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Country-Fried “Steaks” with Chipotle Gravy

1   tbsp (15 mL) plus 1 tsp (5 mL) chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, divided
1   lb (450 g) 80% lean ground beef
1 1/2   cups (325 mL) finely crushed saltine crackers (about 37 crackers), divided
1 1/2   cups (325 mL) buttermilk, divided
1   egg
1/2   tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4   tsp (1 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
1/2   cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
3   tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil
3/4   cup (175 mL) beef broth
  1. Finely chop chipotle pepper using Food Chopper. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine 1 tsp (5 mL) of the chipotle pepper, beef, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the crackers, 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the buttermilk, egg, salt and black pepper; mix well. Shape beef mixture into four irregular-shaped patties, about 1/2 in. (1 cm) thick. Place flour in first Coating Tray. Pour 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the buttermilk in second tray and place remaining 1 cup (250 mL) cracker crumbs in third tray. Lightly dredge each patty in flour, shaking off excess; dip into buttermilk and then into crackers, pressing gently to secure crumbs to patty.
  2. Add oil to Executive (12-in./30-cm) Skillet (do not use stainless cookware); heat over medium heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Place patties in Skillet; cook 4-6 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) and patties are no longer pink in center. Remove patties from Skillet to paper towel-lined plate (do not wipe out Skillet).
  3. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the flour from Coating Tray to Skillet, whisk using Silicone Flat Whisk until smooth. Gradually add broth and remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) chipotle pepper, whisking until smooth. Cook 1-3 minutes or until gravy comes to a boil, whisking constantly. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk. Cook 1-3 minutes or until thickened, whisking constantly. Serve gravy over steaks.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 630, Total Fat 39 g, Saturated Fat 11 g, Cholesterol 135 mg, Carbohydrate 39 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium 1010 mg, Fiber 2 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1/2 milk, 3 medium-fat meat, 41/2 fat (21/2 carb)

Cook's Tips: Dredging the patty into flour and then buttermilk helps the crackers adhere.

Buttermilk is a fermented milk that has a thickened texture and tangy flavor. It is lower in fat and calories than regular milk.

In a pinch, you can make a quick buttermilk substitute. Combine 11/2 tbsp (22 mL) white vinegar with enough milk to measure a total of 11/2 cups (375 mL). Let stand 5 minutes. The acid will sour and slightly thicken the milk.