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Chicken Fried Steak

  • r

What cuts of beef are used for chicken fried steak? I'm sure filet or rib-eye aren't used.

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  1. I use top round steak.

    1. You certainly don't use the best cuts for CF steak. On the other hand, you also need to use some cut that is relatively tender or you will feel that you are eating shoe leather.

      Top sirloin and butt steaks come to mind. Top round steak *might* work depending on the age of the beef.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jlawrence01

        I use Merle Ellis' recipe/method. I use top round and can cut it with a fork.

        1. re: Alan408

          Can you please tell us what Merle Ellis method is? Thank You.

          1. re: Kim

            Merle Ellis is a "media" cook. He has books, tv shows and live demonstrations.

            Merle Ellis uses a dinner plate to "cut in" the flour. Dreg a ~3/4"-1" thick piece of round steak in seasoned flour, place the floured meat on a wood cutting board, hit the meat with the edge of the dinner plate, this can take more than a few minutes, whenever blood appears on the surface of the meat, add flour. I am not sure how to describe "hitting the meat", hit the meat length wise, then cross wise, continue until the piece of meat is ~1/3-1/2" thick.

            I cut the round steak into 2-4 pieces before flouring, depends on fat/grisle lines. I trim off the fat/grisle before flouring.

            Fry in a cast iron frying pan, using oil/shortening of your choice.

            Drain off or keep the oil, adding butter to make ~2 T of oil/butter in the pan. Add ~2T of flour, make a roux. Add Cream to the roux, mix, then add chicken stock to make a cream gravy.

            1. re: Alan408

              That was my mom's method, probably learned from her father. Used one of our green glass dime-store Fire King plates … you know, the ones that go for about $20 apiece now. Only difference was she spread flour plus salt and pepper over the meat and just pounded it, turned it, pounded some more, pushing flour back over it and repeating. As far as we were concerned that wasn't chicken-fried or country-fried, it was just "steak," period. I was thinking that I was in my teens before I had a "real steak," but I just remembered a T-bone that my parents bought me at a little local café, maybe for my birthday, when I was nine or ten. I also think I secretly preferred the kind with gravy …

              Mom's gravy was not so high-falutin' as Merle's; she just stirred some leftover seasoned flour into the skillet, stirred it until it browned, then stirred in milk. Good enough for me!

      2. tenderized round.
        Even if you don't use the CFS recipe linked below, I HIGHLY recommend the cracked pepper gravy. Its wonderful.

        FYI - I have the Cowboy in the Kitchen cookbook and use it alot, but then I live in San Francisco so if I want this kind of food, I have to make it myself.

        Link: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/ah_recipes_b...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pssst

          on the subject of west texas cookbooks (and chicken fried steak recipes), i've found Threadgill's book to be pretty handy. both the cowboy in the kitchen author and threadgill's are based in austin.

          Link: http://www.texashighways.com/recipes/...

        2. Hi Bulldog. I never made chicken fried steak until Cook's Illustrated did a recipe. It's made with cube steak, which makes it economical and quite tender. It's a bound breading (flour, then egg with baking soda, etc, then flour again) and it's deep fried in a Dutch oven or wok. The gravy is a cream gravy made with some of the frying oil, milk, a little garlic, onions, some thyme, and the leftover bits of breading from the bottom of the pan.

          It's labor intensive, messy, and really really good. The meat is tender and fully cooked, never tough. The coating is crisp and fully seasoned (salt, pepper, cayenne). The gravy is full-flavored, thick, but not greasy.

          It's definitely worth buying their American Classics cookbook, as there are other good old-fashioned meat recipes in there.

          1. My recipe, passed down from my southern family, calls for cube steak dredged in flour with salt and pepper. Fry and place on paper towels. So simple and so delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pina

              My recipe is the same, but I'd add: Pound the crap out of it until it's almost falling apart.