For the ultimate dish in comfort-food satisfaction, you can't beat Country Fried Steak--with a side of mash potatoes, of course.
1 1/2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon pepper
4 to 6 cubed steaks (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk (or whole milk)
1 slice bacon
2 cups vegetable oil
How to Make It
The Seasoning. Stir together cornmeal mix, chopped fresh oregano, and 3/4 tsp. pepper in a shallow dish. Sprinkle both sides of cubed steaks with kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. "Season the dredging mixture and steaks so there's flavor in every bite," Norman says.
The "3 D's." Set up a dredging station: Arrange 2 shallow dishes next to the cornmeal mixture. Place flour and buttermilk in separate dishes. "Then dredge-dip-dredge." Dredge steaks in flour; shake off excess. Dip in buttermilk. Dredge in cornmeal mixture, pressing to adhere.
The temp. "Proper oil temperature is key to frying right. Try my method." Place bacon slice in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Add vegetable oil; cook over medium heat. When the bacon is crisp (about 5 minutes), the oil is at 350°--and flavored. Transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving oil in skillet.
The fry. Nestle steaks in skillet, 2 at a time, and fry until golden brown and crisp (3 to 4 minutes per side). "The steaks aren't submerged in oil, so I carefully spoon hot oil over the tops with a metal spoon during the first minute of frying. This promotes even browning on top while the steaks get crispy underneath."
The drain. Transfer steaks to a wire rack set over paper towels. Keep warm on wire rack in a jelly-roll pan in a 200° oven. "This prevents them from getting soggy while you finish frying the remaining steaks." Crumble bacon, and reserve for gravy. For our favorite gravy recipes, go to southernliving.com/gravy.