Chicken-fried Steak with Cream Gravy
The name of this staple of the South and the Southwest says it all — beef fried in the same batter cooks use for chicken. The cream gravy is part of the dish, and it’s usually served with a pile of mashed potatoes and a basket of hot biscuits.
- Tenderized Beef - Six, 7-ounce portions (either cube steaks or tenderized round steak)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Eggs - 5
- Evaporated Milk - one, 12-ounce can
- Shortening or Oil - 2 to 3 cups
- Flour - flour for dredging plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Water - about 2 cups
Preheat the oven to 150 F. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and set aside. Beat the eggs and 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk together in a bowl. Heat the shortening or oil in a heavy deep-sided skillet to a temperature of 350 F.
Dredge the steaks with flour and dip them in the batter, then in flour again, lightly shaking off the excess. When the oil is hot, add the steaks, a few at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan or they will lower the temperature of the oil. Fry for 4 minutes on one side, or until golden brown, then turn with tongs or a slotted spatula and fry the other side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in the oven.
To make the gravy, pour all but 4 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet and turn the heat to low. Add the 3 tablespoons of flour and cook over low eat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes; do not let it burn. Add the remaining evaporated milk, whisking until smooth and scraping the bottom of the pan to get up the small bits clinging to it, then add the water gradually, stirring constantly, until the gravy is smooth and of desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a bowl to pass with the steaks.