Serves: 6 to 8
This recipe, from Jim Sherer, mayor of Dodge City, Kan., is from "The Prairie Table Cookbook," by Bill Kurtis; Sourcebooks; $29.95.
FOR THE STEAKS
2 pounds of lean round steak, ½-inch thick, run through tenderizer twice
2 to 3 packs of saltine crackers (I prefer Zestee), finely crumbled
2 to 3 eggs
½ cup milk
Butter-flavored cooking oil (I prefer Crisco), ½ inch deep in skillet
Lawry's Seasoning salt, lemon pepper, and coarse ground pepper
FOR THE GRAVY
3 to 4 tablespoons of flour
4 to 6 cups of milk
Salt and coarse ground pepper to taste
When purchasing round steak, have the butcher run it through the tenderizer twice -- this is very important.
Cut steak into pieces approximately 2 inches by 3 inches. Put saltine crackers in a ziplock bag and with a rolling pin, roll the crackers into fine crumbs. Place the crumbs in a round cake pan. Break eggs into a bowl, add ½ cup of milk and whisk until thoroughly blended.
Dip each piece of meat into the egg mix, coating both sides. Then place the meat into the cracker crumb pan and press it into the crumbs on both sides with your fingers so that the cracker crumbs make a good coating on the meat.
The meat will spread out to approximately 3 inches by 4 inches in size. Prepare all of the meat in this manner, stacking the pieces on a platter.
In a large skillet, heat butter-flavored cooking oil at a ½-inch depth over medium-high heat. Place the pieces arranged loosely in pan. Season with Lawry's Seasoning salt, course ground pepper, and lemon pepper. Cook to medium golden brown on both sides. Don't overcook.
Prepare white gravy in the skillet by removing excess oil, but be sure to leave 3 or 4 tablespoons on remaining crumbs. Mix 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour in the remaining drippings until all flour is blended with the oil and reaches a paste consistency. Add 4 to 6 cups of milk and stir mixture over a medium to a medium-high heat until it reaches a medium consistency. You might need to add more milk. Season with salt and coarse ground pepper to taste.