Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Fried Steak with Southern Style Peppered Milk Gravy

Cube steaks, dredged in seasoned flour, fried in fat and bacon drippings and drizzled with a peppered milk gravy.

Chicken Fried Steak

It would be a rare Southerner who does not preserve and use their bacon drippings, and I'd venture a bet that most of us have a jar or grease pot somewhere in our kitchen or fridge. Bacon fat is great for adding flavor to many dishes anytime that you need just a bit of fat, so we Southern cooks save those drippings every time we have the opportunity to fry up a bit of bacon... which of course we try to do as often as possible. We will use some of those drippings here.

Chicken fried steak is definitely a mainstay of the South. It's really just a simple cube steak, dredged in seasoned flour, and topped with a milk gravy that is born out of a simple blond roux made with some kind of fat - butter, and very often, bacon fat - and pan drippings with a bit of flour.

Instead of using water or some type of stock as our gravy base, here we add in milk, or you can also use a combination of both water and milk, to form a creamy smooth gravy. If you start this off with a bit of browned bulk pork sausage and then finish off the gravy, you've got yourself a mighty fine sausage gravy for some homemade biscuits.

Now there are a couple of different ways to finish off these chicken fried steaks. Some folks like to return their steaks back into the gravy after they are browned, but to me that is a whole 'nother meal. I call that a country style steak or more commonly, simply cube steaks and gravy. Another method is to transfer the browned steaks to a baking dish, pour the gravy on top and bake it in the oven. Personally, I prefer that my chicken fried steak retain its crunch - so I don't dredge mine in the gravy. Instead, I just spoon some of the gravy over the center of each crispy steak. The perfect side for this dish is, of course, homemade mashed potatoes, but you can sure serve it up with some rice, beans or whatever sides you like. True, this one is not exactly for the calorie conscience or perpetual dieter, but certainly a warm and comforting, occasional meal.

Here's how to make it.

Get some oil going in a skillet - you'll want about a half cup, depending on the size skillet you're using, plus I like to add in some of that glorious bacon fat for flavor. While the oil is heating, set up a dipping station - just two bowls will do. In one of them put 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, and a few dashes of hot sauce. In the other, whisk together 2 cups of flour - I like to use self rising flour but you can substitute plain all purpose. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of seasoning salt, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Once you mix up the flour, scoop out 1/4 cup of the seasoned flour and set aside to use later for the gravy.


Sprinkle cube steaks with Cajun seasoning and use a meat mallet to pound that in. Try to pound the steaks very thin as they do tend to swell a bit as they cook. Season and pound on both sides. Cut the cube steaks into smaller serving sized pieces if you like.


Dredge the cube steaks in the seasoned flour.


Then dip them into the milk and egg wash.


Then back into the flour.


Set aside on a platter while the oil is heating.


Carefully slide the meat into the hot oil, immediately moving it around to make sure it does not stick.


Cook the cube steaks in batches - you don't want to overcrowd the skillet, so I usually do three steaks at a time. Cook over a medium to medium high heat until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side - how long will depend on the thickness of the steaks.


Place the cooked steaks on a rack and keep warm in the oven, or tent very loosely with foil.


For the gravy, you'll want about 1/4 cup of oil, so remove or add to the oil as needed. For extra richness, add a pat or two of butter. Sprinkle in the reserved 1/4 cup of seasoned flour.


Use a wooden spoon, scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and cook until mixture is blended in and a very light blond color.


Begin whisking in 1-1/2 cups of milk very quickly.


Until it is incorporated well.


Bring mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Adjust consistency as needed by adding more milk.


Season gravy with salt and pepper; taste and adjust.


Retrieve the steaks from the oven, place one or two on each plate and spoon a bit of the gravy across the center of the steak.


Recipe: Chicken Fried Steak with Southern Style Peppered Milk Gravy

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 6 cube steaks
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons of bacon fat
  • 2 cups of self rising flour, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of seasoning salt (like Lawry's)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce, optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter, along with pan drippings to equal 1/4 cup
  • Reserved 1/4 cup of seasoned flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups of milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions

Preheat oven to the lowest setting to hold cooked steaks. Place a rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside. Heat the oil and bacon fat in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium to medium high. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, seasoning salt, pepper and garlic powder; remove and set aside 1/4 cup of the seasoned flour mixture. In another bowl, beat the 1 cup of milk with the two eggs and hot sauce. Lightly sprinkle the cube steaks with the Cajun seasoning and pound the seasoning in. Cut into smaller serving pieces, if desired. Dredge the steaks first in the seasoned flour, shaking to remove the excess flour, then dip them into the egg wash, and back into the flour; set aside on a platter while oil is heating. Carefully slide the meat into the hot oil, immediately moving it around to make sure it does not stick. Cook the cube steaks in batches over a medium to medium high heat until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Place the cooked steaks on the prepared rack and keep warm in the oven.

For the gravy, add enough butter to the pan drippings to equal 1/4 cup of fat. Sprinkle in the reserved 1/4 cup of seasoned flour, and using a wooden spoon, cook and stir constantly, scraping up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until mixture is blended in and a very light blond color. Begin whisking in 1-1/2 cups of milk very quickly, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Adjust consistency as needed by adding more milk. Season gravy with salt and pepper; taste and adjust. Retrieve the steaks from the oven, place one or two on each plate and spoon a bit of the gravy across the center of the steak. Serve with mashed potatoes and southern green beans.

~Cook's Notes~

When you add the Cajun seasoning and pound the steaks, be sure to pound them thin as they do tend to swell up as they cook. I like to use self rising flour because it gives a crunchier crust, but you can substitute plain all purpose flour also. Don't be tempted to overcook the meat or it will be tough. Length of time will depend on how thick they are but generally no more than 4 to 5 minutes per side for even the thickest steaks is all that is needed. The cube steaks may also be cut into strips and breaded as steak fingers.

Variations: Bring gravy to a near boil, reduce heat to simmer and place steaks into the gravy, turning to coat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on medium low for 15 to 20 minutes, turning at least once. Can also finish in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the browned steaks into a casserole dish. Pour gravy on top, cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Can also add sauteed onion on top of the steaks before pouring on the gravy, if desired.

Shortcut: To make a quick gravy, after removing the steaks from the skillet, stir in one can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 soup can of water.

Click Here for Tips to Help the Coating Adhere and Not Fall Off

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.
Check These Recipes Out Too!

Chicken Fried Chicken
Creole Smothered Steak
Grillades and Grits
Steak Parmesan
Posted by on April 7, 2009

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.
.

Bookmark and Share

35 comments:

  1. MMMMM... Country fried steak is oh so good! Especially with some mashed tators and biscuits!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're talkin' my language there Kriste!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I will have to make this for Papa. He will go nuts!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is my hubby's ultimate comfort food, he would eat it everyday. That is if I would fix it for him! I don't because I don't want to overeat, HA!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hear ya! I always make myself exactly ONE otherwise, I'd eat oh, about THREE!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is what I always order at restaurants. . .but here I live in Utah and I'm sure we don't make it right. :) I'm getting some steaks in my co-op box next month and I've been thinking this recipe would be good for it. And then you post the recipe! You rock.

    And my fiber-one box came. I LOVE it!! The water bottle rocks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Nanette! I think you'll like it - enjoy!!

    Hey Krystal!! I thought it was a neat little package and hey, the coupons alone were worth entering for!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love it, and I do have my bacon grease in the frig!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. :) on the bacon grease!!!

    You can do it Joyce - just make sure that the roux is not too hot when you go to stir in the liquids. That's why I move it off the burner but it depends on what skillet you are using. I don't like using cast iron for roux (except for the oven roux) because it retains heat so well, that it can burn the roux quick. Also a heavy bottomed stainless skillet holds the heat really well too, so you just have to let the pan cool just a tad before trying to incorporate the liquids. And course you have to be quick on the draw with the whisk too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think self rising flour makes good gravy. Use all purpose and you won't have any problems.

      Delete
    2. Well.... I used self rising here because that's what I coat my steaks with & I think my gravy works out pretty good, so I'd have to disagree with that! The only difference is that there's a little leavening in there but it works fine.

      Delete
  10. talk to me about bacon grease mary, I live in utah, and keeping bacon grease is unheard of! I made your breakfast queasadilla this morning, and poured the grease from the bacon into a jar. Do I just keep adding to it, and keep it in the fridge?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yep Krystal - that's it! Just let it cool a little bit before adding it to the cold jar and remember to use it, that's all!! I don't know what the shelf life is for it but it will last a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh hey, I made some killer white gravy for these with cream of mushroom soup. I found this recipe on one of my foodie friends blog. It was awesome. The "jar" is a common thing lol

    ReplyDelete
  13. I HAVE GOT to try this.. My husband keeps bugging me to make it, this looks unbelievable!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh yum! I'm gonna have to try this--especially the gravy. My husband and I have tried to make homemade gravy and it's always missing something. We don't eat real bacon (we eat the turkey bacon) so I guess we'll try the canola oil. Thanks! Great blog, by the way!

    ~Shaye

    http://millermemoir.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. That looks so good. I only get chicken fried steak when we go to Lamberts Restaurant. Along with fried okra, fried hash brown taters, macaroni and tomato and mashed potatoes with gravy! My son and daughter just moved within 3 miles or so of a Lamberts. So maybe now I'll still getting it more often. I'd make it at home, but I don't do frying with fat and flour. Too much a family history of heart disease to make that a habit at home. Yours looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Man...I love chicken fried steak. I just want to rub the gravy all over myself and run around in circles.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Redkathy - you know that I love cream of mushroom LOL!

    Donna - it's really pretty easy. I hope you give it a try!

    Rocksee - thanks! It's good stuff for sure.

    Shaylynn - sounds like MY kinda place!!!

    WTM - LMAO!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Chicken fried steak with gravy is one of my favorites. Haven't had it in some time. Weight control you know. Boy is this tempting.:->

    ReplyDelete
  19. Auntie E - I sure know what you mean!! Every since I started this blog and tried getting all of my favorites up... well, let's just say that I'm not real friendly with my scale these days LOL! But ... for those of you not trying to build a recipe base for a blog, it's all about pacing yourself and keeping things balanced! This - as are most of our southern goodies - are best for one of those occasional treats!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I feel like Homer Simpson looking at those pictures.

    "Gaaaahhhhblahhgaaaa"

    I'm a southern gal and I LOVE chicken fried chicken and chicken fried steak. I love how Chili's serves it up with mashed potatos, Tx Toast and perfectly buttered and seasoned corn. I top it off with some sweet tea. Mmm.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Me too Mya ... that sounds like the making of a great meal to me!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Mary, I already planned to cook fried steak tonight, I may as well make the gravey and biscuits to go with it! Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Made these 2 nights ago. I love chicken fried steak and the country gravy over mashed spuds. The more pepper the better.
    I use buttermilk at times for the wet between dredging in flour.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Delicious! I've been making a similar recipe for years but never tired the Cajun seasoning on the steaks. Hubby and I loved it! I do make gravy in my cast iron pan, you just have to let it cool a few minutes before making the roux. Add additional milk or water if gravy gets too thick when using a cast iron pan (after cooking the steaks) because the gravy thickens up faster. This recipe is a keeper! I really appreciate the tips on how to keep the coating to adhere on fried meat. I always let them rest 10 minutes but longer is better. All the tips were helpful. And I found that self-rising flour really does work best. I always used all-purpose but I won't from now on when frying breaded meat. Thanks Mary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome - glad y'all enjoy the steaks! Cast iron is so good for that once you get used to using one - it really retains the heat and I do love frying foods with self rising flour. The AP works fine but is a softer crust so I like the texture from SR when frying.

      Delete
  25. I make this a lot, with a few changes, first I pound the steaks thin (this makes them very tender) second I use a crushed cracker coating which gives it some extra crunch! Takes a little extra time but is well worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just love a saltine coating on chicken - so good!

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog.

 
Related Posts with Thumbnails