This chicken fried steak — also known in some areas as country fried steak — is breaded, fried, and then served with a creamy milk gravy.
Top round steak is pounded to tenderize and then it's dipped in buttermilk and breaded with flour. These steaks are delicious with eggs, hash browns, and biscuits in the morning or with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables in the evening.
The dish is popular in the Southern states, and it is fried like Southern fried chicken. The dish is also similar to the German dish wiener schnitzel, which is made with tenderized veal.
- 1 pound steak (top round, about 1/2 inch thick, cut into 4 equal portions)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or shortening for frying; more or less as needed)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
- Optional: 1 dash cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Heat the oven to 200 F or the "keep warm" setting.
Using the pointed side of a meat mallet, pound the steaks to tenderize them, then use the flat side of the mallet to pound them to about 1/4-inch thick.
Pour the shortening or vegetable oil into a deep, heavy skillet to depth of about 1/2-inch to 1-inch. Heat the oil to 370 F.
In a shallow bowl, mix the buttermilk and hot pepper sauce.
In another shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and mix well.
Dip each steak in the buttermilk, then the flour mixture.
Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and set aside.
Two at a time, deep fry the steaks, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the steaks paper towels to drain and then place on a rack in a baking pan. Put them in the preheated 200 F oven while you prepare the gravy.
Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet.
With skillet over low heat, whisk in reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons flour mixture. Stir until smooth and bubbly, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to cook the flour. Whisk in the milk and ground cayenne, if using. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the steak with the gravy.
Tips and Variations
- Replace the round steak with tenderized cube steaks.
- For a richer coating, whisk an egg into the buttermilk mixture before dipping the steaks.
- When making the gravy, replace half of the milk with chicken broth.
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