Growing up I spent a lot of summers on my Great Aunt Pearline’s farms. Those delicious times are among my fondest memories, especially the farm-hand dinners that occasionally included Chicken Fried Steak. Occasionally, because it takes time, patience and requires a bit of clean-up along the way ( or you will have flour tracked through the house and a grumpy cook ). As an adult, I still followed her recipe to the letter and probably still would but they no longer make glass cola bottles. What!!you say? Well, before Adolph’s meat tenderizer and before a meat mallet was standard in a well stocked kitchen, we tenderized meat with an empty RC Cola or Pepsi bottle ( upside down ). We pounded the round steak on both sides until our arms ached! I still think it’s the best way, but alas, glass bottles are no longer readily available.
As for clean-up, it’s not too hard, especially if you have an abundance of sturdy paper towels handy ( like Bounty and some generics ). Just wipe up after each step..it takes mere seconds. Cleaning when cooking can be overwhelming when it involves flour and grease!
You will need:
Large heavy skillet ( I use cast iron for this recipe )
3 shallow pans
2 #’s round steak
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
3/4 Cup Bisquick buttermilk mix( or generic substitute )
2 Medium or 1 extra large egg + Tbsp water
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic or onion powder ( both for stronger flavor, and optional )
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup cooking oil ( substitute shortening )
2 Cups evaporated milk ( for gravy )
Meat tenderizer ( if you don’t have a meat mallet )
Pound the daylights out of the steak…both sides! ( best done on wood chopping block ) Cut into whatever size pieces you desire. I find hamburger size to be best.
In the first pan or a large, lipped plate, mix egg and 1 Tbs of water with a fork.
In second pan, sift the flour, salt, pepper and garlic or onion powder.
In your third pan, place the buttermilk mix and sprinkle with pepper.
On medium /medium high, cook oil or shortening until hot. A drop of water should sizzle in it if in doubt.
Next, dip your steak pieces in the flour mixture, then the egg, and finally the buttermilk mix.
Place in skillet and fry until golden brown; usually about 5 minutes on each side, give or take a minute. If the oil is getting low, simply add more in small amounts.
When done, remove from skillet and place on paper towel lined serving dish to soak up grease. ( Don’t forget to remove the paper towel! ) You can keep them warm in the oven ( set about 150*-200* ) or just microwave on defrost for a minute when you’re ready to serve.
For the gravy, discard all but about 3 Tbs of oil/grease from skillet. Add about 1 & 1/2 Tbs of flour to oil, small amounts at a time and whisk until it resembles paste. Add salt and pepper to taste and just a smidge of garlic powder. Very slowly add milk, whisking along the way. The more patience, the less lumps! When it reaches the desired consistency, pour over steaks and serve with your favorite vegetables and some homemade biscuits ( ok…canned or frozen work quite well, too ).