Chicken-fried caribou steaks might just be the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time.

I’ve played around with a lot of different recipes and styles over the years, and have always been happy with the results. But on one fine winter day, I topped them all.

I was subconsciously staring at my ever-so-hungry-jar of sourdough starter, and thought, how about a dip in the ole girl before I fry it up?

Words can hardly describe the joy that followed—a chicken-fried steak for the gods.

Properly pounded, these steaks will barely fit in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, so if you’re having people over for dinner, get a couple of pans going at the same time. Don’t be tempted to crowd the pan.

If done correctly, you should have a medium, perfectly crispy, slightly tangy yet very savory piece of caribou.

I probably should not be giving this one out, but… you have to try this!


Sourdough-Dipped Chicken-Fried Caribou Steaks with Cream Gravy


(Although caribou was my weapon of choice this time, I’ve also used pork, lamb, beef and moose with great success.)

Serves four

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds caribou round steaks, about 1/2-inch thick and cut into four
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite Cajun spice (I make my own, and so should you!)
  • 1/2 cup lard, bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot red pepper sauce

METHOD

  • Using a meat pounder, pound the steaks out to about 1/4-inch thick. I like to season the steaks with my Cajun dry rub about halfway through, and pound the rub into the steaks.
  • Prepare two bowls, one with the sourdough starter, the other with one cup of flour. Dip the steaks in the starter, wiping off any excess, (should just coat the steaks,) then dip into the flour, shaking off the excess. Note, you can do both of these steps in advance, waiting up to six to eight hours after the steaks are battered before you fry them.
  • Preheat oven to 200F if you need to keep the steaks warm while the others are cooking.
  • In a large skillet, heat the fat of your choice to medium-high. Add the steak and cook, turning once in awhile until steak is nice and brown on both sides, about six minutes.
  • Place on a piece of paper towel to drain briefly, then move to oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining steaks.
  • Pour out all but two tbsp of fat from the skillet, and add the two tbsp of flour, and cook quickly for about one minute, stirring all the while.
  • Add milk, salt and pepper, and whisk to make a nice smooth gravy. Add a splash of hot sauce, and pour over the steaks right away.