Monday, October 11, 2010

Country Fried Steak from Pioneer Woman

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook. I thought it looked like the ideal comfort food and have been anxious to try it. I saw cube steak (round steak that has been tenderized) at the store and immediately thought of this meal.

I need more practive with making the gravy though. Mine turned out thick even though I was adding milk. I think I rushed the process and my heat was too high and I didn't whisk long enough - just a warning for when you try it!

Adam said this is one of his top 10 favorite things I've made for him!

3 pounds cube steak
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk, plus 2 cups for the gravy
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/3 cup for the gravy
2 teaspoons seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil for frying

Begin with an assembly line of 4 deep plates
1. with the steak
2. with the eggs and 1 cup milk - beat with a fork to combine
3. with 3 cups flour, seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne and black pepper - stir gently
4. an empty plate for the breaded steaks

Lightly season a piece of meat with salt and pepper, then dip it into the egg-milk mixture. Flip to the other side to coat. Next, place the meat on the plate of the seasoned flour. Turn over to coat thoroughly. Now place the meat back in the egg-milk mixture, turning to coat. And finally dredge in flour one more time. Place the breaded meat on the emply plate until ready to fry. Repeat with all steaks.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is sufficiently heated (drop a few sprinkles of flour in the skillet - it's ready if it sizzles), fry 3 pieces of meat at a time. Cook one side until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes until the other side is golden. Don't over cook or the meat will be tough.

Remove to paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all meat is cooked.

To make the gravy, pour off all the grease into a heat-proof bowl.

Without cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup grease back to the pan. Allow the grease to heat up.

Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix the flour, creating a golden brown paste. This is known as a roux, and you want the roux to attain a deep rich color. If the pastes seems more oily than pasty, sprinkle in another tablespoon of flour. Whisk again and check the consistency.

After a couple of minutes, the paste will start to turn golden brown, then, whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups of milk. Whisk to combine then let the gravy come to a slow boil.

The gravy will thicken gradually, but if it seems to thick at first add splashes of milk as needed, whisking to combine.

The total cooking time should take 5 to 10 minutes. Then generously season with salt and pepper.

Serve steak with mashed potatoes and cover all in gravy!

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