Cook the Book: Country Fried Steak

Cook the Book: Country Fried Steak

Country fried steak (or chicken fried steak, or CFS for short), for you non-Southerners, is beef that has been pounded, battered, fried, and then smothered in gravy. If you want to taste the real deal, you best head to the Texas "Chicken-Fried Steak Belt," as defined by Robb Walsh in his definitive chicken-fried steak piece. The recipe that follows was adapted from Threadgill's in Austin, Texas.


  • Country Fried Steak
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk, room temperature 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 8 6-ounce tenderized beef cutlets (also known as cube steak), room temperature
  • Skillet Gravy
  • Oil left from the skillet
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk., room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt


  1. 1.

    To prepare the steak, whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder in another bowl and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until an instant read thermometer registers 350° F. Dip a cutlet into the egg wash, then in the seasoned flour. Return to the egg wash for a quick dip, then immediately to heated oil in the skillet. (Be careful, the oil will pop, spit, and hiss.) Repeat without crowding the skillet. Cook until brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using an offset spatula, turn and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Reserve leftover oil from the skillet for the gravy.