Who doesn’t love chicken-fried steak?
Yes, it’s fried.
Yep, it does make for a very brown, bland plate when you pile on the CFS, mashed potatoes, gravy and Texas toast.
And, yes, there is nothing remotely healthy about it.
But, it’s delicious and it’s home. As Larry McMurtry said (“In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas”), “Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas without eating a chicken fried steak.”
Want to enjoy it Texafornia-style? Pair it with Lightning Swansborough Vineyard Grenache. The black pepper in the wine and moderate acidity matches nicely with this heavy meal. But I don’t blame you if you decide you just need a cold beer with it.
Given to me over the phone – and scribbled down – while I was living in Houston and homesick for her cooking.
1 1/2 pounds of top-round steak
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
garlic powder, to taste
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of milk
Lard or vegetable oil for frying
Cream gravy, for serving
Cut the top-round steak into four pieces. Pound beef with a meat tenderizer until flattened and almost doubled in size. [Even better if you can get the butcher to do this for you.] Lightly season the meat on both sides with half of the salt and pepper.
Place flour in a large bowl and add the remaining salt, black pepper, and the garlic powder. In another large bowl, mix eggs with milk.
Take a piece of the tenderized beef and coat in flour. Dip the coated beef into the egg mixture and then dip back into the flour again. Repeat for each piece of beef.
In a large skillet, heat 1 inch of oil. Test the oil with a tiny pinch of flour – when it sizzles, you know it’s hot enough. Turn it down a couple of notches and take the pieces of coated beef and gently place into the skillet. There will be a lot of popping and hissing, so be careful. After about 3 or 4 minutes, or when the blood starts bubbling out of the top of the steak, with tongs gently turn over the steaks and cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove from skillet and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. While cooking remaining steaks, you can keep cooked steaks warm in an oven set at 200 degrees.