Country Fried Steak

I rarely fry foods these days. After all, it makes a big mess on the stove, the whole house smells for days afterwards, and it’s not all that healthy. However, once in a while, I just have to open up some windows, put on a big apron and fry up a batch of country fried steak. It’s another good old southern comfort classic. How many times have I seen my Mama cook this? It was a staple on our dinner table when I was growing up. Of course, Daddy always had cows on the farm so we always had beef in the freezer (pork, too). Nowadays I get all my beef from the grocery store. Too bad those local sources are so scarce now.

I know that there are folks who would call this “chicken fried steak.” Now, I’m no culinary expert, but I believe there is a difference. In my opinion chicken fried steak is the dish where the steak is dipped in an egg or egg and milk mixture before flouring and frying. Country fried steak skips the dipping step and simply dredges a well-seasoned piece of cubed steak in flour and then straight into hot oil.

This recipe doesn’t give any measurements because, well, I haven’t ever measured any of it! It’s more of a method where you use as much of whatever you need as you go along. Try it once and you’ll get it.

Cubed Steak
Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt
All-Purpose Flour
Cooking Oil

CFS_steak

Cubed steak is simply round steak that the butcher has run through some sort of machine in the meat market that makes cuts all across it. It makes the steak really tender. If necessary, cut your steak into serving sized pieces.

CFS_skillet&oil

Put about ½ inch of oil over medium-high heat in a heavy cast iron skillet. It’s a good idea to use a high-heat oil such as peanut oil for this because you want it to get good and hot.

CFS_season

Liberally season both sides of the cubed steak with the seasoning salt. I’m using Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt in the picture, but you can use Lawry’s or any seasoning salt that you like. Or the traditional, just plain salt and pepper. Whatever you use, be sure to really use it liberally.

CFS_dredging

Now, dredge the steak one piece at a time in flour. And we are talking about dredging the steak, not dusting or lightly flouring – dredging.  See the pan at the top left? That’s an 8×8 pan with probably 2 or 3 cups of flour in it. You want enough flour that you can really bury the steak down in it and get flour all in and around that steak. Massage it a little, rub it around and get it really coated well. Lift it up and give it a little shake, but not much. You want a lot of flour sticking to your steak.

CFS_hotoil

Check the oil to make sure it’s ready. My trick for that is to put the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If bubbles start coming up around the handle, it’s ready. Now, carefully place your prepared steak in the hot oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side. Don’t crowd the pan. If you put too much in the pan at one time, the temperature of the oil falls and then you wind up with steak stuck to the pan and all that crispy, crunchy goodness stays on the bottom of the pan instead of on the steak where it belongs. Besides this cooks so quickly that you can easily do it in batches.

CFS_turnsteak

After 3-4 minutes, check for adequate browning. It should be really good and richly browned. Turn to the second side to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove steak to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm until serving.

If you’d like to make a brown gravy to serve with your country fried steak, here’s what you do.  Pour out all but about 4 tablespoons of the cooking oil, but keep all the crispies and drippings in the pan. Put the pan back over medium heat and sprinkle in about 4 to 6 tablespoons of flour.  Stir and cook until the flour turns a golden brown. Stir in about 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until thickened. It only takes a few minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Enjoy!

Country Fried Steak
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An old deep south classic. Cubed round steak, well seasoned and dredged in flour then fried to a golden brown.
Ingredients
  • Cubed Steak
  • Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cooking Oil
Instructions
  1. If necessary, cut the cubed steak into serving sized pieces. Heat about ½ inch of oil over medium-high heat in a heavy cast iron skillet.
  2. Liberally season both sides of the cubed steak with the seasoning salt. You can use any seasoning salt that you like or just plain salt and pepper. Dredge the steak one piece at a time in flour. Carefully place the prepared steak in the hot oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side. Check for adequate browning and turn to the second side to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove steak to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm until serving.
Notes
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Comments

  1. Neena says

    This looks great and makes me think of the many times that I have prepared this. Little did we know that fried foods would kill us. When I eat anything fried now I feel guilty for at least an hour, maybe 15 or 20 minutes.

  2. says

    Oowweee NanaLana! I have lived in the South for over 10 years and I am weak in the knees for your country fried steak. The man in my life is a FL boy so thanks so much for sharing your family’s traditional method. I think he’s gonna love it!

    • says

      I’m happy to provide those printable pages for anyone who wants them. So much simpler than trying to print directly from the blog, isn’t it? Hope your country fried steak turns out good. Let me know if you enjoy it!

  3. Jeanette says

    I have eaten steak cooked like this all my life and didn’t know anyone could ever think it was not good for you. Another version to this steak is (steak fingers). Do everything the same, except when you are flouring the steak cut it into strips about 2 inches wide and 4 to 6 inches long, then roll it. Just mash down and roll it like you would a bread stick. Then fry. Make white or brown gravy and dip as you are eating. (finger food is good for you).

  4. TL says

    I make this quite a bit, partly because cube steak is so affordable. My mistake has been not dredging enough and not getting my oil hot enough. Thanks for the tips!

  5. JStrom says

    It’s very important to ensure your steaks are very dry prior to dredging in flour, otherwise the liquid between the meat and flour will turn to steam and won’t allow the crust to adhere to the meat during cooking. I’ve always made mine with milk/pepper gravy and rice. If ever I’m on death row, this will be on the menu for my final meal!

  6. says

    I have always loved chicken fried steak, but my mother is from out West, and so it was something we had to get in restaurants. Who knew it was so easy! We had some friends over Sunday before last, and I fed 12 people chicken fried steak for about $15.00 total. Cheap and delicious. Thank you, Lana!

  7. Sarah says

    My Hubby will be thrilled if I master this recipe for him! I wish I had been able to make it for my daddy! It was his number one go to on any restaurant menu!

    • Lana Stuart says

      Good luck, Sarah. It’s really, really easy and I’m sure you’ll do fine. I’d love to know how it works out for you.

  8. Melanie says

    I like to use morton nature seasoning. My husband hunts so we used cubed venison steak and cream gravy.

  9. Rich says

    Lana thanks for the recipe. I have tried this with round steak and cube steak over the years and rarely get it to come out right, its always good but I usually have trouble with the breading adhering to the steak. I am thinking that either the meat has not been “dry enough” as one person commented, or that my temperature has not been hot enough. Everyone always says make sure your oil is hot enough, but I never actually see them say what temperature is hot enough… any suggestions on the correct temp?

  10. sue buresh says

    Your recipe for Country Fried Steak calls for Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt. Is this your concoction or a brand of salt?

  11. Kristina says

    I love Chicken Fried Steak!! If you marinate the cube steaks in buttermilk over night, (discard buttermilk before cooking), add some seasonings to your flour, double dip the cube steaks, (in flour, then buttermilk, then flour) then fry them up, they will be more flavorful. Sorry but your way is just too bland. I from Texas, we like things with a lot of flavor!! :)

  12. Catherine says

    I love country fried steak. I grew up on this sort of food and yet at 48 I am only 6lbs over my “ideal” weight. I love good food. I usually have this steak with milk gravy, but it is good either way. Just depends on your craving.

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