What Is Beef Wafer Steak?

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Wafer steaks are lean with very little fat marbling.
Wafer steaks are lean with very little fat marbling. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Beef wafer steaks, also called breakfast steaks, sandwich steaks or minute steaks, are thinly sliced from tougher cuts of meats. Thinly slicing the steaks to 1/4 inch thick or less minimizes the chewy texture, allowing their full-bodied flavor to shine. Serve them lightly seasoned or with a pan sauce or gravy. These quick-cooking steaks are versatile enough to make a slash at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Cuts of Beef Used

Beef wafer steak is most often cut from round steak, chuck steak, rump steak or even sirloin, but almost any boneless cut can be used. Pounding is sometimes recommended to further thin the steak and tenderize the meat. Beef wafer steak also refers to meat that is frozen and shaved into thin slices.

Nutrition of Beef Wafer Steaks

Beef wafer steak has all the nutrition of a good beef steak, including niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, Phosphorus, zinc and selenium. A 3-ounce serving of beef wafer steak cut from round steak provides 190 calories, 29 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat and 84 mg of cholesterol. It is lower in fat than many beef steaks because the beef is trimmed of all external fat.

Cooking Wafer Steaks

These steaks are best cooked quickly over medium-high heat or braised slowly in an acidic sauce such as tomatoes or wine. Pan fry them a small amount of oil for 1 to 3 minutes per side, longer for thicker steaks. To braise these steaks in wine, season them with onion, thyme, garlic powder and parsley. Sear them quickly on both sides, then cover them in equal parts beef consomme and red wine. Lower the heat and simmer for an hour or until the steaks are tender. Follow the same procedure for Swiss steak, substituting diced tomatoes or tomato sauce for the wine.

Classic Uses of Beef Wafer Steaks

Because these thin steaks cook so quickly, they are often served as part of a hearty breakfast. Sliced into strips they are perfect for stir-fries, beef stroganoff and pepper steak recipes. The wafer thin slices are often grilled for sandwiches such as Philly cheese steak or steak sandwiches. Batter them for use in country-fried steak recipes or braise them slowly in tomato gravy for a Swiss steak.

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