I grew up in the Bronx, surrounded by amazing Italian food, including the best damn pizza in the world– that Chicago crap is a casserole, NOT pizza– so when friends come for dinner or see me posting southern recipes, they sometimes call BS on me, assuming I know nothing of it.
The fact is, my mother’s side of the family originated way, way down south, with most of my maternal relatives coming from the Florida panhandle, and before that, Alabama! While I did not grow up there, I did spend a pile of summers down that way, and one thing that left its mark on me…SURPRISE, SURPRISE… was the food!
Chicken fried steaks have been, and always will be, right at the top of that list.
This recipe has a lot of traditional techniques in it, but in my usual fashion, I have ‘plussed up’ the flavors with a bit more spice in the flour and some garlic and onions added to the gravy. If this is a recipe you grew up with please let me know your thoughts. And if you have never tried it before, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
For the steaks:
- 1 1/2lb venison steak (cubed if possible)
- 1c. buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- hot sauce (to taste)
- 1tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2c. all-purpose flour
- 1c. cornstarch
- 1tsp. salt
- 1tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2tsp. onion powder
- 1/2tsp. smoked paprika
- 2c. vegetable oil
- 4tbsp. butter
For the gravy:
- 3c. whole milk
- 1/2c. heavy cream
- 2tbsp. flour
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3tbsp. all-purpose flour
- pinch of cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
For the steaks:
- In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, whisk together.
- In a second large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika.
- One at a time, dip steaks into the flour mixture to coat completely, then into egg mixture, then back into flour to coat again. Place the coated steaks onto a baking sheet to rest.
- Add the oil and butter to a large frying pan and heat over medium high heat.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, to keep steaks warm after frying.
- When the oil is ready, fry each steak until they are golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels then place steaks on baking sheet in the oven. Reserve oil.
Tip: I place a wire rack above the baking sheet, so steaks do not lay in their oil. You can also use parchment paper to soak up excess oil.
For the gravy:
- Take 1/4 cup of the oil / butter from frying and add it to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, stirring constantly.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pan, and stir to incorporate, baking up any lumps that form.
- Add milk and cream, whisking/stirring constantly, until it thickens to the point of coating the whisk/spoon. Add salt & pepper to taste.
LET’S PLATE IT AND EAT… Place a steak on your plate and spoon as much gravy as you like over top and hit it with some more fresh black pepper. Parsley or chives also top it nicely. Enjoy!