I can’t remember the last time I made country fried steak for dinner. Heck, it’s been a long time since I’ve fried anything, the last frying adventure was when I made fried chicken thighs almost a year ago. -Running this site, makes it pretty easy to keep tabs on our lives. So don’t worry, recipes for fried food are a rare treat around here. I must add that last night’s country fried steak with onion gravy was a big hit. Besides, I balanced it out with oven roasted brussels sprouts,
I won’t lie, this recipe is more effort than I’m usually willing to make. It’s a Sunday afternoon or company dinner.
This combination was inspired by The Lee Bros Southern Cookbook; I love this book as a reference and use it often.
Country Fried Steak Recipe
Serves: 4 – 6ish 6 if some of the people are small, don’t count on it being enough for 6 adults.
- 2 lbs cubed steak or breakfast steak or bracciole
If you choose to use breakfast steak or bracciole, pound the steaks with a meat mallet to break up the muscle fibers
- 1 cup buttermilk (whole is best) divided
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsps salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- Peanut Oil
- paper towels… lots
About an hour before you want to start actually making dinner, pull the beef out of the refrigerator. Place the steaks in a shallow container and add 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Turn the steaks so they all get coated. Cover the container with a clean towel and go find something to do for an hour.
Heat 1/4″ of peanut oil in a heavy skillet. The goal temperature is 350°F. With this little oil, it’s really hard to get a temperature. Go with med-high on your stove, if the oil smokes, immediately turn it down a tiny bit. Carefully drip a TINY -a droplet, not even a drop- of water into the oil. If it sizzles, fabulous. If it pops and crackles, turn it down a little. If nothing happens, turn it up a bit. Got it?
If your oil is too hot, the outside will burn before the inside is cooked, if your oil is too cool, you’ll have very greasy food.
In a shallow bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and ground pepper. This is your frying dredge. If you want to play around with the seasonings, go ahead. Use a little more or less salt, add in a touch of garlic powder, whatever floats your boat. Just remember if you do reach for garlic salt to cut the amount of plain salt you use.
In another shallow bowl whisk together the egg and the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk. You can add a little additional fresh ground pepper to this, if you like.
Take the steaks out of the buttermilk and set on a clean plate with a few paper towels. You really don’t want them too drippy. Get rid of the marinating container. You need your counterspace.
Once the oil is at temperature, take a steak, dip it in the frying dredge and shake off the excess.
Now dip in the buttermilk & egg, let the excess drip, and then coat again with the flour mix. Shake off the excess and get that bad boy into the oil as fast as possible. Yes, it’s a pain. It’s worth it.
Fry for 2 – 3 minutes a side. Don’t overload your pan with too many steaks at one time, there isn’t much oil and you’ll drop the temp and everything will be extra greasy. Now, if you used cube steak, there’s going to be some blood issues. This is the nature of the beast. When beef hits medium, the blood oozes. It’s not pretty but it’s not actually a bad thing, either. I just give it a quick turn and cook the top side a few seconds later so I don’t have to look at it.
Remove the steak from the frying pan and drain on paper towels. You will need to use a few in this process.
Set aside and make the gravy. You can hold them in a 200°F oven, but mine’s usually cooking something during this process. Poor planning on my part? Possibly.
Onion Gravy Recipe
- 1 1/2 sweet onions, sliced thinly
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- salt to taste
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and sweet onions, cook stirring often until the onions are very soft. If the edges are crisping, the heat is too high.
While the onions are cooking stir the flour and chicken stock together. It’s very important to make sure there are no lumps, biting into a flour lump is kind of gross. When the onions are very soft, stir in the flour / stock mixture and the milk. Continue to cook over medium-low until it just begins to simmer and then turn it down to low. Cook until the gravy is the desired consistency.
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This recipe has been shared on Mouthwatering Monday.