How about some good ol’ comfort food, Southern style? Well that’s what we have here. Chicken fried steak is about my favorite meal, especially with gravy. Sometimes, I cut the cube steak into bite size pieces and it makes it a little more kid friendly and everyone can eat as little or as much as they like. I make chicken fried steak quite often, usually with mashed potatoes or fried potatoes, we all love it, but my husband jokes that he can feel his arteries clogging as we eat. Everything in moderation, right? Um, yeah, I’ll try to work on that, a New Year’s Resolution! The gravy is the best if you make it with bacon grease. Now, I can’t really fathom it, but I do realize not everyone eats bacon, and that leads me to believe that there may be folks who don’t keep a mason jar in the fridge full of leftover bacon grease. So if you are one of those folks, just use a couple of tablespoons of the oil that you are frying the steak in. You loose a little flavor, but it will still make gravy. I always save all of the bacon drippings in a jar so I can make gravy on demand, even if I don’t have bacon. Gravy is very important around this outfit.
In the meantime, I am wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! My presents are wrapped and I thought I would share this with you before I head back into the kitchen to finish up my sweet treats.
Chicken Fried Steak Bites with Country Gravy
chicken fried steak bites:
2 pounds cube steak, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoning salt (I use Lawery’s)
2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
4 cups vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons bacon grease (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
3 to 3 1/2 cups whole milk (substitute cream for some or all of the milk if you like)
Heat oil in a deep cast iron skillet to about 350 degrees. While the oil heats, in a medium sized bowl, add milk and egg and beat until well combined. In a pie plate or other shallow dish, combine flour, season salt and pepper until well mixed. Dredge each piece of cube steak into flour, dip in egg and milk mixture and then back into flour, coating all sides. Give each piece a little shake to remove extra flour and carefully place into hot oil. Repeat with remaining cube steak, cooking in batches. Cook each piece about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until lightly browned. They will cook quickly. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
You may want to lower your heat slightly after the first batch, especially when using cast iron.
for the gravy:
In an 8-inch cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat, add bacon grease. When grease is melted, add flour, salt and pepper, whisking until all combined. Whisk occasionally as flour mixture starts to brown. You want it to get golden brown, but be careful to not let it burn. Gradually whisk in 3 cups of milk, and continue to whisk until it is thick and starts to bubble, adding more milk if it gets too thick. Lower heat and keep warm until serving.
Serve with mashed potatoes and some buttered Texas Toast.