Thursday, June 23, 2016

CHICKEN-FRIED STEAKS WITH COUNTRY GRAVY

All Southerners love Chicken-Fried Steak or Country Fried Steak (CFS). It is believed that it was created in Texas by Austrian and German immigrants in the mid 1800s. A common main course for the immigrants in their old country was Weiner Schnitzel (veal) or Schnitzel (pork). I imagine the gravy came later and then it was called CFS. Serve this with mashed potatoes and collard greens. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
Have your butcher tenderize your steaks, if they are not already tenderized. Butchers do a much better job than trying to do this at home.



4 pieces of butcher-tenderized cube steak or hip steak
¾ cup cornstarch
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk 
3 to 4 dashes of hot sauce (optional)

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup corn flour or finely ground corn meal
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t baking powder
2 t paprika
1 t sea salt
1 t finely ground black pepper

Peanut or grape seed oil, for frying    

Country Gravy
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 T pan drippings
2 T unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper

Pat steaks dry with paper towels. 
In a shallow bowl, add the cornstarch.
In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce.
In a third shallow bowl, add flour, corn flour, garlic powder, onion powder, baking powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Working with one steak at a time, coat each side with the cornstarch.
Shake off excess and dip in the egg mixture.
Next dredge in the seasoned flour mixture.
Transfer to a tray or baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining steaks.

Pour about 1 inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet.
Heat oil to about 375 degrees F or test oil with a wooden spoon to see if bubbles appear around the spoon. The moisture of the wooden spoon creates bubbles in hot oil.

Fry 2 steaks at a time for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while frying the remaining steaks.

Country Gravy
Spoon out about ¼ cup of the hot frying oil to a medium saucepan.
Over medium heat, add the flour and whisk constantly until mixtures turns a very light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the butter and slowly whisk in the milk.
Season with salt and finely ground black pepper.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Serves 2 to 4