Country fried steak with mushroom gravy

So I am sitting at a features editors’ convention in Arizona in the early 1990s and there is a segment where various editors from around the country present their best story ideas. And there, on a big projector screen, pops up the absolute best idea I had ever seen to date and still to this day. It was brilliant in its simplicity. The editor, Susan Leathers, asked her readers: What do you do with cream of mushroom soup?

Susan, who it just happens is now the editor of the Brentwood Home Page, hit an extremely important nail on the head with that idea because it doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re from, if you don’t have at least three or four recipes featuring cream of mushroom soup then I don’t think you spend much time in the kitchen.

I am probably one of the few people who actually ate cream of mushroom soup as, well, soup. That’s because my mother didn’t cook and since the can said “soup” on it, it didn’t occur to her that there was anything else to do with it but heat it up and pour it in a bowl.

Cream of mushroom soup is practically required for any casserole you make in the South. Either that or cream of chicken soup. Sometimes cream of celery weasels its way in. Some outsiders may turn up their nose at the notion, but we all notice who’s coming back for seconds.

One of the best and highest uses for cream of mushroom soup is in country fried steak with mushroom gravy. The boys absolutely lapped this up the other night. And my cheap self loves that you can make an absolutely lip-smacking meal, if I do say so myself (which I do), for probably less than six bucks.

Country fried steak with mushroom gravy

1 pound cube steak

Soy sauce

All-purpose flour

Freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil

8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons marsala

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 tablespoons minced dried onion

¼ to ½ cup water to thin sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Rub a liberal amount of soy sauce into both sides of the cube steaks and let sit for 20 minutes. Put about a cup of flour into a sturdy plastic bag and add a liberal sprinkling of pepper. Add the cube steaks to the bag and shake to flour.

Heat about a ½ inch of oil in a skillet and fry the cube steaks until they’re well browned on both sides. Remove steaks and add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are brown and then add marsala, reducing it to a thick glaze. Add cream of mushroom soup and minced dried onion. Stir and add enough water to thin out the sauce if it is too thick. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper and add steaks back to pan, coating them liberally with the sauce.

7 Comments

Filed under beef, casseroles, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Country fried steak with mushroom gravy

  1. Gloria Cox

    Yum, Yum – Randy Cox will be so grateful for this recipe! I’ll be tryin’ this one out for sure!

  2. Dee

    I am flabbergasted because this is basically the recipe my mother has made for 40+ years! Except, we put the soy sauce in the gravy, instead of rubbing it on the meat. We also use onion powder instead of minced onion. A serving of this over rice is real comfort food!

  3. ELVA THOMPSON

    So funny, as I started to comment, I noticed my daughter’s comment above. I believe the mix of soy sauce,wine, and some kind of onion helps lots of meats. I always have sherry on hand so often use that.My mother, born around 1900, made wonderful mushrooms by browning them in butter,sprinkling on some flour, then pouring in soy sauce and wine.She didn’t use onion powder but often just grated a little onion into the pan.

    • the south in my mouth

      I actually got the soy sauce idea from the Dillard House cookbook in Dillard, Georgia. The first time I tried it, I thought it would make the meat too salty, but it didn’t.

  4. Lori

    Catherine, that sounds soooo good and like a little dinner plate from my childhood. Thanks for the recipe which I’ll make w/o the marsala because I am a heathen. :0)

    • the south in my mouth

      It is kind of a blue plate special, except we don’t have blue plates. Maybe I need to get some~

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