pints 20 minutes and quarts for 25.

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To figure out how many beans you should out up, think of a pint as one can of beans from the store. Approximately 10 pounds of green beans will make 5 quarts. When opening the jar make sure the lid is still indented and fully sealed. Be sure to bring the beans to a boil before eating and enjoy!

Cherry Lemonade

Gee whiz, it must be cherry season, right? I know, another cherry recipe, but I may as well share it now so you can use it, right? If you have made the Strawberry Lemonade this is very similar.

INGREDIENTS

8 cups Cherry Juice

4 cups Sugar

8 Cups Lemon Juice

While you can buy the cherry juice, I got it from fresh cherries using my juice steamer. You can also use an electric juice but you need to remove the pits first. My steamer lets me to throw it all in at once.

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Mix all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until all the sugar has dissolved. Pour into jars leaving 1/4 inch head space and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

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To mix, add 1 quart if concentrate to 1.5 quarts if water, I know this is more than the strawberry lemonade and we even used less sugar, but the cherries are sweeter, hence the change,

See, easy peasy! You can freeze the concentrate as well if that works better for you. Just leave two inches for expansion in Your jars. Now enjoy a taste of Summer all year long.

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