Country Fried Pork with Heartland Gravy
Chicken fried steak is a popular dish in many parts of the Heartland. We used pork for this variation. It's a great dish for an autumn or winter evening meal, but we know some folks who think it's best for a Sunday after-church family dinner. We've spiced this one up a bit to give more flavor to the pork and the gravy.
4 boneless pork loin chops (1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches thick)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 medium eggs
3 ½ cups milk (whole milk preferable)
2 cups vegetable oil (Peanut or olive oil for distinctive flavor)
Using a meat pounder, hammer on the boneless loin chops until they are less than a ½ inch thick. Combine eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¾ cup of milk in a bowl, whisk together and pour into a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish combine 2 cups of flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Cut each pounded chop into three pieces, dip in egg mixture and dredge through flour on both sides. Set aside on wax paper for 10-15 minutes.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet or frying pan. You'll want your oil fairly hot, but you should keep the heat low enough to prevent spatter. Cook pork pieces for about 4-5 minutes on each side taking care to keep pieces separated in the pan. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. You may keep the pork warm in a separate covered dish or keep warm in a 320 degree oven while you make the Heartland gravy.
Pour off excess oil from your frying pan into a heatproof container, leaving 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. Bring pan heat down to medium and add remaining flour stirring up the brown bits off the bottom and creating a roux. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes to allow mixture to blend. Bring up heat and add remaining 2 ¾ cups of milk to the pan. Whisking often, stir the mixture until it thickens to a gravy like consistency. Remove pork from oven; add gravy...and perhaps some corn bread and greens...and you have a great Heartland meal.
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