Friday, June 1, 2012

Country Steak and Gravy Made Easy!

Crispy fried steak, biscuits, gravy...mmmmmm! This is one of JD's favorite meals, though he never asks me to make it because he thinks it's a bunch of trouble. Now don't tell him, but steak and gravy is really quick and easy! You just have to keep everything as simple as possible...

1 pound cubed steak
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable shortening

First up: set up an assembly line and if you aren't opposed, use paper plates for flour dredging. Clean up is so much easier!

Two plates set up for flouring the steak. One cup of all purpose flour in each with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper added each. Mix the salt and pepper into the flour. 

1 bowl for buttermilk, this helps the flour stick and results in that crispy crust you're after!

This really is quick and easy, so once you have your assembly line set up, it's time to heat your shortening. I don't own a huge cast iron skillet, so I use two medium ones, with  1/2 cup of shortening in each. Heat the shortening over medium heat. You know it's hot enough when you insert the end of a wooden spoon into the shortening and it bubbles up around the spoon. 

Dredge the steak in the first plate of flour, shake off the excess.

Now into the buttermilk, coating both sides...

Lastly, into the second plate of flour...

Coat it well on both sides

Into the skillet! The actual cooking goes quickly too, about three minutes on each side. Just repeat all of the steps for the rest of your steak. If the shortening gets low in the pan, add some to it. You have to have at least a half inch in there to keep it from sticking!

Dueling skillets! 

When the steak is crispy on both sides, remove it to a casserole dish. I make the steak ahead of time and reheat it in the oven on 350 degrees for about fifteen minutes when we're ready to eat. 

Ready to make gravy? It isn't a science, but it does have rules. Stick with me here...
3 to 4 tablespoons of reserved shortening left over from frying the steak
1/2 cup of flour- I used the leftover flour that I coated the steak with, if you don't have enough, just add some flour to what you have left over.
2 cups water
1 cup whole milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Have your milk and water sitting by the stove, ready to go!
If you've turned the burner off, switch it back on, to medium heat. Use the wooden spoon method to make sure it's ready to add the flour.
When the leftover shortening is hot enough, start adding the flour, a little at a time. Now, WHISK! And don't stop! 

Keep whisking until you've added all of the flour.

Now add the water, about a half cup at a time, still whisking...

Add all of the milk, REDUCE the heat to medium low. Keep whisking...

Once your gravy is silky like this, reduce the heat to low, add the salt and pepper, stirring every few minutes and let it cook for about twenty minutes. 

Now, ladle it up over those hot biscuits, and dip your steak and cantaloupe in it too...
Give this a try, it really isn't difficult or time consuming. It took me longer to post this recipe than it did to actually cook it!

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