AUTHENTIC TEXAS CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK
2 pounds round steak, more if desired
Vegetable shortening (for frying)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Pan gravy (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to lowest setting. Place the round steak on a cutting board. Trim bone and excess fat and discard. With a meat mallet, tenderize each piece back and front. Or ask the butcher to run the steak through a mechanical tenderizer. Cut steak into individual portions.
Place a cast-iron or other good, heavy skillet over medium flame. Add shortening and start heating. The shortening should be no deeper than ¼ inch. Heat until it's hot enough to set the breading on the steak when it's dropped into the skillet. Don't heat to smoking; this will ruin the shortening.
Meanwhile, combine salt, pepper and flour in a large zip-top plastic bag. Mix well. Pour milk into a large bowl. Dip a steak in milk and shake off the excess. Then enclose in bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess. Lay steak in hot fat. Repeat with additional steaks until skillet is full, but not crowded. When each steak sears, the bottom crust is set and it starts sizzling, turn it over and set the other side. You may need to do this in batches.
Keep steaks warm on a platter in the oven while you cook remaining steaks and make the gravy. Makes 6 servings.
Pan gravy: In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 cups milk but don't let it boil. Using the skillet in which you cooked the steak, pour off excess grease, leaving about 4 or 5 tablespoons in the pan. Over medium flame, heat the drippings and add 3 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue stirring to brown flour. When brown, hot and bubbling, add hot milk. Stir constantly until thick and creamy. Add 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
SOURCE: Gennie's Bishop Grill Cookbook by Rosemarie Hudson