Country Fried Steak

Well its time for another proper attempt at a “restaurant remix”. For my family a good country supper is something to really appreciate, not having to clean dishes well thats great too. One of the only places we can turn to for generous portions and humble food is Texas Roadhouse. My husband Stephen in particular ADORES their Country fried steak. I’ve made it a few times in the past and my main kicker is that gravy! I can make mother gravy in my sleep, I make it for everything and theres never a complaint… until I put it on top of his country fried steak! Often I hear “The steaks are way better but the gravy…well its not like Texas roadhouse”. I’d like to say I’ve come to terms at this point, but I can not replicate it exactly as they do it because frankly I like my own milk gravy. Regardless if I’m making just the basic milk gravy or using some sort of pork, a good white gravy IS something to appreciate. I suppose there’s some things I just do not have the heart to change. 
This supper was served with biscuits and Cole slaw, while its not Texas Roadhouse sides I prefer Cole slaw over just about anything. The first time we went there I was so disappointed in their lack of my favorite side, I thought geeze this isn’t BBQ! (and biscuits are just easy gravy sopper uppers that are perfect for a country breakfast.) For the steak and gravy I season the meat from every angle possible, I pre-season the steaks, and utilize a seasoned flour mixture. I then create a batter with beer, buttermilk and eggs. Its a quick fried steak with bacon and buttermilk gravy on top. This may not be an absolute replication of anything, but it is good country cooking thats sure to please. 

Country Fried Steak:
4 tenderized beef round steaks (that have been run through a cubing machine)
*salt and pepper

Seasoned Flour:
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
*pinch of cayenne pepper

-Combine and reserve 1/4 cup for gravy. Place in a large shallow dish (like a pie plate)

Egg Mixture:
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup beer
*salt and pepper

-Combined in a shallow dish.

In a large skillet Preheat approximately 2 inches of oil, lard or vegetable shortening to 350 degrees.

To prepare the steaks:
season both sides with salt and pepper. Its important to season these steaks every step of the way. The meat itself is not a very flavorful cut so you want to really make your mark. Dredge the steaks in the flour mixture coating it on both sides. Once they are all floured is when I start assembling and fry them one by one. It may take a little longer but I think the special attention results in a better steak as well as even cooking temperature. Once your fat is up to temperature continue. To test the oil you can use a candy thermometer or you can place the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, if it bubbles it should be about right. Also you could sprinkle a tiny smidge of flour and if it sizzles you are good to go.

To assemble take the floured steak and dredge in the egg mixture. Shake off excess and place back into the flour mixture, then back into the egg, and back into the flour. (initial flouring, egg, flour, egg, flour, fry it!) You will “double dip” each steak and fry each steak approximately 2-4 minutes on the first side, 1-2 minutes on the second side. I judge turning time by when I see blood droplets on the top side of the steak, this may vary depending on how large your steaks are. Flip it over and allow it just to briefly cook on the other side. Remove from the oil and place on a paper bag or a dish lined with paper towels.

Bacon and Buttermilk Gravy:
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces bacon ends (or about 3-4 slices of thick cut bacon cut into little pieces)
1/4 cup seasoned flour
1 cup buttermilk (you can substitute heavy cream for a regular cream gravy)
1 cup whole milk

*salt to taste
1-2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper (to taste, Normally I use a lot and then some)

In a sauce pot  melt butter to start it off if you’d like. (Depending on how lean your bacon is you may not want it) Brown the bacon until its crisp. Once crisp stir in the flour with a fork or whisk. Add 1 cup of liquid slowly and bring to a boil. Combine with the additional liquid and stir. Once this mixture has boiled its at its full thickening capability. Reduce heat and simmer until needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.