Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chicken-Fried Steak

This is one of Chris's favorite meals that I rarely make. Frying is such a chore to me but this is a great splurge to have every once in a while. I'm honestly still trying to perfect my CFS too. This one was good but the meat wasn't tender enough for me. The best one I ever made was using some venison backstrap. I soaked the venison in buttermilk for a day before I made it so I'd suggest trying that with beef too - it may have helped with the tenderness factor. I also like to do the tenderizing myself with CFS. You can buy those cubed steaks at the store that are already tenderized but I've had better luck with my tenderizing torture device. If you have any tips for me, please do share in the comments. Oh, and this recipe is based on Alton Brown's.

Time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time (if you can spare it)
Serves: 2

  • 1 pound of beef bottom round steak
  • small container of buttermilk (you can easily use lowfat)
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable or canola oil (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cups of milk (can use lowfat here too)
  • fresh parsley or thyme (optional - for the gravy)
  • 1 tsp each of kosher salt and black pepper
  1. Trim the excess fat off your meat and tenderize it using the meat torture device or a tenderizing mallet. While tenderizing, you want to flatten the meat out to about 1/4 of an inch.
  2. If you have time, soak the tenderized meat in buttermilk for 30 minutes or even overnight.
  3. When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven or toaster oven to 250°. This is to keep the CFS warm while you cook the others.
  4. Put your 1/2 cup of flour on one plate and crack and beat your eggs into a separate, shallow pan.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with foil or wax paper and set aside.
  6. Remove your beef from the buttermilk and pat it dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  7. Dredge each piece of beef in the flour, meaning coat it on both sides, shaking off the excess.
  8. Transfer your floured meat to the eggs and coat in the eggs, letting the excess drip off.
  9. Now put the meat back through the flour and place each piece on your foil or wax-paper lined baking sheet. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  1. While your meat is resting, heat about 1/4 inch of vegetable or canola oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes.
  2. When your oil is hot, add a few of your CFS pieces and set a timer for 4 minutes. You don't want to crowd the pan and will need to do 2 batches to cook all of the meat. While it cooks, you'll see red juices come up onto the surface of the meat. This might look a bit gross but it is normal.
  3. After 4 minutes, use tongs or a spatula to gently flip over your CFS. Be careful to flip the meat away from you so you don't splatter oil on yourself. Set a timer for 4 more minutes, then line a second baking sheet with foil and lay a cooling rack on top of it.
  4. After 4 more minutes, remove your CFS to your cooling rack on top of your baking sheet and place in the warm oven to keep warm while you start the next batch.
  5. Cook the next batch for 4 minutes per side and then add it to your baking sheet in the warm oven.
  6. If you're using a cast-iron skillet, it probably has gotten really hot so I typically turn the burner off at this point. Either way, you'll want to turn the heat down a bit to make your gravy.
  7. Pour off all but about 1 TBSP of your excess oil from your skillet.
  8. Add about 3 TBSP of flour from your dredging plate and whisk it into the oil. LEt the flour cook for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add your 2 cups of milk to the flour and oil and let it come to a bubble, whisking it the whole time.
  10. Let the gravy simmer for a few minutes until it is thick, then taste for salt and pepper and season it to your liking. Add your chopped herbs here too if you have some.
  11. Serve CFS topped with gravy and enjoy!

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