Country Fried Steak with Mashed potatoes and Black Pepper Gravy

Country Fried Steak:

  • Cube Steak
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • ¼ cup vinegar (Texas Pete is what I use)

Whisk together to combine buttermilk and hot sauce. Place in fridge over night at the very least, cube steak is naturally a tougher cut of meat. Letting it soak in the buttermilk and the hot sauce allows the cube steak to break down the connective tissue making it a more tender piece.

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“Chicken Fry” Dredge:

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons Celery Seed
  • 3 Tablespoons Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

Drain the Cube steak, and place in dredge. Coat evenly and set aside and allow to become tacky. Coat evenly in dredge one more time and set aside.

Preheat fryer oil to 340.

Laying cube steak away from you add to the oil, it will be a quick fry. 2-3 mins each side. Cook until golden brown and delicious.

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Mashed Potatoes: 

  • 5 Medium sized Russet Potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt 
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves

Dice potatoes and add all ingredient to a pot, start with cold liquid so potatoes all cook evenly, if you start in liquid that isn’t cold your potatoes will cook unevenly. Cook until fork tender, you will need a reduction mixture to flavor you mashed potatoes, so while this is cooking start reducing the ingredients below.

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Reduction for Mashed Potatoes:

  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme

Combine all ingredients above and reduce by half. This is your flavoring, and base for your mashed potatoes. Make sure this is done in conjunction with the mashed potatoes or ahead of time.

Combine Butter, mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, sherry vinegar (to taste) and put in a standup mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until all lumps are smooth. Slowly add the liquid, you may or may not need all of it, dependent on how big the mashed potatoes are. You don’t want to have soupy mashed potatoes so be vigilant when adding reduction mixture. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sherry if needed.

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Black Pepper Gravy:

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (Unsalted)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream (or milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt

Start out by making your roux. Melt butter and then add flour, combine and cook for 2-3 minutes cooking on a low heat. You’re making a blond roux (light colored roux, no caramelization). Cooking this for 2-3 minutes helps cook the raw flour taste out of this and yields a better gravy. Add heavy cream and whisk to combine roux. Bring up to a simmer, taste and adjust seasoning. When it has become thick, kill the heat and set aside.

A few notes about this dish. Cube steak like it was mentioned above is a naturally tough cut of meat. The buttermilk and hot sauce mixture helps break down that meat and yields a more tender product. Heat of the oil is another big factor in this. With something like a cube steak the longer it takes to fry, the chewier it gets. Fast is your friend in this recipe. However, to high of a temperature will scorch your breading and leave you with a raw inside. I’ve found that 340 is right about the perfect temperature when I do this at home. It’s always a people pleaser, its one of those dishes growing up as a child, I always loved seeing my mom make this. It was one of those dishes she learned from my granny. It looks simple, frying a piece of meat in flour and topping with a gravy and then serving with mashed potatoes. But let me caution you, this dish has a lot of technique involved. Play around with this, try adding seasoning to your buttermilk if you like, try adding different seasoning to your dredge. It’s a great, warm country dish that is meant to bring your family closer, reminisce about the past and talk about food. When done right, this dish can compete with any 5-star restaurant dish.

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3 thoughts on “Country Fried Steak with Mashed potatoes and Black Pepper Gravy

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