Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy

This is another recipe from PW's recently released cookbook.  BUY IT NOW!  Again, I have halved the recipe, because I am not cooking for dozens of hungry cowboys and cowgirls, and I'm going to give those measurements here.  If you've got a big crowd, double it.  If you suck at math and can't double it, buy her cookbook and she'll do the work for you!  :-)

1.5 pounds cube steak
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup milk for the gravy
1 1/2 cups flour
1/6 cup flour for the gravy
1 tsp Lawry's season salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp season salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

Beat the egg and 3/4 cup milk together in a small bowl.
Mix the flour, season salt, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper together, in a large bowl or a pie plate works really well too!
Season each piece of meat with salt and pepper, then dip into the egg milk mixture on both sides, flipping to coat.  Then place the meat on the plate of seasoned flour and turn to coat.  Place the meat back into the milk mixture, then back into the flour.  (This creates the deliciously thick amazing crust!)  (and yes, it's messy!)
Repeat with each piece of meat, laying the finished ones on a plate until you're finished.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Fry 3 pieces of meat at a time, cooking each side until golden brown, about 2 1/2 minutes on each side, maybe longer.
Remove to a paper towel lined dish and repeat until all meat is cooked.  (at this point, I put the meat on an oven safe dish, and had my oven on the "keep warm" setting, and let the meat in there to stay warm)
After the meat is fried, pour off the grease into a heatproof bowl.  Without cleaning the pan, return it to medium low heat on the stove, and add 1/8 cup grease back to the pan.  Allow the grease to heat up.
Sprinkle the 1/6 cup flour evenly over the grease.  Using a whisk, mix them together, creating a golden brown paste.  If it seems too oily, add a bit more flour.  After a couple minutes, the paste will be golden brown.  At this point, you will pour in 1 cup cold milk, whisking constantly.  Whisk to combine, then let the gravy come to a slow boil.  It will thicken gradually, but if it seems too thick at first, add some more milk. Season generously with season salt and pepper.
Place your meat on the plate, and smother with some delicious gravy!  Great with a side of mashed potatoes!

My review:  OMG.  I hadn't had this in years, not since one day at Denny's.  The crispy breading on the steak, and the gravy are amazing.  The flavor was just awesome, and it was a really good "comfort food' dish.  This was the first recipe in the PW cookbook that I just KNEW I had to try, partially because I had some cube steak in my freezer that needed to be used.