Tessa’s Chicken Fried Steak


Meet Tessa:

1) What is one of your earliest food memories?

As a child, I was a precocious crazy old cat lady and I would make my purring charges beef kidney, chicken skin and kibble omelets on Saturday mornings.

2) What is your favorite thing to eat at 4505 Meats?

Merguez sausage!

3) If someone offered you 1 million dollars and the only stipulation was that you had to dedicate the next two years to studying any subject of your choice, what would it be?

Agroecology, essentially sustainable agricultural in the vein of biodynamics or permaculture, and its intersections with economic/environmental justice.

4) If you had the option, where would you like to visit and why?

Optional paralysis renders me unable to answer this question concisely–there’s not a place I wouldn’t go. Hm, except maybe Delaware.

5) What is your spirit animal?

The tardigrade, aka moss piglet or water bear. Check it out: http://tardigrades.bio.unc.edu/movies/

 Tessa’s Chicken Fried Steak:
1 pound or so of top round steak, trimmed of all far
1 cup all purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons reserved
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus one large rounded tablespoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
high heat oil for frying (rice bran, canola, etc)
1) Have your butchers at the 4505 Meats Butcher Shop trim & cut 1 pound of top round roasts into 4 portions by cutting one lengthwise and one width wise. Or, at home, trim the fate and chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes. When the beef is firm to the touch, remove, and place on butting board. Cut in half first width wise, and then cut each portion lengthwise to create 4 portions.
2) Take a portion on the steak, cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap and then tenderize with a mallet or, in this case, a small cast iron skillet until each piece is about 1/4″ thick. Repeat with the other 3 other portions.
3) In a shallow dish, mix 1 cup flour, salt, black pepper, coriander and cayenne. Dredge the steaks in the mixture and let rest for 15 minutes. In a separate shallow dish, using 1/2 cup of the mix, prepare the egg and milk dip, add pinches of salt and pepper.
4) Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute, stirring and moving it around the pan to prevent burning. When the roux is golden, slowly add the remaining milk, whisking while incorporating over low heat. Let it cook and thicken for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and LOTS of pepper.
5) Dip the floured steak portions in the egg and milk mixture, shake off excess liquid, and then individually dredge again in the flour.
6) In a deep 12″ skilled, heat 1 1/2 cups of frying oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Then fry two portions of steak at a time until they’re golden brown (about 2-3 minutes on each side).
Serve with your favorite mashed potatoes and greens!