Once you’ve perfected crispy fried chicken, it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump to Texas-style chicken-fried steak—that is, beef steak that’s fried in the style of fried chicken and served with a creamy, peppery white gravy. The key to great chicken-fried steak is starting with the right cut: you want an inexpensive cut with plenty of beefy flavor, but tenderness isn’t especially important since it will be plenty tender from the pounding and brining. My go-to cut for this is flap meat (also sold as sirloin tips), though bottom round or top sirloin will also work well if you can’t find it.
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