Food & Drink

Chicken-Fried Steak And Gravy

Serves: 4

This recipe is from "The Glory of Southern Cooking," James Villas; Wiley; $34.95.

Ingredients:

FOR THE STEAKS

¼ cup milk

1 large egg

1 cup dry bread crumbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

4 4-ounce beef cube steaks

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

FOR THE GRAVY

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

1 large onion, minced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

To fry the steaks, combine the milk and egg in a small bowl and whisk till well blended. In another bowl, mix the bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper till well blended; transfer the mixture to a plate. Dip each steak into the liquid, coat with bread crumbs on each side, and place on a plate.

In a large heavy cast-iron skillet, heat the oil and bacon drippings over moderately high heat till quite hot. Add two of the steaks to the pan, cook about two minutes on each side or till golden brown, transfer to a plate, and keep warm. Repeat with the other 2 steaks and reserve the pan drippings.

To make the gravy, heat the bacon drippings over moderate heat, add the onion, and cook, stirring, about one minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and stir one minute longer, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Add the heavy cream, milk and salt and pepper and whisk briskly till the gravy is thickened and smooth, six to seven minutes. Place the steaks on individual plates and ladle gravy over each.

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