Chicken-Fried Steak with Spiced Milk Gravy
FOR THE MARINADE:
Soak the tenderized steaks in the buttermilk for 1 hour or up to overnight. This will help tenderize the meat.
FOR THE SPICED MILK GRAVY:
Like any good gravy, we are starting out with a simple roux of equal parts butter and flour. Melt the butter in a medium saucepot over medium heat, then whisk in the flour. Cook the flour and butter until it's a light blond color (just enough to cook the raw taste out), about 2 minutes, and then whisk in the broth and milk. Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns, brine, hot sauce and salt to taste and bring back to a simmer. Check for seasoning and set aside until ready to use.
FOR THE CHICKEN-FRIED STEAKS:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Add the flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, baking soda, cayenne and onion powder to a shallow baking dish. Remove the steaks from the buttermilk and place each steak in the flour mixture, coating all of the sides and shaking off the excess. Next, dip the steaks back into the buttermilk, coating them on all sides and allowing the excess to drip off. Return to the flour mixture once again, shaking off the excess. Reserve the flour mixture for dredging the steak a third time for an extra-crispy crust after resting.
Let the steaks sit on a wire rack in the fridge 30 minutes (this will help the coating to really adhere to the chicken-fried steak). Then re-dredge in the seasoned flour just before frying.
Heat 1-inch vegetable oil in large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F. Working in batches of two at a time, place the steaks in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, using tongs to turn once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat the process with all the steaks.
Transfer the chicken-fried steaks to individual plates. Spoon the Spiced Milk Gravy over the steak and serve immediately.
Eight 4-ounce 1/4-inch-thick eye of round steaks, needled or pounded and tenderized
1 cup buttermilk
SPICED MILK GRAVY
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons smashed brined peppercorns
1 teaspoon brining liquid from the peppercorns
2 dashes hot sauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
Vegetable oil, for frying