After browsing through the meat department at your local supermarket, you probably think “cheap steak” is an oxymoron. But, by “cheap steak” I just mean steak that’s just less expensive than the tasty prime cuts of beef. Being a steak and potatoes type of family as well as frugal means that we’ve had a lot of experience with cheap steak.
Unfortunately, cheap steak has a tendency to be not so flavorful and a bit tough. The good news is that there are several different ways to make tender steak from cheap steak!
One ingenious way to make cheap stake tender and flavorful is to cover it liberally with large grain kosher salt or sea salt. Leave the salt sit on the meat for an hour er inch of thickness, then rinse the excess salt off and dry it well with paper towels. It may sound like too much salt, but you’re rinsing off the majority of the salt and the meat is actually seasoned quite well with this method.
Red wine goes well with steak, including cheap steak. The acid and tannins in red wine helps break down the fibers of the meat, resulting in steak that’s so much more tender! Just leave the steaks marinate in wine for a few hours before cooking it.
Tannins and acid in beer also work to tenderize cheap steak. Lat the steaks marinate in beer for an hour or more before cooking.
Like wine, tea contains tannins that break down the fibers of the meat. Marinate cheap steak in cold strong black tea and pat it dry before cooking.
Steak and coffee? Oh yeah! Marinating cheap steak in coffee can also tenderize them. Prepare it and use it in the same way you would a tea marinade.
Tea, coffee, cola? You’d think the caffeine would be the tenderizer, but nope! It’s the acid in regular cola that tenderizes cheap steak. Just be sure to use regular cola and not diet.
Calcium in milk and buttermilk activates enzymes that break down proteins in the meat, which makes them more tender. You can also use yogurt as a tenderizer for cheap steaks.
#8. Slow Cooking
Cheap steaks can benefit from being cooked low and slow. Braising steaks in a slow cooker makes them melt in your mouth tender. Add a little soup, water, or broth to the slow cooker to aid in the cooking process and gives you some tasty gravy in the end.