Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Country Style Steak

This recipe is often called "Country-Fried Steak" and consists of cube steak, breaded and sauteed until crispy, served in a thick gravy. This is usually served at my home with a green vegetable, such as Broccoli, Green Beans, Turnip Greens, or English Peas, Mashed Potatoes, Honey Glazed Carrots and Hot Buttermilk Biscuits. Another variation is to serve as an open-faced sandwich! As with the Smothered Chicken, save the leftover gravy and bits of steak for the Saturday Football Game crowd as Gravy Sandwich Snacks!

Country Style Steak
2 - lbs of Chuck, Sirloin or Flank Steak (Cubed)
Cut Cubed Steak into bite size pieces
1 - Cup All Purpose Flour

Heat 1 1/2 inches of Wesson oil in the "Tried in the Fire" Black Cast Iron Skillet. Let the oil become hot and reduce heat. (watch out, don't let it burn)

Coat the steak in the flour and grill in the skillet until brown then remove from skillet. Pour off all oil, rendering about 3 tablespoons. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of plain flour or enough to form the consistency of paste. Allow this to brown until it resembles the color of a "Peanut". This my friends, is how you make a "Roux", which is used in most Creole and Cajun Cooking!

After the paste reaches a peanut color, return the cooked steak to the skillet and add either water or milk to cover steak, stirring briefly to start the gravy process. Cover and let simmer slowly, until the steak is tender and the gravy is thick.

Note: If you plan to have left-overs from this dish, I would suggest that you exclude the milk.

The amount of water to add is based on the consistency and amount of paste in the skillet. You have just made Gravy! I've learned over the years that Gravy is an art in itself and having watched my Father and my Mother make gallons of gravy over the years, I eventually concluded that there is no way to learn this art except through trial and error.
posted by DJ at 2:17 PM

Ingredients and Measurements
In a Southern kitchen with recipe's handed down from generation to generation, a familiar description of various measurements are usually a pinch of this, a sprinkling of that, or just a "tad", meaning that you should adopt to individual taste.
For example, in preparing Chili, Chili Beans (Chili-Con-Carne, for Yanks), Chili powder is the main ingredient, along with a pinch of other spices such as cumin and cayenne. Chili powder is a potent culinary spice that must be used with caution. If too much is used, the taste will be very bitter, if not enough is used, it just won't be "Chili".
A rule of thumb is to use spices sparingly while cooking and taste often. Most spices increase in intensity while cooking. Anyone who has over emphasized a recipe with the spice, Bay Laurel, will attest to this. It's better to add a little later than to over do initially and end up throwing the entire pot of chili or soup in the garbage disposal!

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