Last updated on September 6th, 2023
Country fried steak is a Southern classic. Tenderized steak cutlets are double battered and breaded, the fried until golden brown.
Country fried steak, sometimes known as chicken fried steak, is exactly as the name implies. A thin cut of tenderized beef steak is breaded in flour and seasonings, then fried in the same manner as fried chicken. We will figure out a way to fry just about everything in the south, y’all.
The Origins of County Fried Steak
Country fried steak is comparable to the Austrian dish Wiener schnitzel, which is prepared by breading and frying a veal cutlet. It is speculated that German and Austrian immigrants that moved to Texas in the 19th century introduced the dish to the region. Over the years a white cream gravy, similar to sausage gravy but without the sausage, was added.
What You’ll Need
Crack two large eggs into a shallow dish and add ½ a cup of milk and 2-3 dashes of hot sauce. Whisk these together until lightly beaten.
Then in a second shallow dish, combine ½ cup of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, ½ teaspoon of onion powder and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Place two cups of vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet, such as a cast iron skillet. Heat the oil over medium high heat. While that’s heating, begin coating two pounds of tenderized steak in the milk and flour mixture you just whipped up.
Double Batter the Cutlet
In order to achieve the crispiest, golden brown crust possible, we are going to double batter our cutlets. First, coat both sides of the cutlet in the egg mixture, allowing any excess to run off. Immediately place the cutlets in the flour mixture and toss around until both sides are evenly coated.
Repeat the process a second time – egg mixture then flour mixture. This prevents the coating from coming off during the frying process and locks in the moisture in the meat. Plus, is makes the steaks SUPER crispy and crunchy on the outside.
Frying the Steak
You can test the oil by carefully tossing a small amount of batter in the oil. If it immediately bubbles, the oil is ready. If not, give it a few more minutes. You want the beef cutlets to start frying the second it hits the hot oil.
While the first side is frying, spoon some of the hot grease over the top of the second side to give it a head start. Fry until the cutlet is crispy and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes, depending on how thick your cutlets are. Then flip and fry on the second side until brown and the steak is cooked through, approximately one more minute. Immediately transfer the fried cutlets to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess grease.
Making the Gravy
The gravy is optional, of course, though some might disagree with me. Discard all but three tablespoons of the cooking grease. Bring the grease back up to heat, the reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1-2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Whisk until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Slow pour in one cup of milk, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat once the gravy has reached your desired consistency. If it gets too thick, simply thin it out with a little milk. Season with salt and ground black pepper to your preference. Serve warm drizzled over the hot country fried steak.
How to Store Country Fried Steak
Wrap any cooled leftover steaks first in a paper towel to absorb any moisture, then with a layer of plastic wrap. The steaks can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days, in the freezer for up to a month. To reheat, place the steaks in a baking pan in a 350-degree oven and bake until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.
What to Serve with Country Fried Steak:
- Fried Okra
- Southern Green Beans with Ham and Potatoes
- Ham And Corn Casserole With Cream Cheese
- Southern Hush Puppies
- Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole
Country Fried Steak [Chicken Fried Steak]
For the steak:
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ½ cup milk
- 2-3 dashes hot sauce
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups oil for frying
- 2 pounds beef cubed steak
For the gravy:
- 3 tablespoons grease
- 1-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1 ½ cups milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the steaks:
- Combine the eggs, milk and hot sauce in a shallow dish.
- Combine flour paprika, salt, onion powder and black pepper in a second shallow dish.
- Begin to heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- While the oil is heating coat the cubed steak in the egg mixture.
- Next, dredge the steak in the flour mixture until it is evenly coated.
- Repeat the process, coating in eggs and then dredging in flour a second time.
- Working in batches, carefully place the coated steak in the hot oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Flip and continue frying for 1 minute until the steak is cooked through and the coating is golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels to absorb and excess grease.
For the gravy:
- Reserve three tablespoons of the cooking grease. Bring the grease back to heat, then reduce the meat to medium low.
- Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of the flour. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. As the mixture cooks it will start to thicken. As soon as it reaches your desired thickness, remove it from the heat. If the gravy becomes too thick, add additional milk to thin it out.
- Serve warm drizzled over the hot steaks.