If you’re looking for a hearty and satisfying dish that oozes comfort and flavor, then Country Fried Steak and Gravy should be at the top of your list. This classic Southern dish, loved by many, combines tender cube steaks with a crispy, golden-brown coating, topped with rich and creamy gravy. Whether you’re preparing a family dinner or hosting a special gathering, this recipe is sure to please even the most discerning palates.
The Perfect Country Fried Steak – A Step-by-Step Guide
- 8 oz cube steak (4 steaks, 8 oz/225 g each)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for added heat)
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup whole milk
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Step 1: Preparing the Steak
To get started, take your cube steaks and pat them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with kosher salt and black pepper, ensuring they are evenly seasoned. Allow the steaks to sit for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
Step 2: Creating the Coating
In a shallow dish, combine the all-purpose flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly to ensure a well-balanced seasoning. This seasoned flour will be the delicious coating for our country fried steak.
Step 3: Whisking the Wet Mixture
In a separate bowl, whisk together the large egg, buttermilk, and whole milk. The combination of buttermilk and whole milk provides a perfect balance of tanginess and creaminess to the dish, ensuring each bite is a delightful experience.
Step 4: Dredging the Steaks
Now comes the fun part! Dip each seasoned cube steak into the wet mixture, making sure it’s fully coated. Allow any excess liquid to drip off before transferring the steak to the seasoned flour. Gently press the steak into the flour, ensuring an even coating on all sides. Repeat this process for all the cube steaks.
Step 5: Double Dipping (Optional)
For an extra crispy coating, you can repeat the process of dipping the steak into the wet mixture and then into the seasoned flour. This double-dipping technique adds an extra layer of crunchiness to the final dish.
Step 6: Frying to Perfection
In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the breaded cube steaks into the hot oil, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the steaks for about 3-4 minutes per side or until they achieve a beautiful golden-brown color. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and the heat of the oil.
Step 7: Drain and Rest
Once the steaks are done frying, carefully remove them from the skillet and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. This helps drain any excess oil, keeping the dish light and delicious. Allow the steaks to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Rich and Creamy Gravy – The Perfect Accompaniment
No Country Fried Steak is complete without a luscious gravy to drizzle over the top. The creamy gravy adds a depth of flavor that elevates the dish to new heights. Follow these simple steps to create the perfect gravy:
- 3 tablespoons pan drippings (from frying the steaks)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- ½ cup whole milk
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Step 1: Making the Roux
After frying the steaks, there will be flavorful pan drippings left in the skillet. Don’t let that goodness go to waste! Add the all-purpose flour to the pan drippings, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. This combination creates a roux, which will thicken the gravy and infuse it with the rich flavors of the steak.
Step 2: Adding the Liquid
Gradually pour in the beef broth while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Once the broth is fully incorporated, add the whole milk, which will add creaminess and balance to the gravy. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and reaches your desired consistency.
Step 3: Seasoning to Perfection
Taste the gravy and add salt and black pepper as needed. Remember that the steak was seasoned too, so adjust the seasoning accordingly. Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne pepper or other spices for an extra kick if you prefer.
Step 4: Serve and Enjoy
With the country fried steaks arranged on a platter, generously drizzle the rich and creamy gravy over the top. The marriage of crispy steaks and velvety gravy is a match made in culinary heaven.
Country Fried Steak and Gravy is a timeless and comforting dish that has earned its place as a beloved classic. With a perfectly seasoned and crispy coating enveloping tender cube steaks and a rich, flavorful gravy to top it all off, this dish is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
So the next time you’re in the mood for a taste of Southern hospitality, gather your ingredients, follow our step-by-step guide, and indulge in the deliciousness of Country Fried Steak and Gravy. Your taste buds will thank you, and your guests will be asking for seconds!