I grew up in Texas eating humble foods like chicken-fried steak and old fashioned Tex-Mex. This recipe is a combination of those childhood favorites. I created this nostalgic dish with venison round steaks tenderized and pounded into a thin cutlet. I like to serve it with chili gravy—a cross between an American brown gravy and Mexican chili sauce.
Time to make
1 lb. venison top round, sirloin, or backstrap
¼ cup milk or water
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra if needed
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. oregano
2 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. each of grated garlic and onion (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 cup venison broth, chicken broth, or water
Also works with
- Cut the venison roasts into 1-inch-thick cutlets. You can make cuts partially through and butterfly in half for larger pieces. Take a meat mallet and pound each cutlet to ¼ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Spread flour across a plate. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Dredge the cutlet in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip into the egg mixture. Dredge the cutlet back into the flour to finish. Do this for each cutlet and set aside.
- Before cooking, prepare the ingredients for the chili gravy. Pre-blend all the spices and grate the garlic and onion.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, lay down each cutlet and fry until golden brown. Flip, then fry on the opposite side. Remove and set aside on a tray in the oven on the lowest setting to keep warm.
- Remove all but two tablespoons of oil from the cast iron skillet. If there are any burnt pieces, wipe the pan clean. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle in the flour. Constantly whisk to blend the flour and make a roux. Do not let it burn. When the roux turns a blonde color, whisk in the spices. Working quickly, add the tomato paste and grated garlic and onion. Stir to combine then slowly drizzle in the broth little by little, whisking constantly to emulsify. The sauce should be smooth and have a consistency that is a little lighter and thinner than white gravy.
- Pour the chili gravy over the cutlets and serve.