Begin with a good-sized hunk of round steak, the steak should be at
least 1/2 inch thick. Cut the steak into serving-sized pieces.
Now the fun begins. I use a method of tenderizing the meat passed on
to me by my father, who made great CFS -- first, score the exterior
of the meat with tiny, diamond-shaped patterns (like you'd use to
score the fat on a ham, but make the diamonds only about 1/4 inch
long.) Do this to both sides of the meat. Then pound the heck out
of the meat using the heaviest implement you can find (a heavy
saucer, the handle of a BIG knife or -- my personal favorite -- a
clean claw hammer).
The meat should be pounded until it almost, but not quite, gives up
and falls to pieces.
Now mix up a quantity of seasoned flour (salt, pepper, maybe some
paprika and garlic powder). Also beat a couple of whole eggs with a
couple of tablespoons of water.
Dip the pounded meat first in the flour, then in the egg, then back
in the flour. For a really crisp crust, dip again in the egg, and
back in the flour (this is optional, but I almost always do it, to
me, the crust is the best part of the dish). Allow the breaded meat
to sit for a few minutes to set up the breading.
Melt some oil, bacon grease or lard in a heavy frying pan. Use enough
to cover the pan to the depth of 1/4 inch. When the fat is hot, but
not smoking, place some of the meat in the pan. Do not overcrowd,
and do not allow the individual pieces of steak to touch.
Cook on one side until nicely browned, turn and cook the second side.
Remove the cooked steak to a warm place, and continue cooking the
remainder until all is done. Add more fat to the pan as needed.
Add 2 Tbsp. of flour to every 2 Tbsp. of fat left in the pan (stir to
scrape up the little browned, crispy bits that are sticking to the
pan, too). Cook this mixture briefly to get rid of the raw flour
taste, but do not allow it to brown. Stir in milk (about 1 cup to
each 2 Tbsp. of flour) to make a gravy. Season to taste with salt,
black pepper (lots of black pepper), and serve gravy of the meat and
the mashed potatoes you're going to serve on the side.
Kathy in Bryan, TX