[Update below! The first steak’s results have been superseded by the second, and it’s not good.]
I feel like maybe “post-mortem” is the wrong phrase, but I’ve used it so much for cooking experiments I’m gonna stick with it out of consistency until I come up with something better.
My delicious cube steak sandwich came off without a hitch today, so it’s time to evaluate the result of soaking the steak in milk overnight, then rinsing it off and doing a marinade for a little over an hour and a half in teriyaki sauce. (It would have been only a little over an hour, but as it turned out my Wegmans run was thwarted when my regular Wegmans didn’t have 8 oz. packages of mushrooms, only 16, due to some stocking snafu. I had to go to the other Wegmans instead, which has a better produce section and also a better bakery.)
Overall, I’m pleased with how the milk acted on the steak but I feel it could have gone for longer. Maybe a full-day soak would have been appropriate, or possibly the addition of a small amount of lemon juice to mimic a buttermilk soak and up the acidity. I still got a few spots of difficult connective tissue, but I think they were fewer and less pronounced. The steak was definitely a little more tender overall, and I think it took the marinade a little better.
Everything else of course was great as usual. It’s hard to screw up the mushrooms and I’m in such a routine baking bacon that that was straightforward as well.
Briefly last night, I toyed with the idea of doing a fried egg on top of the sandwich. But I think that would be overkill and make the whole thing messier. I do however deeply appreciate a fried egg on a burger, so it’s probably not the last time I’ll toy with the idea. Also, just throwing this out there, I have another cube steak in the freezer because Wegmans sells them two to a package, so the time to experiment with that, and a longer milk soak, might be very soon.
My tooth cap stayed in place, but I avoided chewing on that side very much.
Update: I spoke too soon, because I had my second cube steak from the same package today. It went into milk for longer, and was full of tough connective tissue. What I did differently was just pour milk into the freezer bag the steak was already in, but I felt that was about equivalent to what was in the bowl for the first steak. (Was I wrong? Even if so I have a really hard time believing it’d be enough less milk to make a difference.) The steak was still frozen; I let it thaw in the milk in the fridge, and they stayed there for 24 hours. So it probably had a good 18-hour soak or more once it thawed out. End result: had to do a lot of cutting with my incisors. Also it took a little longer to cook, maybe for the same reason.
So, the milk thing didn’t work that well after all. Crap. Now what?