Steak Fingers and Gravy are one of those comfort foods I grew up with.  One of the things I love about food is that it brings back memories or creates new ones.  For me, steak fingers always remind me of my Dad.  He was a meat and potatoes kind of man and loved his steak fingers.  And as with most  meals on the farm, we always had potatoes and gravy alongside.  Rarely do I cook the way we did back then but once in awhile I crave the old comforts of home.

I wanted to spice it up a bit from the old days when we just used good ole salt and pepper.  I adapted a spice blend from Paul Prudhomme which includes salt, black pepper, white pepper, ground chiles (NM Hatch and Chile de Arbol), paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.

I picked up some cubed tenderized steak but you can also pound out a round steak too.  I have 4 cubed steaks (about 1 1/4 pounds) 1/2 cup flour, buttermilk  and an egg plus my spice blend.

Cut the steaks into strips.

Combine 1/2 cup buttermilk and an egg.

Combine 1/2 cup flour and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend.

Start by dipping each strip into the buttermilk egg mixture.

Now dredge them in the seasoned flour mix.

Heat a cast iron skillet and pour canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Place just enough strips to fill the pan without touching each other and fry about 3 – 4 minutes on each side.

When they are golden brown and crispy on both sides remove to a warming plate.  Check the oil and if it is too dark, remove and replace with new oil before cooking the next batch.

To make the gravy I started with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 2 tablespoons butter.

Add 1/4 cup of flour to the pan and stir over medium heat to make a roux.  If too thin add a little more flour.

If you want to spice up your gravy add 2 teaspoons of spice blend to the roux.

Start pouring either milk or half and half while stirring.  I don’t measure how much but rather by how thick I want my gravy.  It will begin to thicken as it heats up.  If it is to thick, add more milk until you have the consistency of gravy you want.

When it begins to bubble at the consistency you like, pour into a serving bowl.

Come hungry!

Steak Fingers and Gravy

4 tenderized Cubed Steaks (approximately 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
3/4 cup Flour, divided
Canola Oil for frying
1 – 1 1/2 cups Half and Half

Spice Blend (adapted from Paul Prudhomme’s Frontier Chicken Fried Steak)

2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
3 teaspoons Ground Chile Powder (I used NM Chile and Chile de Arbol)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper

Cut tenderized steak into strips.  Whisk together buttermilk and egg, set aside.  Combine 1/2 cup flour and 2 teaspoons Spice Blend.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with enough canola oil to coat the pan about 1/4 inch.  Dip the steak strips into the buttermilk egg mixture, dredge in flour and gently lay strips into the skillet.  Fry until crisp and brown, about 3 minutes, turn to cook other side an additional 3 minutes or until browned.  Remove to a warming platter while frying the next batch.  You may need to add additional oil to the pan.

To make the gravy coat a heated skillet with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 2 tablespoons butter.  When butter has melted, add 1/4 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of the spice blend and stir.  When the mixture begins to foam, pour in half and half while stirring.  As the gravy thickens you may want to add additional liquid.  When the gravy starts to bubble and has thickened, pour into a serving bowl to serve alongside steak fingers.

Makes 4 servings