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Country Fried Steak....

A staple of most american "country" breakfasts.... my question is..... what is it??? Is it STEAK or a chicken breast thingie grilled to look like a steak with breading on it???

And why do most chef's in restuarants want to COVER it in GRAVY.....talk about a Heart Attack waiting to happen!!!:)

and another thing..... when I order a steak MW, I want it MW, not BLOOD RED!!!:(

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  1. A country fried steak is a thin steak (flank steak, round, etc) that is dipped in egg, dredged in flour and pan fried. It is almost always served with gravy (whether a cream gravy, brown gravy or otherwise varies mostly by region of the country).

    I've never seen a country fried steak that one could order to temperature; they're always cooked through.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      Chicken Fried Steak is the more common term I think.

      cube steak works better than an actual cut, less curl and different moisture content when fried.

      what has always confused me are places that offer Chicken Fried Chicken...

      cardio issues aside, it's gotta come in gravy.

      1. re: hill food

        I grew up eating country fried steak that my father made - dipped in egg, dredged in flour and pan fried but with no gravy on top. He might make some "grease gravy" for putting on some biscuits or something but not on the steak itself. He has always called it country fried steak and said that's what his mother always called it. However, most of the meat-and-three restaurants around here anyway will tell you that country fried steak has gravy and chicken fried steak doesn't. The country fried steak I grew up with is one of my favorite things.

        1. re: hill food

          "country fried" I *think* is more of a northern thing. "chicken fried steak" is too confusing to us yankees. "country fried" gets the point across a bit more clearly.

          1. re: jgg13

            My family has never been any further north than Tennessee! :) This is where someone from Lafayette, LA says that IS way up north! I think it is just a regional thing really.

            1. re: Boudleaux

              Fair 'nuff. My sample size in the south is relatively low, so was just going based on experience. TN certainly qualifies as the south as far as I'm concerned! :)

            2. re: jgg13

              I am from southern Texas and love chicken fried steak. I just saw a special on the food channel about this food. Apparently if it has brown gravy it is called Country fried steak and if it has White it is chicken fried steak.

              1. re: Lemonii

                saw that too, makes sense (re-running tonight)

            3. re: hill food

              Remembering some stuff I've read, I think that the difference is this:

              Country Fried is just dredged in seasoned flour then pan-fried 'til done. Possibly gravy, possibly something made from the pan drippings.

              Chicken Fried gets the whole treatment: a wash of milk and egg, then seasoned flour, to form a fried-chicken-like crust. And always, ALWAYS cream gravy.

              Yes, there are cardiochallenges. But once a year or so, with a side of mashed potatoes and cornbread or biscuits, it's really irresistable.

          2. I don't care whether it's called country fried or chicken fried, this was one of my favourite dishes when visiting the American south. It's almost impossible to find in Toronto. Never got into grits, so I'd always order hash browns, home fries, or just toast to round out the plate.

            5 Replies
            1. re: KevinB

              Western Canada has a number of places that offer various types of schnitzel. Anything like that in Toronto? Maybe you can ask them to top it with a cream gravy, and serve it with a side of mashed. You may have to push the mushrooms aside.

              paulj

              1. re: KevinB

                It's so easy to make, just get a round steak and have the butcher run it through the meat tenerizer twice for you, then press in some flour and pan fry it with some olive oil, or your favorite oil. in a cast iron skillet, salt it and eat it

                  1. re: malibumike

                    Until I was 13 or so, this was the "steak" I knew...and then an old friend of my dad's invited us over to help his family eat the prize steer he'd bought at the county fair, but that's another story. Anyway, Mom would lay the round steak Dad brought home out on the big cutting board, season and flour it, then use the edge of a dime-store Fire King plate (the ones that are now $50 apiece in the antique malls!) to pound the flour in and tenderize the meat. No egg or anything, just flour, salt and pepper, and she cooked it in lard or bacon drippings, then made gravy from the excess seasoned flour and some milk. Yum yum.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      That sounds fabulous. Also sounds like the way my grandmother made most of the things she made for me when I was growing up.

                1. The main ingredients in gravy are liquid and flour, not fat.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mpalmer6c

                    Most recipes use equal volumes of fat and flour (e.g. 2 T of each). So fat would be the largest source of calories. You can thicken a sauce without fat, using a slurry, but wheat flour isn't the best starch for that.

                    I wonder what the calorie breakdown is for a typical chicken fried steak meal - how much comes from the meat, the frying, the gravy, and the mashed potatoes?

                    paulj

                    1. re: paulj

                      I'm not sure why the nutritional breakdown is important for a dish that is pan fried, covered in gravy and served with potatoes with at least a load of butter.....its not light. It's just delicious if done well.

                      But...according to All Recipes:

                      For the steak and gravy:
                      Calories: 639
                      * Total Fat: 28.7g
                      * Total Carbs: 44.7g
                      * Protein: 47.6g

                      Potatoes:
                      Calories: 257
                      * Total Fat: 7.1g
                      * Total Carbs: 43.8g
                      * Protein: 5.6g

                      1. re: paulj

                        True, but the OP seemed to think that flour would give you a fatal heart attack. With the recipes I've seen with pan drippings, you're told to get rid of all the fat you can. But then, I'm not familiar with grease-bomb diners.

                      2. re: mpalmer6c

                        In cream gravy, which is what is commonly served over country (chicken) fried steak, equal amounts of fat and flour are used and the common fat used is either bacon grease, lard or crisco (veg. oil).

                        For instance, if I were making a cream gravy for 4 CFS, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup veg. oil mixed with 1/4 cup flour. Cook a few min. until the flour taste is gone, but mixture is not browned. Slowly add 2 cups, give or take, of warmed milk. Stir until thickened and hot. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.

                        CFS with cream gravy is tasty but certainly far from good for you. I make it once or twice a year, which is enough for me, but Mr. B could eat it every week, I swear.

                      3. I think you mean "chicken fried steak."

                        1. Try asking for the gravy on the side so you can control the meat/breading/gravy ratio yourself. . . works for me, especially if I smile.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Stephanie Wong

                            Absolutely agree, gravy on the side. The whole point of CFS is the crunchy fried goodness. Especially love the version at Chris & Pitts here in CA.