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Country Fried (Venison) Steak

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If you are new to the world of wild game cookin’ then let this recipe be your first effort. It’s a Southern classic because it’s completely, mindblowingly delicious and also easy to make. Not to mention that it is topped with my favorite condiment: gravy.

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First for a little history lesson. Country Fried Steak (CFS) has a few other names throughout the U.S. and the world: chicken fried steak, pan fried steak, weiner schnitzel, milanesa, and no doubt a whole lot of others that I don’t know about. The steak itself may be veal cutlets, beef, bear, or venison cube steak (you could use pork or chicken cutlets as well). The true origins of the dish are unknown but a few towns in Texas claim to be its birthplace. Texas doesn’t claim things that aren’t tasty, gorgeous, or worth a lot of money — so you know this stuff is good.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 4-8 cube steaks (if you can’t find cube steak, just have your butcher run a few round steaks through the cube machine or take them home and pound them with a meat mallet on both sides)
  • 1 cup (or more) olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I like Lawry’s Garlic Salt)
  • dash of nutmeg or cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 cups milk (evaporated milk, cream, buttermilk, or goats milk is all fine, too)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Place eggs in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.  On a plate, mix flour, garlic salt, and pepper.

Country Fried Venison Steak part 1

Now, dredge the steaks in the flour mixture.  I mean really coat them.

Dunk them in the beaten eggs and then dredge again.  Be sure you don’t see any meat showing.

Country Fried Venison Steak part 2

Pull out your cast iron skillet or a thick-bottomed skillet and pour in the oil.  Heat the oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.  The temperature-thing might seem silly but you want a crispy outer shell instead of an oily soppy one.  Trust me.

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Fry the steaks until honey-golden on each side.  *swoon*

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Set on a paper-towel-lined plate.  Now… for the gravy.  The good stuff that whispers sweet nothings to me.

Country Fried Venison Steak part 3

If there’s a lot of oil in the pan, pour off some of it but be careful not to pour off any of the crunchy bits.  You’ll need about 1/4 of a cup of oil left in the bottom of the pan.  Adjust the heat to medium or medium-low.  Now, scrape the flour mixture leftovers into the pan (there should be about 3 tablespoons left). Use a whisk or a fork to incorporate the flour into the oil. Keep this whisking while you add the milk in a little at a time.  It should be thick enough to coat the edges of the pan and your whisk/fork.  If it’s too thick, just add some more milk and stir.

Stir in the nutmeg (or cayenne pepper) and also feel free to add some extra salt & pepper.  You won’t hurt my feelings.  :)

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Now, serve up those fried steaks with gravy on top.  Side dishes are really up to you.  You can go with the classics: mashed potatoes, egg noodles, white rice, spaetzle, or grits.  I like to mix it up a bit and throw down some orzo or roasted squash.  I think orzo and gravy is just a great combination.

Enjoy!

  • Julie at Elisharose - I knew you were a woman after my own heart. Gravy is top of my list, too.

    All of the venison in my freezer was home butchered. We didn’t make any cube steak. What cut would I use to make it?

    Looks yummy.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Julie, isn’t gravy just groovy? I’m a fan. A big fan. Any venison steak may be pounded and thus “cubed” because it’s just a method of tenderizing a lean-cut steak. You can even make “hamburger”steak with your ground venison then follow this recipe with it.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - I’ve also added onion & mushroom to the pan drippings, cooked, and then added the flour mixture to make a yummy mushroom gravy to go over the steaks.ReplyCancel

  • donna - that looks amazing. and i love me some country fried steak (one of the many foods i gave up with vegetarianism… so it looks all the tastier) but saying country fried and chicken fried are the synonyms of each other – are fighting words :) ReplyCancel

  • ToilingAnt - Oh good grief, another wonderful dish from my childhood! My uncle’s a taxidermist so we always had venison around. Mom wasn’t big on frying stuff, but for special occasions (maybe something like Dad’s birthday– he *loves* chicken-fried steak) she’d fire up the skillet and fry some breaded venison. And oh man, I could eat cream gravy by the bowlful.

    *drool*

    I’m trying to deal with some health issues so avoiding meat at the moment, but man… I might have to track down some venison anyway, and right quick! (Note to self: find a hunter to befriend!)ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Bless your heart! I gave up meat for Lent one year and in doing so, did a lot of research on the benefits of nixing meat from my diet. But I couldn’t resist. I have a quite a few friends who are vegan and they have enjoyed a much healthier existence.

    We don’t use a ton of meat — I make a lot of dishes that have meat as an ingredient but are full of other stuff. Country fried steak is a special treat for us. But I’m told that many folks have it every Sunday after church. Wow.

    My arteries just clogged thinking about it!

    Blessings,
    LacyReplyCancel

  • Rosa - That dish looks mighty scrumptious! I never eat venison (unfortunately) because it is so pricey here… Funny, tonight, we also ate orzo…

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Rosa: The only reason that venison isn’t expensive for us is that Josh hunts and got a few deer this year. I have a freezer full of venison. :)

    You could use pork or beef instead, though.ReplyCancel

  • Steve - Two sides (really three) with your Venison and gravy are a must:

    Red Cabbage

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 apple, peeled and diced
    1 small onion, chopped
    4 cups shredded red cabbage
    1/4 cup vinegar
    2-4 tablespoons sugar or apple jelly
    1-2 whole clove
    1/2 cup red wine
    1 tablespoon flour or 1/2tablespoon cornstarch
    1. Melt butter, add apple and onion, cook until soft.
    2. Add cabbage, stir to blend.
    3. Add vinegar, sugar, cloves and wine.
    4. Cook, covered, until cabbage is tender, about 12 minutes.
    5. Thicken the sauce with flour, first adding a little water with the flour.
    6. Simmer until sauce is smooth.

    AND…

    Spatzel

    3 cups flour
    4 eggs
    1/4 tsp. Nutmeg (optional)
    1-2 tsp. salt
    1 quart cold water

    Stir flour, eggs, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Beat until batter is smooth and no longer adheres to the spoon. Add water as needed. The spaetzle dough can be firm enough to be rolled and cut into slivers or soft enough to be forced through a sieve, colander or spaetzle-maker with large holes.

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. If you have a Spätzle press, press the dough through the press and into the boiling water. If you do not have a press, place dough on cutting board and roll out. Cut dough into tiny noodles. Add noodles to boiling water. They cook quickly and are done when they float back to the surface. As the noodles finish cooking, remove them with a slotted spoon.

    You can saute’ the noodles in a Tbsp. of butter before serving. Other suggestions: Serve with a brown gravy or beef stock.

    If you don’t want to use the egg yolks, use the egg whites and add some yellow food coloring for a nice color.

    AND….

    Pilsner Urguell (Not Lite!)ReplyCancel

  • Sophie - A lovely & tasty looking venison dish!!

    MMMMMMM,….very tasty looking food!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Will most definetely try this one! I have a chest freezer full of venison, and I needed a new way to fix it!!!!thanks!ReplyCancel

  • tipper - Looks good! Venison is our main meat around here-and this is our favorite way to eat it-well one of our favorite ways : )ReplyCancel

  • Marlene - Hi there,
    OMG it looks so good. MY hubby is in the city this week so it makes no sense for me to make it for my self but when he gets back I will try it on some other meat. Oh I’m so hungry now….love alwaysReplyCancel

  • Dianne - I don’t have any venison steaks, but I think I’ll try this with little “minute” steaks. It all looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Kath - Yum. This use to be the dish I order every time I went to a restaurant. Havent had it in years! Looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • CrossView - We love chicken-fried steak AND venison. With milk gravy… Come to think of it, it just may be time to have it again. Thanks for the lip-lickin’ reminder!ReplyCancel

  • Safloytab - One of our favorite meals as kids here in NW Georgia was fried cube steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, LeSeuer’s tiny early green peas and my mom’s HEAVENLY homemade biscuits made only with White Lily self-rising flour….she was, and still is, the best cook I’ve EVER known. She always went out of her way to make things we loved, too. :) ReplyCancel

  • Annie M - Here’s hoping mine looks something like your’s! Mmm, I am salivating!!!ReplyCancel

  • Dave - Try Bisquick gives it a better flavorReplyCancel

  • Trace - First time I cooked deer meat (cube steak). Awesome recipe.ReplyCancel

  • karen - i have a frezer full of fresh deer meat!! i am about to go make this i will let yall know how it turns out… PS> i will NEVER give up my meats hahaReplyCancel

  • RuthE - Made it just like the recipe and it was so good. Real southern comfort food. Served with garlic cheddar biscuits (Red Lobster copycat recipe), white acre peas and mashed potatoes and gravy. Too full for the peach cake dessert.ReplyCancel

  • Valerie - I am so excited to cook this for my hubby tonight! I have never fried venison, so I’m nervous, too! This recipe seems like a perfect one for a first timer, such as myself! Thank you for the simple step -by – step instructions! It looks superbly splendid :).ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Let us know how it turns out, Valerie!ReplyCancel

  • Kristine - Seriously good. My gravy wasn’t great but I’m not good at that.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Could this be done with deer chops?ReplyCancel

  • chicken hatchery - We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.
    Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write related to here.

    Again, awesome blog!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie from Milford - My brother sent me some venison. I was looking for a recipe that I thought my dad would like, as he wasn’t fond of venison. I really felt he just hadn’t had it prepared the right way, and since he is now living with me and have a full deer in the freezer, there’s going to be lots of different recipes. Well, he’s converted!!! I made this and followed the directions exactly, especially heating the oil to the correct temp to the golden brown look. It was just fabulous. He’s looking forward to the next thing I make! The gravy was like the icing on a cake! Yum. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Sam K - I have been eating venison my whole life – 32 yrs- and I have never had country fried steak of any variety that compared to this recipe! Simple yet perfect. This one will be added to our recipe box although it’s simple enough to remember. Again this was awesome- a must in my opinion!ReplyCancel

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