Smart Kitchen’s Country Fried Steak Recipe is a foundational, meaning not too complicated, version. It is a good starting point from which to build and customize your own Country Fried Steak dishes.
Smart Kitchen’s Country Fried Steak Recipe
Recipes > Dinner > Meat Dishes > Smart Kitchen’s Country Fried Steak Recipe

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Recipe Checklist:
Ingredients
  • 1 & ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 t Kosher Salt
  • ½ t Cracked Black Pepper
  • ½ t Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 t Garlic Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 t Tabasco
  • ½ cup of Buttermilk
  • ½ t Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 4, 8 oz. Steaks (Top Round Steak or similar)
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • 2 Kitchen Bowls
  • Sifter
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Kitchen Fork
  • Whisk
  • Large Skillet or Sautoir
Estimated Time
15-20 minutes
Yield
Serves 4-6
+ -

 

Preparation

Begin by preparing your Mise En Place (the ingredients and set-up that you will need to complete the dish). Begin by slicing your steaks into individual portion sizes of 6 to 8 ounces (170 g to 227 g) and then Pounding each portion-sized Steak to Tenderize it. They should be pounded down to about ¼” thickness. If your care to Rub the Steaks with a Dry Rub, this is the time. Let the steaks sit in the refrigerator for about 2 to 4 hours to allow the seasonings to work their magic.

With the steaks pounded, and optionally rubbed, prepare your Seasoned Flour mixture and your Egg Wash. To make the Seasoned Flour, in a Mixing Bowl, mix together the 1 & ½ cups of Flour and your dry ingredients: ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper, ½ t White Pepper, 1 t Kosher Salt, 1 t Garlic Powder. Combine the ingredients with a Whisk or kitchen fork then Sift them with a Sifter into a second bowl to work through any dry lumps. The Seasoned Flour can be made 1 to 2 days ahead and stored (covered) out of the refrigerator, but in a cool dry place.

Next make the Seasoned Egg Wash by Whisking together three large Eggs, 1 t Tabasco, ½ t of Kosher Salt, ½ t of Worcestershire Sauce and ½ Cup of Buttermilk in a shallow Baking Dish, Kitchen Bowl or Pan.  The Egg Dip, which you should think of as edible, flavorful food-glue, may have a slight brown color due to the inclusion of the Worcestershire Sauce but that is to be expected. Making the Egg Dip can be done a few hours ahead but is best if done A Minute. It is a quick process and you should be able to prepare the ingredients with little wasted time. This is also a good activity to delegate to Junior Chefs.

Finally, add your Oil to the pan. Use enough oil to fill your Skillet or Sautoir to a depth of ¼ of an inch (6.35 mm) to ½ of an inch (12.7 mm). Traditionally, Country Fried Steak is made in a high-walled, Cast Iron Skillet but use whatever uncoated pot or pan you have that you think will work best.

The oil should be one that is suited to Medium/High Heat like Canola Oil (refined), Peanut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sesame Oil, etc.  Bring up the heat under the pan. You are looking to heat the oil to a temperature of around 350° F (177° C) to 375° F (190°C). If an appropriate oil was chosen, you will know that your oil is at temperature by the faint wisps of smoke (see Smart Kitchen’s Smoke Point Heat Test Exercise). A reading from a Frying Thermometer can also measure the temperature. The higher end of the heat range is probably better because once you add the steaks to the oil, they will bring down the temperature of the oil.

Method

With the required ingredients prepared and the oil heating, begin your cooking by coating your Raw Steaks, one at a time, in the seasoned flour. For this first coating, you will want a light, thin layer of flour adhering to the steak. Next, coat the lightly-floured Steak in the egg dip by placing the steak in the Egg Dip and allowing the mixture to cover every inch of the steak’s surface. Once covered, raise the Steak out of the mixture (still over the bowl) and allow any excess mixture to drip back down into the bowl. Finally, take the egg-coated steak back to the Seasoned Flour and Dredge the Steak through the flour.  Here you are looking for a significant amount of flour to stick to each steak. To minimize the mess factor try to use one hand for the dry coatings and the other hand for the wetter, egg coating.

Depending on the heat of your oil, either put the coated steaks into the Skillet or Sautoir to Pan Fry or onto a plate to await a proper temperature Medium/High Heat for the oil in the pan. When placing the steaks into the pan, release them away from you so the wave of hot oil caused by the addition of the meat rolls safely away from you too.

With your flame on Medium/High Heat, let the coated steaks cook for 2-3 minutes each before giving them a gentle lift with Tongs to check the color of the underside. Flip each steak when the underside has become golden brown. Cook on this second side about 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom side is also golden brown. Manage the Cooking Process, the 3rd Lever of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking because there is a fine line between underdone and overcooked with Country Fried Steak. When both sides are golden brown, use the tongs to remove the finished steaks from the oil.

At this point you can move on to Holding or Plating, or you can blot the Country Fried Steaks on a paper towel before moving on to the next stage. To blot of not to blot is a matter of taste and preference. More flavor remains with an un-blotted steak, but so does more grease and more fat calories.

Holding

If you are not ready for service, you can plate the steaks and Hold them warm in the oven at 160° F (71° C) to 200° F (93° C). Adding a paper towel or Kitchen Towel under the steaks can help blot up any accumulated grease or fat. You can also hold the steaks on a wire rack over a baking sheet as an alternative to blotting. A typical reason to hold the steaks warm would be, for example, if your  side dishes were not yet ready.

Plating

Typically, the Country Fried Steaks will be the star at the center of your plate. Traditional Side Dishes include Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes, sometimes even Collared Greens and Black-Eyed Peas. Country Fried Steak is also typically served with a Brown Gravy, ladled over the Meat and the Starch. In Texas though, where some of their Chicken Fried Steaks are pretty close cousins to Country Fried Steaks, they are served with a White Gravy.