March 20, 2012
I know, I know. It's been pretty warm for chicken fried steak, but it is good followed with a nap — plus, my boyfriend totally digs it. If he's happy, I'm happy, especially with a healthy helping of homemade cheddar mashed potatoes. Keep in mind: I didn't have a Southern maw maw to teach me this recipe, so I found online. I think my end result turned out finer than a frog's hair.
Ingredients Chicken fried steak:
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons season salt
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 lbs. cube steak
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- Salt and pepper
1) Start your mashed potatoes and keep them warm until needed.
2) Then, tenderize your already tenderized meat. As my friend and co-worker Heather Parker said, her grandmother used to "beat it until the meat was about to fall apart." I took that lesson and went to town with plastic wrap and a meat mallet. It made for very, very large steaks, which is OK in my book.
3) Time to set up an assembly line. One shallow plate should hold the whisked eggs and milk. Another plate should be for the flour, seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne and 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
4) Cover meat in egg mixture, transfer to flour mixture and cover completely. Dust off extra flour and reserve on clean plate.
5) Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When heated, cook steaks for about 5 minutes each side (but if smaller pieces, they could brown fast equaling a fast cook time). When cooked, take out steaks and place on a plate with paper towels. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Tip: Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure the oil is sufficiently hot. When the butter sizzles immediately, you know it's ready. (It should not brown right away, if it does, the fire is too hot and TURN IT DOWN.)
6) When finished, pour hot grease into heat proof bowl. Without cleaning your skillet, place back on stove and heat to medium-low. Add 1/4 cup grease back in the pan to warm through, which shouldn't take long at all.
7) With hot grease, sprinkle in flour and begin whisking into a roux - a golden, brown paste, which helps thicken up your sauce. If too greasy, add more flour. Too dry? Add a little more grease.
Warning: Be careful. This oil/butter mixture is extremely hot and burns on contact. Trust me. I know. I have the second-degree burn on my hand to prove it. I was whisking my roux when a ginormous splatter landed on my hand and the rest ... well ... I'm sure you can imagine the results.
8) Pour in milk, whisking constantly. Add seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Continue whisking for about 10 minutes until the gravy begins to thicken into something beautiful. If it's too thick, add a little more milk, but make sure to taste the sauce. If there's no flavor, there's nothing good going to come from it.
9) Plate with mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice, then dig in.
How were you taught to make this Southern staple?