A down-home breakfast recipe your cowboys will love!
Posted in , Oct 8, 2009
Chicken-fried steak is made several different ways. This is cooked on a chuck wagon.
Be sure to soak the steak in the sourdough starter for at least 3 hours; the tougher the steak, the longer you should soak it, as the enzymes will tenderize the meat.
4 pounds beef sirloin steaks, ½ to ¾ inch thick
2 cups sourdough starter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
6 to 8 tomatillos or green tomatoes
3 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ teaspoon salt
1. Cut the steaks into pieces about 3 by 3 inches. Place the steaks on a cutting board, cover with plastic or waxed paper, and pound gently with a mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy frying pan. Transfer the steaks to a large bowl and cover with the sourdough starter. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the steaks and starter for at least 3 hours.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. To batter the steaks, use your left hand to take a steak from the starter, shake off the excess liquid, and place it atop the flour mixture, taking care not to put your hand in the flour. With your right hand, gently press the flour mixture into the meat; flip the steak over and repeat. (If you don’t maintain a separate wet hand and dry hand, you’ll be a mess in no time.) Transfer the coated steak to a platter sprinkled with a little flour. Repeat the coating process with all of the steaks. If necessary, place a sheet of waxed paper between the layers of the battered steaks on the platter.
3. Heat ½ inch of oil in a large, deep, heavy pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers, but isn’t smoking. To fry, pinch one steak by its corner and set it carefully into the hot oil, taking care not to splatter. When the bottom is browned, use tongs to turn the steak over; cook for a total of about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter covered with paper towels to drain. Add more oil to the pan as needed, allowing it to heat before cooking more steaks. If you don’t have a helper making the eggs while you cook the steaks, keep the steaks warm in an oven set at the lowest temperature.
4. Heat the oil over low heat in an oversized skillet, preferably 15 to 17 inches in diameter. Crack the eggs gently into the skillet and allow to cook for about 30 seconds, or until they start to whiten a bit on the bottom. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid and cook for another 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. They will finish cooking as you prepare the hollandaise. Have the steaks on the plates, ready for the eggs and hollandaise.
5. Roast the tomatillos over a flame or under a broiler until they are blistered and slightly burned. Force the tomatillos through a strainer into a clean skillet, and discard the skins. Place the tomatillo puree over medium heat and bring it up to a light simmer. Crack the eggs into a cold skillet and add the yolks. Whisk them well and bring the heat under the skillet up just high enough to heat them slightly but not cook them. Gradually add the eggs to the tomatillo puree, whisking until foamy. Find a kitchen helper to assist: Have your helper place 2 cooked eggs on top of each steak while you add the butter to the tomatillo puree, stirring vigorously until the mixture starts to thicken; add the salt, stir, and pour over the eggs and steak to serve.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Cooking the Cowboy Way by Grady Spears with June Naylor/Andrews McMeel Publishing