Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chicken Fried Steak

Serve with mashed potatoes, corn and a green salad.
This is my method incorporating tips from Stephan Pyles who based his on the Hill Top Cafe.

1 to 1.5 lb. good chuck steak (better than the traditional round steak, Pyles says)
cup or two of flour
black pepper

(Make the corn and potatoes first.)
Trim the meat to within an inch of its life.* Pound the bejabbers out of it till it's pretty flat; soak it in milk overnight in the fridge.
Mix salt and pepper into the flour; coat the meat. Get at least a half-inch of oil pretty hot in the pan (else the meat won't be tender). You might want to try a small piece first to make sure it's good and hot. Fry the pieces a minute or two each side till golden-brown and crispy, then pull them out onto a plate and keep frying more pieces. A fork is actually best for flipping the pieces as it disturbs the flour coating less than tongs, etc. Also the fork can be used to defend your steak pieces from passing family members.

* Unusual tradition in my family is to trim the meat very carefully, resulting in lots of smaller weird-shaped pieces. Looks strange, but also actually allows a lot of control in the frying (and allows for the second tradition, which is family members swooping by and snitching a piece before the whole batch is done; my dad and I are quick with a stealthily wielded fork and can manage a whole meal before Mom even has it all on the table).

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