Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy

– serves 4 to 6 –
Adapted from The Homesick Texan

1 1/2 pound top-round steak, cut into 4 even pieces
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Using a meat mallet, flatten each of the pieces of round until they are roughly 1/4 inch thick and twice as wide. Be careful not to break them apart. If you don't have a a meat mallet, a rolling pin or a heavy iron skillet might work, too.

2. In one large bowl mix together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and the cayenne. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.

3. Pour enough vegetable oil into an iron skillet to come up halfway up the side. Turn the heat to medium.

4. Add one piece of the flattened meat to the flour mixture and toss until coated. Remove, shake off excess flour, dip into the egg mixture, and then toss back in the flour.

5. When the oil is hot, remove the beef from the flour mixture and then gently slide into the skillet. Cook for four minutes, or until the bottom has turned a nice golden brown, and then flip and cook for another 4 minutes. When done, transfer the chicken-fried steaks to a wire rack set in the oven to keep warm. Repeat the dredging and frying process with the rest of the pieces of beef.

6. Now it's time to make the gravy. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet. Set the pan over medium heat and add two tablespoons of the flour from the dredging process. Stir constantly with a whisk until the roux starts to turn a dark chocolate brown.

7. Turn the heat to low, and slowly stir in the milk, making sure to get rid of any of the clumps of flour. Season with salt and plenty of pepper and cook until slightly thickened. It should easily coat the back of a spoon. You can thin it out by adding some more milk or water.

8. Serve the chicken-fried steak with the cream gravy right on top.

Credit: Dinner Tonight: Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy | Serious Eats : Recipes