Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Country Fried Steak

I'm alive! more or less

I actually have been cooking, I've just been a bit lazy on the photo editing. And from looking through these photos, I guess I've been lazy on the shooting too...well, I'll try harder next time cough.

I don't know why, but I have somewhat of an obsession with southern food. Most likely due to being in the south for 3 weeks and eating a lot.


Some sort of cheap beef, pounded thin (I believe I used round steak here)
Couple of eggs (I used 2)
Milk (for the gravy)
Salt and Pepper (this is usually implied, but this is really important here, so I'm putting it in)

Also, some sides, like potatoes and green beans. I was lazy that night and used frozen stuff.

Whoops, forgot the picture of the milk!

Season the "steak" with salt...

and pepper.

Now, country fried steak is basically breaded beef, and there's a standard breading procedure that you should follow. Get three bowls/pans/something that can hold stuff ready.

Crack the eggs in one bowl, and mix them well.

Add flour to the other two bowls, and arrange them the order you see here: flour, eggwash (that's what it's called), and flour.

Take a seasoned steak, and drop it in the flour--make sure you cover it well (this is called dredging).

Yeah, that looks good.

Take the dredged steak and drop it in the eggwash. Once again, cover it well.

Finally, take the steak from the eggwash, and drop it in the 3rd bowl, the other flour bowl.

You'll notice that more flour will stick to the steak! That's why we do this flour-eggwash-flour thing. There are some variations to this method, like flour-eggwash-cornmeal, or flour-eggwash+milk/buttermilk-flour, or some other similar combination.

Also, when you do this, try to keep one "dry" hand and one "wet" hand. The wet hand coats the steak in the first flour bowl, coats the steak in the eggwash, and then drops the wet steak into the 3rd flour bowl. Then the dry hand tries to cover the steak with flour without getting that hand wet. Why should you do this? Well, if your hands go from flour to eggwash to flour with the steak, you'll end up breading your own hands. And that's not fun.

Lay your breaded steaks on something, and get them ready to fry.

Shallow fry them. This means getting a noticeable about of oil (maybe an inch or so) to the right temperature (to be honest, I just waited until I heard a good sizzle when I put the steaks down), and then dropping the steaks in the oil. You can see here that the oil covers about half of the steak.

Turn them over when the bottom side looks something like this.

Make some sides. I was too lazy to do any other kind of cooking, so I used frozen potatoes and frozen green beens.

Earlier, I cut a little strip off of one steak and breaded/fried that for a "test run." Turned out pretty well!

So anyways, once you've fried all the steaks and set them aside, you throw away all the meat juice and grease and oil that's sitting in the pan, right? I mean, think about all the fat in there! who'd want to eat that, right? right? hahahahaWRONG
Toss out most of the liquid in the pan except for about 2 tbsp, heat up the liquid, and add a bit of flour. We'll be making something called a roux, which is a thick mixture of some sort of fat (oil/meat juices in this case) and flour. Stir the roux constantly, or else the flour will burn fast. And burnt flour tastes bad. Trust me.

In the end, the total amount of flour that you add should be approximately equivalent to the amount of fat in the pan. Add more if needed, and keep stirring.

Eventually, the roux will start to get darker. For me, I stopped right around this color (because I'm a wimp and I didn't want to burn it)

Add the milk to the roux.

In case you haven't noticed by now, I've been pretty crappy with the measurements in this recipe--but that's just how this stuff works. A good rule of thumb for adding stuff to other stuff: add a little at a time, and adjust accordingly. You can always add, but you can't subtract. but what if you use a centrifuge...

See that? I can scrape my (awesome) whisk across the pan, and you can see the bottom. That means I need to add more milk, because this gravy is still too thick--it kind of looks like paste.

...did I mention that we're doing this to make white gravy? White gravy is a typical accompaniment to country fried steak. Now you know.

Much better! Now, season your gravy with salt and a lot of pepper. Seriously. The right amount of salt and pepper will make or break this gravy. As you can see, I added a bunch of pepper. I still added more.

You know, I seem to have problems with shooting good pictures of the final product...

Add (or pour, or smother, or bathe yourself in) gravy and serve.


  1. Is there a point to flouring first? I always went straight to the eggwash first.

  2. I remember reading some reason for doing flour before the eggwash, but I totally forgot. I think it has something to do with creating a barrier between the meat and the wet stuff (in this case, eggwash), cause otherwise the breading can kind of slip off the meat.

    Yeah, now I want to look that up to make sure...