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Friday, April 13, 2012

God Bless Queen Deen

I bought a medieval-looking stainless steel tenderizer at a local cook shop near my (old) office with no immediate plans for it's use, but I was having a really bad day and somehow owning it made me feel more in control of my life. I had told Chris (or the C-bomb, as I feel like calling him today) that I would make country-fried steak with biscuits and gravy for our next meal together. It occurred to me that I should probably try something on myself first for once instead of inflicting it, untested, on the C-bomb. Also, because I was really hungry, and because I'm going to make lamb on Friday instead. It's really all about me because I'm a selfish bastard.

This recipe is Paula Deen's, and to me Queen Deen can do absolutely no wrong. Diabetes? Fine. All that butter? I don't give a shit. She's an agoraphobic like me who used to be afraid to leave her own home and supported her sons as a single mother by starting her own restaurant. She's unstoppable. She says that this is her favourite dish, and I am inclined to agree after eating it today:

Country-Fried Steak with Biscuits and Gravy

(Adjust up and down per how many people you are cooking for. In my case; one. Until I cook for the C-bomb. Then, two)

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 (4-ounce) tenderized beef round steak
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole milk

Queen Deen may call for slightly increased ratios. I'm adapting this for the West Coast cook. This is not to say that Queen Deen can do wrong. I emphasize: Queen Deen can do no wrong. Ever, ever ever.

Picture someone you hate in your mind. Or a situation in which you wish you had laid a beat-down on someone who really, really deserved it. Push all that feeling into your metal meat tenderizer. Beat the shit out of that steak like it's the last thing you have to do on this earth. If you truly have channeled that rage (and everyone has rage, don't hand me that shit) your steak will be perfectly tenderized.

Soak in the buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture. Prepare a sautee pan but don't turn it on yet. Set steak aside and make the biscuits:

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 450. Whisk the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter, blending well with your hands until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and form a ball, turn onto a floured surface and knead very slightly until covered with just enough flour to be easier to handle. Form into a square and cut inch-thick biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

(OOOOoooooh child, I been around and I know me my biscuits. This is the best recipe. Stolen (mostly) from this fantastic lady: I have of course incorporated my own slight variations)

Turn your pan on med-high heat and fry your steak, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and deglaze the brown bits left on the bottom of the pan with a cup of milk, with flour added as needed to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place steak and biscuits on a plate and cover the whole mess with the gravy.

You won't need to eat for about 3 weeks after eating this, I didn't know I could be this full and I'm an absolute pig. But so, so worth it!


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