What Is Country Fried Steak Made Out Of?
Country-fried steak is made out of beef, typically cube steak or a cheap cut like round steak, that has been tenderized, dipped in egg and flour, and then fried.
It can also be made with a thin cut of pork as a substitute for beef.
The dish is served with a creamy country gravy made from pan drippings.
Both country-fried steak and chicken-fried steak are similar Southern dishes made from seasoned, breaded, and pan-fried cheap cuts of beef.
They are both served with gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, or vegetables.
The concept of breaded and fried meat was brought to the Southern region by German immigrants in the mid-1800s.
Quick Tips and Facts:
1. Country fried steak is traditionally made out of tenderized beef cutlets, not chicken as some may mistakenly assume.
2. The name “country fried steak” actually originated from the Southern United States, where it was a popular dish among farmers and rural communities.
3. The coating on country fried steak is typically made with a combination of flour, breadcrumbs, and various spices, creating a delicious crispy and flavorful outer layer.
4. Contrary to popular belief, country fried steak is not truly deep-fried. It is shallow-fried in a skillet or pan, usually with a generous amount of oil or fat.
5. Different regions in the United States have varied interpretations of country fried steak. For instance, in some areas, it is served with white sausage gravy, while in other places, it may be accompanied by a brown beef gravy or even tomato-based sauces.
Overview Of Country-Fried Steak
Country-fried steak is a beloved Southern dish that has gained popularity throughout the United States. It consists of tenderized beef cutlets, typically made from cube steaks or cheaper cuts like round steak, that are dipped in egg and flour and then fried to perfection. The crispy coating gives it a delightful texture, while the juicy and flavorful meat inside adds to its appeal. This classic comfort food is often served with a creamy country gravy, making it a true Southern staple.
- Country-fried steak is a popular Southern dish.
- Tenderized beef cutlets are used, such as cube steaks or cheaper cuts like round steak.
- The meat is dipped in egg and flour, then fried.
- The crispy coating adds a delightful texture.
- The meat inside is juicy and flavorful.
- It is often served with a creamy country gravy.
“The crispy coating gives it a delightful texture, while the juicy and flavorful meat inside adds to its appeal.”
Ingredients And Preparation
To make country-fried steak, you will need tenderized beef cutlets, usually cube steak or round steak. These cuts are pounded thin using a meat mallet to ensure tenderness.
The next step involves dipping the meat in a mixture of beaten eggs and then coating it generously with flour. This process helps in creating a crispy and golden crust when fried.
Before frying the steak, it is important to press the flour into the meat gently. This helps to ensure that the coating adheres well and does not fall off during cooking.
To achieve the perfect texture, shallow frying in hot oil is recommended. The meat should be cooked until it becomes golden brown on both sides. It is worth noting that the inside of the steak may still be slightly pink, which is completely normal.
Variations: Using Pork As A Substitute
While beef is the traditional choice for country-fried steak, it is worth exploring variations of this dish. Pork can be used as a substitute, offering a delicious twist on the classic recipe. A thin cut of pork, such as pork chops or even pork loin, can be treated similarly to beef cutlets. The process of dipping, coating with flour, and frying remains the same. The result is a flavorful and tender pork-fried steak that can be enjoyed by those who prefer pork over beef.
- Variations in country-fried steak can provide new and exciting flavors.
- Pork can be a delicious alternative to beef.
- Thin cuts of pork, like pork chops or pork loin, can be used in place of beef cutlets.
- The cooking process is the same, involving dipping in flour and frying.
“A flavorful and tender pork-fried steak that offers an enjoyable option for pork lovers.”
Tips For Making The Best Chicken-Fried Steak
Creating the best chicken-fried steak requires attention to detail and a few helpful tips.
Firstly, pounding the steak thin is crucial to ensure tenderness and even cooking.
Gently patting the meat dry before dredging it in flour helps the breading to adhere better and prevents it from falling off.
Using hot oil for frying is essential in achieving a crispy and golden crust. It is recommended to heat the oil to a suitable temperature before adding the steak. If the oil is not hot enough, the breading may become soggy, resulting in a less satisfying texture.
To keep the steaks warm and maintain their crispiness, it is advisable to place them in a warming oven until ready to serve. This will ensure that the dish is enjoyed at its best, providing a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender meat inside.
- Pound the steak thin to ensure tenderness and even cooking.
- Pat the meat dry before dredging it in flour.
- Heat the oil to a suitable temperature before frying.
- Keep the steaks warm in a warming oven until ready to serve.
Serving Suggestions: Gravy And Side Dishes
Country-fried steak is traditionally served with a creamy country gravy, which is made using the drippings from the pan. This rich and flavorful gravy perfectly complements the crispy exterior of the steak. It can be poured generously over the steaks or served on the side for dipping.
As for the accompaniments, country-fried steak pairs wonderfully with classic Southern side dishes. Biscuits are a popular choice, offering a soft and buttery texture that complements the crispy meat. Mashed potatoes are another classic option, providing a creamy and comforting base for the steak and gravy. Vegetables, such as green beans or corn, can also be served as side dishes, adding a fresh and vibrant element to the meal.
Origins And Historical Background
The concept of breading and frying meat originated from German immigrants who settled in the Southern region of the United States during the mid-1800s. This cooking technique evolved into the iconic dishes known as country-fried steak or chicken-fried steak.
Although the precise beginnings of these dishes are challenging to pinpoint, they quickly gained popularity and became cherished Southern specialties. Today, country-fried steak has become a classic comfort food enjoyed by people across the country. The irresistible combination of a crispy coating, tender meat, and flavorful country gravy has made it a timeless favorite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is country-fried steak made of beef?
Yes, country-fried steak is indeed made of beef. This iconic American dish consists of a tenderized cube steak, coated with seasoned flour, and then either deep-fried or pan-fried. Commonly associated with Southern cuisine, this hearty and flavorful delicacy remains a popular choice for meat lovers across the United States.
Is country-fried steak chicken or beef?
Country-fried steak is commonly made with beef, specifically round steak or cube steak. It is a popular dish that involves seasoning, breading, and pan-frying the meat in a cast-iron skillet. Although some food historians argue that “chicken fried” and “country fried” may refer to the same preparation, the classic country-fried steak is indeed made from beef rather than chicken.
What part of the cow is country-fried steak?
Country-fried steak is typically made from cubed steak, which is a cut of meat from the bottom round roast of the cow. This particular cut of meat is known for being a little tough and lacking in flavor. To make it more tender and flavorful, the cubed steak is pounded or tenderized and then battered and fried. So, in short, country-fried steak is made from the cubed steak, which comes from the bottom round roast of the cow, and is prepared through various tenderizing and frying techniques.
What kind of meat is chicken fried steak made of?
Chicken fried steak is a delicious dish made from a cut of steak, typically tenderized cube or round steak. The steak is coated in a seasoned breading and then cooked either by pan-frying or deep-frying. Despite its name, chicken-fried steak does not contain any actual chicken. It gained its name because of the cooking method, which involves breading and frying the steak similar to fried chicken.