I once spent several hours trying to invent the perfect chicken-fried steak. I used egg batters, beer batters, and every combination of spices I could contrive. Shortly thereafter, I stopped at Barbara Harris’s Kozy Kottage Café in Kerrville, TX. Having heard about her chicken-fried steak from my son David and my daughter Sherry, I ordered one on a trial basis. It was as good as I have ever eaten. I knew there must be several secret herbs and spices involved, but couldn’t quite make them out. After I promised her fame and fortune, Barbara agreed to write down her recipe:
Tenderized round steaks, Flour, Buttermilk.
That’s it folks. When I recovered from the shock, I realized that I had once again been confronted with the unique flavor and cooking possibilities of buttermilk.
Mike Hughes, Founder – Broken Arrow Ranch
In a deep heavy skillet add oil/shortening to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat oil to 350 F. Lightly season flour with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets in buttermilk and then dredge in flour. Repeat this process again. Working in small batches cook cutlets in oil, turning once, until brown (4-5 minutes total). Transfer to baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. The cooked steaks can be kept warm in a 200° F oven while remaining steaks are cooked and cream gravy is prepared.
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
Salt & pepper
Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of drippings from the pan. Be sure to leave all the crunchy little particles in the pan! Add an equal amount of flour and stir while browning over medium high heat. Continue cooking slowly and stirring while adding milk. (TIP: It’s much easier to thin the gravy by adding more milk than it is to thicken the sauce by adding more flour. So add milk slowly until desired consistency is reached.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Broken Arrow Ranch Cookbook