Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak with Bacon Cream Gravy

Wow... I am exhausted. 
I've been wanting to make Chicken Fried Steak for my husband for a while.
I had NO idea that... it... was ... THAT... MUCH... WORK.

Talk about a labor of love, I'm not going to sugar coat this folks, you may be trying to please someone, but be prepared for give your heart, soul and your hands for this one. I made three guys very, very happy tonight with this meal.

By the time my husband got home, I was already sitting at the dinner table with two teen boys starting on our meal as it was pretty late and we knew he'd be walking through the door momentarily.
One of the first things my husband said to me is "Wow, looks like you got some SUN today!". 
I didn't get any sun, I was slaving in the kitchen!!!
What you see is a hot, sweaty girl... but I am thrilled you think I am recently sun-kissed anyways.

My hands hurt... I have a huge blister on my right finger from pounding, smacking and tenderizing that Top Round beef.  Geez, had I known, I would have bought a more tender cut.

I also feel greasy from frying bacon, then meat, and then making a disgustingly fattening (and delicious) gravy.  Does it help that I gave everyone green beans and corn on the cob instead of biscuits and potatoes??? I like to think so...

Are you still here?
You want to try it anyways?
I like that about you....

(I should have also pictured 2 eggs & paprika)

Serves 4
2 lbs. top sirloin, or round steak, cut then pounded to about 1/3 inch
Mix the following seasonings together and sprinkle both sides of the meat generously.
(Any leftover spices can be used in the flour for breading below)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2- 1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper

2 eggs
3 Tbsp milk or cream

Bacon Cream Gravy
1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/4" inch pieces
1/2 large white onion, minced
1/3 cup leftover flour from above
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thinly

First, cut the beef into about 1/2 inch thick slices... better yet, have your butcher do this!

Then taking your mallet, pound it to about 1/4 or 1/3 inch... this took me a longer time than I anticipated. Season both sides of the meat.

In a deep fry pan, fry the bacon pieces until crisp. Drain the bacon on a paper towel.  In the same pan, drain off all but 2-3 Tbsp of bacon grease. Saute the minced onions until translucent and starting to take on some color. Set pan aside, this will be used to finish your sauce.

For the breading, take 3 deep plates or small pans, fill 2 with seasoned flour and one with the beaten eggs and 3 Tbsp of milk.  Flour each piece of meat, then dip each piece in the egg mixture, ending in another dredging of floor.

Fry each piece in about 1 inch of good oil, like peanut oil, or vegetable oil over medium high heat.  My pieces of meat were so big I had to do one at a time. 

Drain each piece and keep warm in a low oven.

Now make that gravy!

Using some of the leftover flour from dredging your meat, add about 1/3 cup to the bacon grease and onion mixture.  Cook over medium heat for a couple minutes, slowly add 2 cups of milk, cream or mixture, whisking as you go.  It should start to thicken right away.  If it gets too thick, add more milk, or a little water to thin to the consistency that you like best. Adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper as needed. This dish is best if the gravy is well seasoned!

Top each fried piece of chicken fried steak with lots of sauce, a sprinkling of bacon and some minced green onions.  Ideally, you would serve this with some hot flaky biscuits...

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