| | | |

Country Fried Steak and Eggs

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Country Fried Steak is a classic southern dish made with tenderized cube steak and paired with thick and flavorful white pepper gravy. Also called chicken fried steak, we love to serve this dish with fried eggs and potatoes for a hearty country breakfast.

Country fried steak, also known as chicken fried steak, is a classic Southern dish. This version is made with tenderized cube steak that’s coated in seasoned flour and pan-fried (shallow-fried). Serve it with white pepper gravy, and a side of fried eggs and hash browns for the perfect Southern breakfast.

If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel or Denny’s, then you may know they both make a delicious country fried steak and eggs dish.

What is the difference between chicken fried steak and country fried steak?

The deep-fried version of this recipe is sometimes referred to as “chicken-fried steak”, while the pan-fried version is called “country fried steak”. Others say that there is a difference between the types of gravy that are used. However, we tend to use the terms interchangeably. Whether you call it chicken-fried or country fried, we just call it delicious!

What meat is in country fried steak?

When selecting the best meat for country fried steak, the only way to go is cube steak. It’s beef, or more specifically a steak round, that’s been tenderized. Every grocery store will carry cube steak and it’s affordable (around $5 per pound here in Maryland).

Recipe Ingredients

  • Oil: This recipe calls for neutral oil, for example, canola or vegetable. Oil is used for frying and also in the gravy.
  • Cube Steak: Beefsteak, or cube steak, is just steak that’s been run through a machine that tenderizes the cut. It’s flavorful and inexpensive and makes the best country fried steak.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: When making this dish, use W sauce to coat the meat before seasoning with salt and pepper. This step adds flavor and helps the seasonings stick better.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is used in the wet mix (egg wash) because it adds some acidity and helps to tenderize the meat even further.
  • Milk: Whole milk is also used for the wet mix (egg wash) as well as gravy.
  • Heavy Cream: Use heavy cream in the gravy to thicken it and to make it extra creamy.
  • Butter: Butter is a non-negotiable when making gravy! Use unsalted butter, but if you use salted butter be sure to modify the amount of salt you add and adjust to taste accordingly.
  • Eggs: Two large eggs are used for the egg wash / wet mix.
  • Flour: Flour is the base for the gravy as well as the breading for the cube steak. All-purpose unbleached flour is our go-to.
  • Cornstarch: Add a little cornstarch to the dry mix/breading. This is a must-use ingredient because it ensures an extra crispy coating.
  • Seasonings: This recipe calls for kosher salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic, cayenne, and chipotle chili powder. Feel free to mix and match your favorite seasonings.
  • Chicken Bouillon: A little bit of this goes a long way when making the delicious velvety, savory gravy.

Substitutions

  • Buttermilk: Regular milk is one of the most straightforward substitutes for buttermilk. However, you can make a buttermilk substitute by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it thickens and curdles. This mixture can be used as a 1:1 replacement for buttermilk in your egg wash.
  • Meat: If you want to make cube steak using another type of meat, you can typically use cuts like round steak or sirloin. Tenderize the meat using a meat mallet to break down the fibers and create cube steak-like thickness.

How to Make Country Fried Steak & Eggs

1. Preheat and Season: Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet with 2 cups of vegetable oil over medium to medium-high heat, until the temperature is 350°F (175°C) to 375°F (190°C). While the oil is heating, rub the cube steaks with Worcestershire sauce and season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Create the Egg Wash / Wet Mix: In a small dish, whisk together the milk, eggs, and buttermilk. In a separate dish, mix the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne, and chili powder.

3. Dip and Dredge: Take the seasoned cube steak and dip it in the dry flour mixture, ensuring to shake off any excess. Coat the floured steaks with the egg wash, letting any excess drip off. Place the coated steaks back in the flour mixture and press down to ensure the breading sticks well. Set the prepared steaks aside while the oil continues to heat up.

4. Pan Fry: Once the oil is hot, lay the steaks in the skillet and flip them when you see juices coming to the top of the steak, about 2 to 3 minutes. Continue cooking on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the cooked steaks from the skillet and set them on a baking rack to drain. You can keep them warm in the oven while you make the gravy and eggs.

5. Prepare the Gravy: In a saucepan, heat butter and vegetable oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour in small increments to prevent clumping. Continue cooking for about 4 to 5 minutes to deepen the flavor. Once the roux has the desired color, slowly whisk in milk a little at a time. Then, whisk in the heavy cream and add the crumbled bouillon cube, salt, and pepper. Adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding more milk if it’s too thick, or simmering a bit longer if it’s too thin.

6. Cook the Eggs: Heat a skillet over medium or medium-low heat. Add butter and swirl to coat the skillet. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook to your desired doneness.

7. Serve: Plate the cube steak, smother it in warm gravy, and serve with fried eggs. Enjoy!

The Best White Pepper Gravy

This gravy recipe is tried and true. We especially love how thick it is and the texture is smooth and velvety. In order to make the best southern gravy recipe, it will require lots of fat (oil, butter, whole milk, heavy cream). This is what gives it the best flavor! All you need to do is add a little chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper for added flavor.

When whisking the gravy, it’s important that you stand at the stove and whisk it the entire time to avoid clumping. You can also adjust the consistency as needed by adding a little more milk to thin it out or by letting it simmer longer to thicken it. No need for cornstarch or other thickeners (which can affect the flavor).

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Ensure that your cube steaks are of uniform thickness. If one part of the steak is significantly thicker than another, it may not cook evenly. You can use a meat mallet to pound the steaks to an even thickness before breading and frying.
  • Pay close attention to the oil temperature. If the oil is too hot, the outside may cook too quickly, leading to overcooking, while the inside remains undercooked. If it’s too cold, the breading can absorb more oil. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the correct frying temperature (around 350°F to 375°F or 175°C to 190°C).
  • Fry in Batches! If you’re frying multiple cube steaks, avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry them in batches to allow enough space for proper cooking. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Flip the cube steaks only once when you see juices starting to come to the top of the steak. This helps ensure that both sides cook evenly.
  • After frying, place the cooked cube steaks on a wire rack to rest. This allows excess oil to drain off, and the steaks will continue to cook slightly from the residual heat.

What to Serve

Country fried steak and eggs are a hearty and flavorful combination, and there are several breakfast side dishes that pair well with this classic Southern comfort food. For example, hash browns, toast, grits, home fries, toast, and biscuits.

For a dinner version of country fried steak, pair it with mashed potatoes, cabbage, collard greens, creamed corn, green beans, candied yams, cabbage, cornbread, or rice. The possibilities are limitless!

How to Reheat

One of the best ways to reheat country fried steak is in the oven. First, wrap it in foil and then put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until warm. This is better than using the microwave and maintains the integrity of the meat.

Summary

Our Country Fried Steak recipe features perfectly tenderized cube steak smothered in a rich white pepper gravy. Whether enjoyed as a satisfying breakfast with fried eggs and potatoes or as a hearty Southern dinner, this classic dish embodies the warmth and flavors of Southern cuisine.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Country Fried Steak and Eggs Recipe

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: main course, dinner
  • Method: stovetop, cast iron
  • Cuisine: southern, soul food

Description

Country Fried Steak is a classic southern dish made with tenderized cube steak and paired with thick and flavorful white pepper gravy. Also called chicken fried steak, we love to serve this dish with fried eggs and potatoes for a hearty country breakfast.


Ingredients

Scale

Chicken Fried Steak

  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds cube steak
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Wet Mix

  • 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs

Breading

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 6 tablespoons seasoned flour
  • 3 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Instructions

  1. Heat canola oil in a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, until the oil has reached 350°F (175°C) to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Rub cube steak with Worcestershire sauce and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk milk, eggs, and buttermilk in a small dish.
  4. Mix flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne, and chili powder in a separate dish.
  5. Dip cube steak flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  6. Coat floured steak with egg wash and shake off any excess.
  7. Place steak back in flour mixture and press down to ensure breading is stuck to steak. Set floured steaks aside while oil heats up.
  8. Lay steak in skillet and flip once you see juices coming to the top of the steak, about 2-3 minutes. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Remove cooked steak from skillet and set on a baking rack to allow oil to drain. Keep warm until serving.

Gravy

  1. Heat oil and butter in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour in small increments to keep it from clumping up. Continue cooking, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Once roux has reached desired color, slowly start whisking in milk a little at a time.
  4. Whisk in heavy cream once all milk has been added and gravy is a smooth consistency.
  5. Add in bouillon, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add more milk if gravy is too thick. If it is too thin simmer it a little longer and it will thicken.

Fried Eggs

  1. Heat skillet over medium or medium-low.
  2. Once skillet is hot, add butter and swirl it around to coat skillet.
  3. Crack egg(s) into skillet.
  4. Cook the egg until the whites and yolks reach desired doneness.

Keywords: cube steak, country fried steak, chicken fried steak, gravy

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.