Weekend Cooking is hosted over at Beth Fish Reads
Last Christmas I discovered Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond's cookbook by accident as I was trying what to decide to buy with my BAM gift cards :)
I like Ree Drummond's recipes for a lot of reasons and have tried more recipes from her cookbook than I have from any other cookbook I own.
I even blogged about a few of those trials right here on my blog in my earliest blogging days:
It's no secret that I'm a Southern gal...and as far as I'm concerned, milk gravy should be its own food group. I could care less about the brown stuff...but don't skimp on the milk gravy...ever.
And, there is nothing better than old fashioned Chicken Fried steak smothered and then extra dipped in a side container of that blessed milky stuff.
I've tried quite a few variations of this Southern classic...and Ree's is one of the best I've found. I'm not as fond of Lawry's seasoning salt as she is, but it does not make any difference in this recipe. I frequently change up my seasonings anyway, depending on what I have on hand or quite frankly, what kinda mood I'm in.
Here are Ree's specifics, and then I'll walk you through my process:
3 lbs. cubed steak
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk, plus 2 cups for the gravy
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/3 cup for the gravy
2 tsp. seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 cup oil for frying
Obviously you start with cubed steak. I like to buy thin pieces rather than big bulky pieces...I have a tendency to overcook thick meat bc I'm scared to death of food poisoning (I'm really not kidding).
Make an egg bath with the eggs and 1 cup of milk,
and then a batch of your dry ingredients (flour, pepper, seasoned salt, paprika, and cayenne)
Lightly season each piece of cubed steak with salt and pepper and then, kinda like a production line, submerge each piece of cubed steak into the milk/egg bath...
then into the flour mixture...
then, back into the egg/milk bath
then back into the flour again...
Yes, I did dunk the meat into both the egg bath and flour mixture TWICE.
After this process is complete, you will have some seriously dredged and floured pieces of meat
some seriously messed up hands :)
And if you're me, you will also have some seriously messed up kitchen counters, bowls and plates :)
Add the meat when your oil is good and hot (the meat needs to begin sizzling as soon as it goes in), keep a good eye on it and cook the dredged cubed steak on on both sides...Ree suggests about 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until the edges start to get brown.
Then flip 'em.
You can see in this picture why Ree recommends the dredging thing twice...look at that crust...you don't know crumbly, flaky good crust till you do this.
Take those babies out and get ready for the milk gravy.
Pour all but about 1/4 cup of oil out of your pan...but under no circumstances should you try to clean your pan...keep all that yummy crumbly stuff in there...your gravy will thank you later.
Pour in your 1/3 cup of flour
and then whisk that stuff up till its nice and smooth and a beautiful brown.
Pour in your 2 cups of milk and whisk again till the gravy thickens to your liking.
Add a little salt and pepper to your taste...
Pour that mouth watering creamy goodness onto each piece of meat.
As you can see we had buttermilk biscuits and lima beans as sides this particular night.
I also always keep fresh veggie and fruit salads on hand for every meal.
This particular recipe is not on Ree's blog, but it is in her cookbook, Pioneer Woman Cooks, on pgs 142-145
Till next week...