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Monday, September 10, 2012

Pork Fried Steak

English: Chicken fried steak covered with grav...English: Chicken fried steak covered with gravy, corn (maize), a bread roll, and bottle of soda pop as served by Pops at 660 West Highway 66 in Arcadia, Oklahoma, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
   One of the things that always reminded me of Indiana, besides John Cougar Mellenkamp, was country fried steak. I don't know why, but fried, breaded meat and mashed potatoes with gravy, and sweet corn on the side always reminded me of home. This had been my staple order at any roadside restaurant.
   But was it country fried or chicken fried? That's the great debate. Some people would ask, "What's the difference?" From what I can tell, it's all in the gravy - white or brown. Chicken fried steak comes with a white pepper gravy and country fried steak is smothered in brown gravy - though variations abound. 
   Over the years, I've made this dish more than a few times, a few ways. Have I ever measured so that I could pass it on? No. I'd been wanting to make this again, but cubed steaks just haven't been in the budget, so I decided to experiment. (Surprise!) Pork cutlets were on special recently and I thought, why not? It's the same principal for half the price. Guess what? It worked, really well. 

Pork Fried Steak
1/2 cup oil (or 1/4 inch high in your skillet)
2 pkg. (3 ea.) pork cutlets
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (or onion salt)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1 T. water
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/2 cup Bisquick (or other baking mix)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 T. parsley
1 T. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Gravy
1/4 cup flour and 1 cup milk (give or take)

    Pour 1/4 inch oil into large skillet. Place 3 flat dishes (pie pans work well) near stove as a dipping station. In one dish combine flour, garlic salt, salt and pepper. In another dish mix eggs and water, stirring well to blend. Add remaining ingredients into third pan and mix.
    Heat oil. Place cutlets, one at a time, into flour mixture, then dip in eggs and then completely coat in potato flake and baking mix with spices. Cook in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to plate and place in warmed (250 degree) oven. 
    To make gravy (my best guess on measurements, I've always eye-balled this). Drain excess oil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour into drippings and stir so that it's well combined and crumbly. Slowly add 1 cup milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper. Continue stirring until mixture thickens and bubbles. Add milk as needed.
   Serve meat and mashed potatoes covered with gravy. Serves 6.
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