This dish is a must for modern-day chuck-wagon cuisine. Serve with mashed potatoes or french fries.
- For the steak
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons low-fat milk
- 3/4 cup Bisquick
- 2 pounds round steak, cut into 4 equal portions and pounded well (to tenderize)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- For the gravy
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 3 to 4 dashes hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
For the steak: Sift together the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow pan or plate. Combine the egg and milk in a separate pan and sprinkle the Bisquick in a third pan; line up the pans close to each other, in order. Using one hand and working with one piece of steak at a time, coat both sides in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture and then coat both sides with the Bisquick.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to the lowest possible setting (but at least 150 degrees).
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat; it's ready to use when a drop of water sizzles in it. Working in batches so the skillet won't be crowded, add the coated steaks and fry for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom, then turn and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown; add oil as needed. Use tongs to transfer to a pan and place in the oven to keep warm.
For the gravy: Drain the oil from the skillet into a heatproof bowl or measuring cup, reserving 1/4 cup of the drippings. Return that amount to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the oil and use a wooden spoon or spatula to blend until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until the flour loses its raw taste. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly and scraping any browned bits from the bottom and sides of the skillet, until a gravy forms and begins to bubble and thicken. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and hot pepper sauce to taste.
Divide the steaks among individual plates; serve hot, with gravy on top.
Adapted from chili ambassador and Texas cook Tom Nall, a featured participant in the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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