I’ll admit it — I know nothing about Southern cooking except for what I’ve seen on the Food Network. But I’ve been experimenting with some Southern recipes and liking the results. I am far from an authority on Chicken Fried Steak (I am a Jersey girl after all), but I had some cube steak laying around and figured, why not? For those of you who don’t know, cube steak is the meat of choice for chicken fried steak. It is a cut of beef that has been tenderized, usually by a machine if mass-produced, but sometimes by a meat hammer. It’s a nice, cheap cut of steak that cooks up rather quickly and comes from the top round or top sirloin. The cubing (a.k.a. tenderizing) machine may even fuse two pieces of meat together to form one cutlet.
I was pretty happy with the dish, but it was too rich for me. I am more into light food, like roasted fish or sauteed veggies. Between the red meat, the frying, and the double-coating, this amounted to a hearty meal. It was tasty, and I highly recommend it, but I am such a light eater that I probably won’t be making it again unless I haven’t eaten all day.
This version is a fusion of a Bobby Flay recipe & an Alton Brown recipe. Those two guys know what they’re doing so I don’t mess around too much with what they’ve come up with. It’s also quite straightforward: dredge the steaks in seasoned flour, egg, then flour again. Fry. Make sauce. Serve. Enjoy!
Oh, and you should probably serve these steaks with mashed potatoes and collard greens!
Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…
Posted by jerseycook on June 10, 2010
So what if I’m a Yankee attempting some down-home Southern cooking? These babies are delicious. And they’re also a labor of love. Each step isn’t particularly hard, but it does take time. I made the BBQ sauce myself – about an hour of cooking time. I made a spice rub for the pork and let it penetrate the meat in the fridge overnight. I roasted that pork butt in the oven for hours. And honestly, I didn’t anticipate how long it took to pull apart a hunk of meat with two forks. I had to take a break and let my man do the rest of the work. But it all worked out — that meat was so tender I barely needed to chew.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of dilly-dallying by a grill for hours on end so I had to bake this in the oven. Next time, I’ll see if I can get some friends to come out on a lazy Sunday afternoon and drink beers by the grill while a pork butt smokes in there to be ready in time for dinner.
And can we take a step to the side and speculate why it’s called pork butt? Because it comes from the shoulder part of the pig. The actual butt (as in, hindquarters) of a pig is a ham. Why do they call the shoulder a butt? It’s also sometimes known as Boston butt. It’s not like pigs come from Massachusetts. I just don’t get it.
And we’re back from the tangent. Let me tell you a couple of things that I learned while creating these succulent sliders.
1. You need a spice rub for your pork and it should contain some brown sugar. You should rub the meat with a thin coat of oil and then cover with the spice rub and let it hang out in the fridge overnight. This is because some spices are oil soluble so their flavor really shines when they’re sprinkled onto a layer of oil and it also helps them stick. The combo with brown sugar forms a gorgeous and flavorful crust all over the pork during cooking.
2. The pork needs to cook “low n slow” – at a low temperature for a really long time. This helps dissolve the fat and connective tissues to help the meat become fork tender. You should let it come to room temp before cooking and let it rest for at least 15 minutes after (covered in foil to keep it warm). These steps help the meat to keep its juices and stay moist and wonderful.
Read the recipes and the rest of the post here…
Posted by jerseycook on May 19, 2010