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Chicken-fried steak and gravy gets some Texas spice PLUS a side of cheesy, bacon-studded hasselback potatoes.
- 4 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed and pat dry
- 6 tablespoons cold butter (pop in freezer for a few), very thinly sliced
- Olive oil non-aerosol spray
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounces Colby or sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 slices meaty bacon
- Finely chopped dill and chives, to serve
- Four ½-inch-thick eye round steaks, tenderize with textured side of meat mallet (about 1 ½ -1 ¾ pounds total)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 ½ cups AP flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika, pimenton
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup beer, bock or a light lager (Rach likes Shiner Bock)
- 2 eggs
- Neutral oil, for frying (about 1 quart for large cast-iron skillet)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- Salt, to taste
- 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- A few dashes cayenne pepper hot sauce
- Pickled jalapeño pepper rings to top steaks and gravy (mild or hot)
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Thinly slice each potato just about ¾ of the way through and tuck in thin slices of really cold butter. Spray potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Roast 45 minutes, remove and cool 5 minutes. Tuck in and top with cheese and bake 15 minutes more along with the bacon to crisp. Remove and cover potatoes to keep hot. Chop bacon into bits and top potatoes, garnish with herbs.
Bring steaks to room temp.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
Combine flour, cornstarch, paprika, cumin, garlic, onion, and oregano, and divide evenly between 2 shallow dishes. Place a third dish in between and whisk up buttermilk, beer and eggs.
Heat oil in a deep cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Working with 2 steaks at a time, coat steaks in flour, then egg mixture, then flour again and straight into oil. Fry to deep golden, then transfer to a wire rack-lined baking sheet and repeat.
While frying the steaks, make the gravy. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium. Whisk in flour then milk. Simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt and hot sauce.
Serve steaks topped with gravy and jalapeño peppers with hassel-bacon potatoes along side.