Posted by johngl
Sometimes referred to as chicken fried steak, this crispy-fried beef cut is very similar in composition to the breaded pork tenderloin we visited a couple of weeks ago. You could use a beef tenderloin, or a ribeye, or a New York Strip. I just happened to use top sirloin because it is relatively cheap.
Just to aggravate everyone, I am going to start with the slaw. The description, cole slaw, stems from the Dutch word koolsla, literally, cabbage salad. After that, I guess, it is up to interpretation.
Most slaws I encounter are simply too darn wet. I don’t get it.
So, I wanted to create a simple, straightforward slaw from cabbage, Granny Smith apple, jicama, kohl rabi, jicama, and carrots.
Since this is a cabbage salad, first slice up some cabbage.
Then peel the kohl rabi and cut it into matchsticks. I am always amazed how many people don’t know what kohl rabi is. It’s wonderfully crunchy and tastes quite a bit like a cabbage core.
Put the matchsticks and cabbage in a bowl then sprinkle it liberally with kosher salt.
Now just weight the slaw with a bowl and put it in the fridge for a while.
Johngl, what the heck are you doing?
Allow me to back up for a minute. Sauerkraut is traditionally made from cabbage and salt. That is it. Cabbage is salted, put in some crockery, weighted, and allowed to age a bit. Lactic acid bacteria, present in all raw cabbage, causes fermentation, and tah-dah, sauerkraut is born.
What we are doing is similar to that, only it’s just happening a little faster. It’s amazing how much moisture leaches out of the cabbage in just a few minutes. Even curiouser is the distinctively sour tang that it imparts.
We have our source of sour, taking the place of vinegar. Now, we need some sweetness. Enter carrots. Yep, carrots are the sweetest root veggies second to beets.
After about a half hour or so, add the carrots to the slaw mixture and pop it back in the fridge.
The apple is for some additional sweetness and crunch. Since apple oxidizes so quickly, I waited until just before serving to cut it into matchsticks and mix it into the slaw. I also added just a little black pepper.
If you are wondering what happened to the jicama, I threw it out. The inside was permeated by this icky brown flaky stuff that I didn’t want to cut around. The bugs in my compost pile will love it.
Anyway, when you’re done, you’ve created a salad that makes it’s own dressing. Aren’t you impressed?
So, while your cabbage salad is in the fridge, you can then start on the pork sausage gravy.
I started with a couple of “pork steaks”…
Pork steak? Oh come on. This is a thinly sliced pork shoulder and works perfectly for grinding small amounts.
Just cut it up:
and grind it up:
and season it up:
The seasonings are fennel, thyme, salt, pepper, and a health dose of Piment d’Espelette. The latter goes with pork like rock goes with roll. They are simply made for each other.
Mix it all together, then fry it up until browned. It smells (and tastes) great, but keep your mitts out of it; it’s for the gravy.
I fished some beef stock out of the freezer and reduced it by about a third. Seasoned with salt, pepper, pequin powder. I thickened it with a slurry of corn starch and water, then added a couple of ounces of cream for richness. Then came the ground pork.
Now this is sausage gravy. Put a biscuit under some of that and you’d have an instant meal.
Anyway, put the gravy over really low heat and let the flavors meld for a while.
And finally, we can turn out attention to the sirloin.
Cut it in half — the hard way:
Add some salt and pepper…
Put each piece of meat between two layers of plastic wrap. Grab your trusty rubber mallet and…
make a sophomoric comment about beating the meat.
These things spread out quite a bit. By the time you’re done, the sirloin is plate sized.
Dust both surfaces with corn starch, dip into and egg wash, then cover them with panko bread crumbs. Press the bread crumbs into the surface of the meat.
Get a big pan ready loaded with about a half-inch of hot olive oil (not extra virgin) and heated just to the smoke point. Carefully place the breaded steak into the hot oil.
Once the edges turn brown, it’s time to flip.
While this is cooking on the other side, finish up the slaw with the apple matchsticks.
Holding the steak with tongs, remove it from the hot oil and allow it to drain. Plate it up and spread on the gravy.
Finish up the plating with the slaw…
Those whipped potatoes were leftovers from the other night. Good enough for Sunday lunch I guess.
How good was it?
Chicken fried or Southern fried, this is good to the last bite!