Learn how to make this classic Southern comfort meal with our step-by-step guide below.
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
- 1½ teaspoons hot sauce
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups whole milk, room temperature
- Garnish: ground black pepper, chopped green onion
- Preheat oven to 200°. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet; spray rack with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, combine beef, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons seasoning mixture. Divide mixture into 6 portions; shape each portion into a ½-inch-thick patty.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together 1¼ cups flour and baking powder. In another shallow dish, combine buttermilk and hot sauce. Working in batches, dredge patties in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip off. Dredge again in flour mixture, gently pressing to adhere. Place on prepared rack.
- In a large cast-iron skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1 inch. Heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
- Working in batches, fry patties, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove patties using a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels. Transfer steaks to a clean wire rack or baking sheet, and place in oven to keep warm. Reserve ¼ cup frying oil.
- In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat reserved frying oil over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ¼ cup flour and remaining seasoning mixture. Cook, whisking constantly, until flour is fully combined and mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve gravy with patties. Garnish with pepper and green onion, if desired.
Seasoning the Meat
Mixing in seasonings like dried herbs, salt, and vinegar creates the foundation for a flavorful fried steak. Vary the recipe by adding your favorite Cajun or barbecue seasoning instead of the herb mixture.
Forming the Patties
When shaping the ground beef mixture, make sure you firmly press the meat together. A loosely formed patty may fall apart during the dredging process.
The dredge process for these patties is the same method used for fried chicken. Dipping in flour and then buttermilk and then back to flour creates the craggy and crunchy texture iconic to crispy Southern chicken-fried steak and fried chicken.
White gravy starts with making a very simple roux by using some of the frying oil and flour. The flour is cooked in the oil just until it starts to bubble. This cooks off any raw flour taste and creates the base that will thicken the milk.
Whisking in Milk
Slowly pour in milk while constantly whisking to avoid any lumps. It’s important to continue whisking even after all milk is incorporated to keep the gravy from clumping or burning on the bottom of your skillet.
The final gravy should be smooth, and the whisk should leave a defined trace when moved through it. If the gravy thickens too much for your liking, whisk in a little warm milk until desired consistency is reached.