Country Fried Steak

Heather says:

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

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.


  1. @JayMonster on March 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

    This seems like a half-breed recipe. I always understood that "Country Fried" was done with Bacon Fat and that Chicken Fried was done using more oil (like deep fry) but without the Bacon Fat. Here you seem to use the Country Fried method of less oil, but without the bacon fat for flavor.

    IIIIInteresting. I like it.

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  2. @Nikki_S on March 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Do you know if there is any way to use lean ground beef in lew of the cubed steak? We butcher our own beef so I obvviously have a LOT of ground beef to use and it's very lean. Virtually no fat/grease when frying up. I'd love to try this!
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  3. rachel on March 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

    We love chicken fried steaks! Always cube steaks and ALWAYS buttermilk 😉
    nom nom nom

  4. Dan on March 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Great! I'll definitely try it next time when I'll do some fried chicken.
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  5. Dan on March 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I must try this onion gravy recipe.Looks delicious! I was wondering if it taste good on chicken? I'm not a big fan of beef or pork.
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    • HeatherSolos on March 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Dan, this gravy would be fantastic on chicken, baked or fried. I believe it would complement a wide range of flavors.

  6. Alice Dick on March 5, 2011 at 9:53 am

    :sigh: my mother used to make chicken fried steak when I was a kid. Oh, nostalgia! I'll have to see if I can get her recipe – though I love the onion gravy idea. I think the steak needs something more savory than the cream gravy that usually goes with it.

    • HeatherSolos on March 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

      As a once in a while food, it's amazing. Thankfully I'm not willing to put that kind of effort into dinner often.:)

  7. Eugene Mah on March 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

    by cubed, i assume you mean that tenderizing method and not actually cutting the steak into cubes?
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    • HeatherSolos on March 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

      Yes. I think most of the time cube steaks are round steak that have been run through the cubing process, but I need to double check to make sure I am remembering correctly.

      For those that don't know, cubing breaks up the muscle tissue rendering the steak more tender. If it weren't for the tenderizing process, this cut of meat would only be good for slow, low heat cooking methods like braising.

  8. Linda on March 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    i was cool until i saw the brussel sprouts hiding in the back. Take them off the plate and i'll be right over!! 🙂

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