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Steak

 

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Steak with a dose of gravy is true home-cooking favorite

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Steak 'n' gravy is old-fashioned comfort food that garners positive marks in most families. Here steak strips with brown gravy are served over potatoes.

• Steak with a dose of gravy is true home-cooking favorite

Steak with creole gravy

Steak with brown gravy

• Choose a lean steak, such as round steak or sirloin.

• Freeze steak for about 1 hour before trimming to make slicing easier.

• Some cooks suggest cutting beef strips across the diagonal for even, tender cooking.

• Brown or soften vegetables for gravy in roux before adding liquid to the skillet. That way the roux, which is the basis of the gravy, will extract more flavor from the vegetables before the water is added for slow simmering.

• If you have leftovers, refrigerate beef in adequate covering of gravy. Reheat in a covered dish in a microwave.

By TOMMY C. SIMMONS

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s not a quick-fix dish, and don’t think about counting calories and fat grams in even a small serving. Yet, when it comes to old-fashioned comfort food, steak ’n’ gravy garners positive marks in most families.

Surprisingly, a cook has the best chance of achieving a nice steak ’n’ gravy by selecting a less expensive, lean cut of beef. Since the cooking is done in a skillet on top of the stove, there really is no need to buy an expensive, highly marbled beef steak.

The preferred cut for steak ’n’ gravy is the less tender cut, the round steak.

Being a lean cut with little fat marbling to impart juiciness or flavor, round steak needs the seasoning enhancement provided by the gravy liquid and vegetables the steak cooks in to develop flavor as it simmers on top of the stove.

An argument can be made for upgrading the beef cut from round steak to sirloin, which is slightly less lean and slightly more expensive.

The reason to consider substituting a sirloin for a round steak is that beef is much leaner than it used to be.

It’s a little easier to achieve desired steak tenderness with a sirloin than a round steak. An inexperienced cook probably should make steak ’n’ gravy from a sirloin steak instead of a round steak.

Some steak ’n’ gravy cooks add sliced bell pepper or tomatoes to the gravy liquid as it cooks.

Vegetable additions are a matter of personal taste, though the acid in tomatoes does help tenderize the texture of the meat as it cooks.

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