Chicken-Fried Steak with Sausage Gravy

Inexpensive cube steaks, tenderized by the butcher, work best for this heartland breakfast staple. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue.

Chicken-Fried Steak with Sausage Gravy Chicken-Fried Steak with Sausage Gravy
Chicken-fried steak with sausage gravy and biscuits is a heartland breakfast staple.
Yield: serves 4


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 12 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 12 tsp. onion powder
  • 14 tsp. cayenne
  • 18 tsp. dried oregano
  • 18 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup plus 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 (8-oz.) cube steaks, about 1/4″ thick
  • 2 oz. pork breakfast sausage
  • 2 cups milk
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Fried eggs, skillet-fried potatoes, and buttermilk biscuits, for serving (optional)


  1. Whisk buttermilk, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, cumin, eggs, and salt in a bowl. Place 1 cup flour in a shallow bowl.
  2. Heat oven to 200°. Heat oil in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip steaks in buttermilk mixture and then coat in flour, shaking off excess. Fry, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Transfer steaks to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and place in oven to keep warm.
  3. Heat a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook, stirring and breaking up meat into very small pieces, until browned, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle in 3 tbsp. flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil; cook until gravy is slightly thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  4. To serve, divide steaks among plates; ladle with gravy. Serve with eggs, potatoes, and biscuits, if you like.