One of my top five comfort food meals is cubed steak with gravy. Cube steak (or bucket steak) is top sirloin or top round steak, which your butcher tenderizes by using a mechanical tenderizer that leaves small indentations in the meat. The process is called “cubing.”

If you can’t find this particular cut in your supermarket, you can accomplish the same result by using a textured mallet at home. By using a less expensive cut of meat and tenderizing, this is an economical way to enjoy beef.

A cast iron skillet is highly recommended, but not required. I believe a cast iron skillet is an essential part of any kitchen, however.

Cubed Beef Steak with Gravy

• 1 to 1 1/ 2 lbs. cubed beef steak

• 1 cup self-rising flour

• 1/ 2 teaspoon salt

• 1 /2 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 /4 teaspoon onion powder

• 1 /4 teaspoon granulated garlic

• Vegetable oil

• 2 1 /2 cups beef broth

In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add oil to a depth of about 1/ 2 inch. Place flour and seasonings together in a shallow plate and stir to combine. Coat both sides of the steak in the seasoned flour. As you flour each piece, place on a wire rack until time to cook.

Slowly add a few pieces of the steak into the oil and reduce heat to medium. Cook in batches and don’t crowd the skillet. Let steak brown for about 2 minutes, and carefully turn and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Remove to a plate and continue frying the steak. Reserve flour to make the gravy.

Lower heat to medium-low, and pour out all but a tablespoon or so of the oil. Add remaining flour to the oil and, constantly stirring, cook for a minute or two until the flour has browned. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. There’s a ton of flavor in those browned bits (which officially is called fond). Slowly pour in beef broth and continue stirring while gravy thickens.

Reduce heat to low and carefully add the cubed steak back into the gravy until ready to serve.

Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

What better base for this delicious cubed steak other than mashed potatoes? When making mashed potatoes, I always allow one potato per diner and then one extra potato. This recipe will generally feed four adults, or two adults and two children — or one teenaged boy. I know this as fact because I raised one.

• 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

• 4 tablespoons butter

• 2 to 3 tablespoons warmed milk

In a medium saucepan, add potatoes and water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and lower heat slightly. Let potatoes cook until tender.

Drain potatoes and put back into the saucepan. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes. I like to leave a few lumps to prove to everyone that I’m not using instant!

Add butter and milk, and stir until combined with the potatoes. Taste and add salt to your liking. Add additional cream or butter if potatoes are dry.

Muffin Tin Biscuits

These are delicious buttermilk biscuits to serve alongside the steak and gravy. If you’re intimidated by baking biscuits, give these a try.

• 1 stick of butter, softened

• 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour

• Dash of salt

• 1 cup buttermilk (may need up to a 1/4 cup more for correct consistency)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, cut butter into flour and salt until crumbly. Slowly add buttermilk. Stir to combine. Lightly grease muffin tins and divide the dough evenly in the sections. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

— Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years.You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.