Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Country Fried Awesome!!!

Cube steak was on sale at Harris Teeter this week, so I decided to make a Country Fried Steak for dinner today.  Figure I’ve been living in the south for two years so it’s about time.  Been practicing my pan frying and breading skills and think I’ve gotten them down well enough.  So why not bread and fry a slab of beef.  That’s a man meal right there!

First thing you gotta do is pound out the meat.  Cube steak has already been tenderized but it’ll firm up in the package.  The thinner you can make it, the better.  Just try not to make any holes in the meat. 

I then coated the meat in a spice blend.  I used a mix of salt, pepper, chili powder, and basil - A few shakes on each side.  Then comes the breading.  I kept it simple, using flour and only flour… not even an egg, as the beef is sticky enough.  Hand coat the steak until it’s completely white.  Make sure you are thorough…  pull the beef as you do it to make sure the cracks in the meat get coated. 

Now the fun part.  Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil, put the burner up to 6, and get ready to fry when the oil starts bubbling.  Leave each piece down on each side until the breading on the top side is completely saturated in the oil… it should cook through the meat.  Then carefully flip it over and fry another few minutes. 
You may want to consider rebreading the meat a minute or two into flipping…  some may have fallen off in the oil or when you flipped it.  Breading it a second time will give it a thicker, crispier crust.

Keep an eye on the steak, possibly flipping it once or twice more for a minute each side.  Total cooking time should be between 8 and 12 minutes.  Make sure the breading is crispy and remove the steak from the pan.  You now want to let the grease drip out of the steak.  You can use the paper-towel-on-a-plate method, but I prefer letting it drip dry, like if it was in a fryer basket.  What I did was put it directly on the oven rack with a pan directly under it to catch the drips.  (Disclamer: Clean the rack after so you don’t start a fire!)

Let it dry 2-3 minutes, and you are good to go my friend…

Or are you…

I forgot the gravy!  It’s not Country Fried Steak without the special creamy gravy.

Using my keen culinary senses, I deduced what I had in my fridge that could constitute a good CFS gravy.  Something creamy, something chunky, something meaty… hmm…

The verdict:  I combined some alfredo sauce with breakfast sausage.  The sentencing:  delicious!

Put one (yes one is more than enough) breakfast sausage (the precooked type you find in the freezer section) in a bowl, cut it in half, and put it in the microwave for a minute and a half.  It should be nearly cooked and in a bit of its own grease.  Mash up the sausage into little bits… the smaller the better.  This should release some of the extra juices.  Pour enough of the alfredo sauce in the bowl to cover your steak (I used about half a cup for 2 pieces).  Mix together and microwave for another minute to minute 30.  Add a dash of pepper, mix again, and it’s ready to top off your fried steaky goodness!

Looking back, the only thing different I would do is make sure the meat was more tender.  Seriously, you want it as flat as possible… a good CF Steak can split with your fork.  Get a rolling pin if you have to!  Otherwise this was nearly perfect, an easy-to-make hearty meal.  You’ll be so protein filled that it'll pass through your genes and your kids will grow up to be NFL linemen.  Ok, maybe not, but believe me when I say this is Ultimate Man Meal!  

Happy Frying!


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