'The BEST Chicken Fried Steak '
4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable shortening for deep frying
(if you're not using the McCormick packaged Gravy)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
kosher salt and ground black
Heat the shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees. Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl. Stir together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a separate shallow bowl; stir in the buttermilk, egg, Tabasco Sauce, and garlic. Dredge each steak first in the FLOUR, then in the batter, and again in the flour. Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.
Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks on a plate with paper towels to drain. Drain the fat from the skillet, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and as much of the solid remnants as possible. (If making the packaged gravy, you can start that while the steaks are cooking)
For Homemade Gravy:
Return the skillet to medium-low heat with the reserved oil. Whisk the remaining flour into the oil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy. Stir in the milk, raise the heat to medium, and bring the gravy to a simmer, cook until thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the steaks to serve.