Fried Cube Steak

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Growing up in the South, I ate a lot of fried foods. It’s not the healthiest in the world, but I do balance it out now. One of my favorites is fried cube steak. It goes great with a side of mashed potatoes, smothered in gravy, or chopped up into a salad (with ranch dressing, of course). I grew up with venison cube steak, which is still my favorite. But pork  or beef cube steak is pretty dang good too. Whatever meat you decide on, this recipe will work.

And it’s really not so much a recipe. I grew up watching my mother cook and the Justin Wilson cooking show, and they never measured anything. It’s more of a method.

The basic principle is to take the meat and dredge it through something liquid and then dredge it through your breading before dropping it in hot grease.

The First Dredge

I’m a big fan of a milk dredge. That’s it. A bowl of milk.

I’m also a fan of mustard. Yellow, dijon, spicy brown…you name it, I’ve tried it. It’s good. Not only does it tenderize the meat, but it gives it a wonderful flavor.

I’ve also seen people use eggs. Now I haven’t tried this myself, but, hey, go right ahead if that’s what suits you.

The Second Dredge

So you’ve dipped it in your liquid. Now it’s time to bread it. My mother is a big fan of using chicken breader that she gets at the store. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious. But I’m a fan of not having a lot of extra stuff in my pantry, not to mention properly seasoning a flour is an art. Everyone’s flour will be seasoned differently, and that’s okay. So long as it’s edible in the end, you did well.

A cup of flour breaded the four steaks shown.I used to use just a regular all-purpose flour, but this time I used a gluten free flour from Aldi. It’s a rice flour, but it seemed to do well.

I seasoned mine with generous amounts (about a tablespoon each) of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  This is really to taste. I’ve also used paprika, seasoned salt, cayenne, etc. Play around with it and see what suits you.

Cooking

If you find a way to bake this and it still taste amazing, let me know. I haven’t found one yet. The best way is fried. Sorry, folks, but it’s worth it.

I used vegetable oil, but you may use whatever oil you choose (NOT Valvoline motor oil). There is a great debate in the South over the best frying oil. There are some who are adamantly peanut, others who think canola is best. I’m gonna end that argument right now. The best oil is seasoned oil. I don’t care what oil it was to begin with, if it’s been used a couple times and you’ve saved it specifically for frying, it’s gonna be good.

I suppose you could do this in a regular skillet, but cast iron is the best (I think we can all agree on that). Pour enough oil so that it’s about 1/2-inch deep. Heat it on medium heat. I judge the heat by how it crackles when I drip water in it. Run your fingertips under water and then flick the water in the pan. If it starts hissing and spitting, you’re ready to cook.

Very carefully place your cube steaks in the hot grease. It likes to spit, so don’t stand too close. And I really hope you’re not attempting this naked. Ouch.

Let it do it’s thing until it’s golden brown, and then carefully flip the cube steaks. If you want, you can use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s food safe, but if you’ve been cooking them on medium in that hot grease, the meat should be cooked all the way through by the time the breading turns golden.

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That’s it, y’all. Let me know what you tried and how it worked out! I can’t wait to hear more suggestions!

 

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