1 (2 pound) round steak, 1/2 inch thick and tenderized by the butcher
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pan drippings
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup unsalted beef stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
Steak: Cut steak into four equal portions. Pound the portions until each is about 1/4
inch thick. Place flour in a shallow bowl.
In a second dish, stir together the baking powder and baking soda, pepper and
salt, and mix in the buttermilk, egg, Tabasco and garlic. Dredge each steak first
in flour and then in the batter. Dunk the steaks back into the flour and dredge
them well, patting in the flour until the surface of the meat is dry.
Add enough shortening to a deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to deep fry the
steaks in at least 4 inches of fat. Bring the temperature of the shortening to 325
Fry the steaks, pushing them down under the fat or turning them over as they
bob to the surface, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Drain the
steaks, and transfer them to a platter. Keep them warm while you prepare Gravy.
Place the steaks on separate plates and spoon mashed potatoes next to them. Cover
both generously with the gravy.
Gravy: After cooking chicken-fried steak, pour off the top fat through a strainer,
leaving about 1/4 cup of the pan drippings in the bottom of the skillet. Return
any browned cracklings from the strainer to the skillet before starting on the gravy.
Place the skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring to avoid lumps.
Add evaporated milk and stock. Simmer until the liquid is thickened and the raw
flour taste is gone, about 3 minutes. Stir the gravy up from the bottom frequently,
scraping up any browned bits. Add the pepper and salt to taste. The gravy should
have a strong peppery flavor. Add more pepper if it is needed.