9/15/22

Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy

A simple recipe for classic southern-style cubed round steak pan fried until crispy and golden brown with homemade pan gravy.

JUMP TO RECIPE

You’ll have to forgive me for the photos here. I snapped a few quick shots when I cooked these to share on IG and FB and didn’t plan on posting them here. I would have a put a little extra care into making them look just so if I were cooking them for the blog and I would have used better lighting.

But y’all don’t care. And I know this. I just have to get over trying to keep up with the blogs that outsource their photography or the ones who just buy professional photos then attach whatever random recipe to them. Whoop… careful, Mandy, don’t go reaching for that soapbox…

Anyway, I never thought this was something anyone needed a recipe for but I was wrong! I have a bad habit of oversimplifying things in my head when it comes to old classic recipes like this one. 

Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy! A simple recipe for classic southern-style cubed round steak pan fried until crispy and golden brown with homemade pan gravy.

I assume everyone grew up eating and cooking fried cubed steak but you know what they say about people who ASS-U-ME too much.

So I thought I’d post this recipe so you can see how I make mine. There’s a lot of variance in both name and method. I make mine the way my mama did, which is how every other woman in my orbit made it – super simple.

I see recipes dipped in eggs, rolled in crushed saltines, seasoned to the hilt and on and on (and they are all likely very delicious!). We always just soaked ours in milk a little bit, seasoned them with salt and pepper, lightly floured them, then pan-fried them until they were golden brown.

Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy! A simple recipe for classic southern-style cubed round steak pan fried until crispy and golden brown with homemade pan gravy.

ARE COUNTRY FRIED STEAK, FRIED CUBED STEAK AND CHICKEN FRIED STEAK THE SAME THING?

Pretty much. Most recipe sites call this Country Fried Steak but we always just called it Fried Cubed Steak – or actually, now that I think about it, we just said Cubed Steak (the fried part is just implied). Some folks call this Chicken Fried Steak but CFS is more heavily battered with a thicker coating like fried chicken. I'm going to title my recipe "Country Fried Cubed Steak" to try to make sure everyone has a good understanding of what it is.

WHAT CUT OF BEEF IS CUBED STEAK MADE FROM?

Cubed steak is made from bottom or top round steak. Because this is a tougher cut of beef, butchers tenderize it by running it through a meat cuber (or "swisser") which is a tenderizing machine that punctures through the tough meat, leaving tiny squares shaped like cubes (hence “cubed” steak).

CAN YOU MAKE CUBED STEAK FROM ROUND STEAK AT HOME?

Yes! You will need to pound it thoroughly with the “poky” side of a sturdy meat mallet (metal works better than wood) but take this advice and also stab it a few dozen times with a sharp paring knife as well to make sure you break through any connective tissue that may be veined throughout the round steaks.

Recipe for Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy

Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy! A simple recipe for classic southern-style cubed round steak pan fried until crispy and golden brown with homemade pan gravy.

Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy

Country Fried Cubed Steak & Gravy
Yield: 6-8 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 35 Min
A simple recipe for classic southern-style cubed round steak pan fried until crispy and golden brown with homemade pan gravy.

Ingredients

Country Fried Cubed Steak
  • 6-8 pieces cubed steak
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • Cooking oil or shortening
Pan Gravy
  • 1/3 cup oil from frying steaks
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

Country Fried Cubed Steak
  1. Pour milk over steak either in a small baking dish or large zip-top bag – just make sure both sides of each piece gets coated. Let steaks soak in milk for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Add flour to a shallow dish or pie plate. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil, wax paper or parchment paper to place the steaks on once they’re breaded.
  4. Drain milk from steaks (drain well, shaking off any excess). Season both sides of each steak with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Working one at a time, coat both sides of each steak very well with flour. Shake off all excess flour then place each steak onto foil or paper. Let steaks rest for 10-15 minutes or until flour starts to look wet in spots. Reserve leftover flour for making the gravy.
  6. Add about 1/2 inch of cooking oil or shortening to a large frying pan then heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  7. When oil is hot, place 3-4 steaks (depending on pan size) into hot oil. Do not move or flip steaks until sides of steaks are starting to brown. Try to maintain an oil temperature of about 350 degrees.
  8. Once cooked golden brown on the first side, flip steaks then cook on the other side. If juices are not clear, flip again if necessary to ensure steaks are cooked through. When golden brown on both sides and cooked through, remove steaks to a plate lined with paper towels.
Pan Gravy
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in frying pan then whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook and stir flour for 4-5 minutes or until light brown.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add beef broth to roux while constantly whisking. Continue cooking and whisking until gravy has thickened to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve gravy over steaks and rice or mashed potatoes OR arrange steaks in pan with gravy, cover then keep warm over low heat.

Notes

  • For more info on which type of meat to use, read the article above.
  • I often add the milk from soaking the steaks to the gravy. It makes the gravy a little creamier and gives it extra flavor.
  • You can soak the steaks in milk up to two hours. Milk is a natural tenderizer and works great on cubed steak, helps the flour adhere to the steaks and thickens the breading slightly.
  • Allowing the flour to “look wet in spots” helps ensure that the breading will stick to the steak and not fall off in the pan. Don’t double-dip the steaks in flour after they’ve “gone wet” or the breading will definitely separate from the steaks (like attracts like; the wet flour will release from the steaks to go to the dry flour).
  • Do not move or flip the steaks in the oil until they are browned and maintain a consistent heat (about 350 degrees) to help ensure the breading sticks to the steaks.
  • When making the gravy, I just eyeball the oil (pouring off all but about 1/3 of a cup). You just need to use equal amounts oil and flour. I try to make my roux about the consistency of ketchup.
cubed steak, steaks, round steak, bottom round, top round, country fried, cubed steak, chicken fried, cfs, southern, homemade, easy, best, simple, old school, brown gravy, pan gravy, beef, roux, flour, cast iron, how to
supper, dinner
american, southern
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9 comments:

  1. Hi, I've always made the heavier breaded variety but want to try your version. can you tell me if the milk fat is important in the tenderizing? We always have skim milk so just wondering if I'll need a higher fat percentage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I've read, it's the calcium that reacts with the protein in the meat so I would think you'd be OK!

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  2. Do you use self-rising or plain flour?

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    Replies
    1. Either is fine but I typically use plain.

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  3. Thanks Mandy. For me, this is comfort food. Something my mom made quite often. But, like you said, it’s so simple she never never had a recipe. It really helps to know the milk “marinade” step. Mine is close to hers but always tough. I will try again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Would adding cornstarch to the flour make it even crispier?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and it also helps the breading stick to the steaks.

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    2. How much cornstarch would you say for the 2cups of flour in this recipe?

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  5. Oh My! Brings back lots of memories….must make…hope my gall bladder can handle it!🤣

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy