Chicken fried steak is the queen of Texas comfort food. Its name likely derives from the way the steak is prepared in a similar way to Southern chicken: coated with buttermilk and seasoned flour, then pan-fried. You will need to soak the black-eyed peas overnight.
200 g (1 cup) black-eyed peas, rinsed, soaked overnight
1 spring onion, chopped
225 g (1½ cup) plain flour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk
800 g round steak, flattened to 1cm thickness
80 ml (⅔ cup) vegetable oil
milk gravy, mash and salad, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Rinse soaked peas under running water and drain. Cook in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, toss with spring onion, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
Combine flour, cayenne, 2 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in a bowl. Whisk eggs and buttermilk in a separate shallow bowl. Cut steak into 4. Coat in flour mixture, shake off excess, then dip in buttermilk mixture, turning to coat. Coat in flour mixture again, shake off excess and transfer to a plate.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook steaks, in 2 batches, for 4 minutes each side or until golden and cooked medium–well, or until cooked to your liking. Drain on paper towel and keep warm.
Serve with black-eyed peas, milk gravy, mash and salad.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 14, pg86.
Photography by Derek Swalwell