Southern Steak and Milk Gravy


This is one of my absolute favorite meals that my mother made growing up. Tender steak smothered in creamy and flavorful milk gravy, this dish is yet another bit of proof that simple food is often times the best!

My mother says the first time she remembered having this was when she was just a little girl. She was at her grandparent’s house and her grandfather asked her grandmother if he went and got some steak, would she make steak and gravy? Money was very scarce in those days and it was big news that her grandfather was going to get a special cut of meat for their meal!

He left and came back with a paper wrapped package of round steak. Back in the day they didn’t have cubed steak. My great grandmother opened the package and got a saucer out of the cabinet. My mother watched intently as Lela turned the saucer on its side and proceeded to give the meat a good and thorough beating to tenderize it. She then dipped both sides in flour and put it back on the counter where she beat it with the edge of the saucer again before finally cooking it just as I am going to do in this tutorial.

My mother said it was the most delicious thing she had ever tasted and from then on she knew exactly how to make steak and gravy.

I know my saucers are thankful that we can get cubed steak these days though…

You’ll need: Milk, salt, pepper, flour, and cube steak.
Pour just enough oil to coat the bottom of your skillet and heat over medium heat.
You always want to have your oil good and hot before you add anything to it, this keeps your food from getting “greasy” by actually searing it on contact.
Put about a cup of flour in a bowl. Add some salt…
and pepper. Stir that up.
Place a piece of cube steak in the flour and press down a bit to get it good and coated.
Turn it over and coat the other side…
Place in hot oil.
repeat with all pieces.
Brown on each side. Once done, remove steak to paper towel lined plate.
Oooh, see all that dark stuff in your pan? That is going to make the BEST gravy!! Add about 1/4 C of flour to this.

and 1/4 tsp pepper (feel free to add more to taste, but this is a great starting amount).
Add about 1/ tsp salt….again feel free to add more for your own taste.
Stir that up and continue cooking it on medium heat until the flour gets browned a bit, stirring the whole time. I usually do this for about three minutes or so.
Pour milk into skillet. Turn your heat down to the lowest setting. I start out with about a cup and a half and then add more if I want it thinner.
It will look like this to begin with.
I use a wire whisk to stir this because it really helps prevent lumps of flour and get it all good and mixed up. Cook on lowest heat until it thickens. If it gets too thick, you can add more milk. This will just take a few minutes so stir the entire time.
Put your steak back into the gravy…
Turn them over to coat and you’re done! Now you have two options. you can just take your steak pieces out and put the gravy in a bowl to be served with biscuits or mashed potatoes, or you can do it like my mother did and pour the steak and all into a big old bowl!
Southern Steak and Milk Gravy
  • 4 Pieces Cubed Steak
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Milk
  1. Place enough oil in a pan to just coat the bottom, put that on medium heat while you prepare your steak. In a bowl, place 1 C flour and add ¼ tsp salt and 1/ 4 tsp pepper (more if you prefer). Stir that up. Dip each piece of steak into flour on both sides to get it coated well. Place each piece of steak in pan and cook until good and browned on both sides. Remove steak to a plate while you make your gravy.
  2. Place about ¼ C flour into skillet with meat drippings. Add a little more salt and pepper and stir this over medium heat until the flour is slightly browned (just a few minutes). Slowly pour in 1½ Cups of milk, stirring constantly. Continue stirring, with a wire whisk to help with lumps, over low heat until thickened and there are no lumps. This will happen rather quickly. Add a little more milk if you prefer thinner gravy. Return steak to the pan and turn to coat with gravy on both sides.
  3. Serve steak and gravy together in a bowl or serve gravy on the side to go with Mashed potatoes.


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    • Laurie says

      I have made this twice. Both times the gravy was still too floury. I need to add more milk (like the recipe says) and salt and pepper to the gravy. One thing that did add more flavor was I used bacon grease to brown the cube steaks rather than vegtable oil.

      • Sheri Hylton says

        If your gravy tastes too much like flour, it isn’t cooked enough. The flour has to cook to change flavor. My BFF taught me how to make sausage gravy and she would tell me, “Cook it until you think it’s done then cook it longer.” and “Cook it until you think it’s just about burnt.”
        Hope that helps-
        Good Luck and happy eating!

  1. Darlene MacCullough says

    This is my new favorite site. Thank you so much for displaying step-by-step. My family moved to the north when I was very young and they didn’t want anyone to know that we were from Kentucky, so my southern -cooking education was very limited. Looks like everything I”ve missed, is right here. Thank you, again.

  2. Tiffany says

    So I’m pretty new to cooking and this sounds yummy. I really wanna try this tonight for my bf and his dad so can you tell me about how long does this whole process take? I wanna have a hot meal when they get home so I don’t wanna start it to soon. Help!!

  3. Linda Collins says

    This is how I cook “Chicken Fried Steak”. Only, I bread the meat twice and have more of a crust on it and make thicker gravy to go over it and the mashed potatoes. My daughter’s favorite meal along with having to have corn-on-cob, broccoli w/ cheese and fried okra with it.

  4. donna eisnaugle says

    Just like my grandma taught me! But we use evaporated milk. Cheaper when feeding us 5 grandkids, But I still use it guess when you learn it one way you stick with it. Love your site and I have shared it with many friends. Chicken planks tonight!

  5. Betty Gardner says

    My mother made hambuger patties ( about the size of a flattened meatball ) with onion gravy the same way…we called it smothered as she let the meat steep in the gravy for awhile before serving…yummmmy…

  6. Renee Schuyler says

    Thank YOU Christy Jordan! I bookmarked your recipe, made it a few weeks ago but not enough gravy (too thick), on my part!! Tonight I looked through measurements, still didn’t measure (usually don’t), BUT added more milk and YUUUUUUUUMMMMYYYY! Enough (doubled) for Hubby to have home-cooked lunch tomorrow and first come, first serve at home ;-)! Awesome, 5 stars, 2 thumbs up!!!

  7. Martha Olds Brooks says

    This is almost like mine but I shake the salt and pepper directly on the steaks. I use milk or water if I don’t have milk on hand. But I turn the fire down and simmer mine in the gravy. Cut a piece of the steak to see how tender it is. then simmer accordingly. Sometimes I cook it in the oven 30-45 minutes. I’m going to keep this recipe because I’ve never written mine down either. Thanks for saving me the time.

  8. says

    This is the way I always cook deer meat. Sliced back-strap, tenderloins, and steaks cut from the deer ham are most delicious cooked this way! I always pound them a little to thin them out and tinderize them too. This is the first time ever to see a recipe for it. It is just one of those things I just throw together. A friend cooks sliced wild turkey breast and pork tenderloins the same way. Guess chicken breast would work too if you pounded them out thin!
    Yum Yum, guess what’s for supper tonight! Hubby & sons says “Thanks Christy!”.

  9. Bonnie N says

    This is the way I make all of my gravies be they beef, pork or chicken. But my recipe has been just in my head for the 40 yrs I’ve been cooking. So I’ve saved this to my ZipList for the next time I’m asked for the recipe. It’ll be so much easier to just print it out for whomever.

    ZipList is just great. I’ve been using it now for a few months. I think this site actually introduced me to it. Thanks for that.

  10. Patricia Everitt says

    Hey Christy, This is one of my favorites too, but I always have trouble when I cook it. One side of the steak always seems to “stick” to the pan. What am I doing wrong? Thank you for helping us all to be better cooks and look good to our families! Patricia

  11. Susan says

    In the mid 60s when i began cooking as a newlywed, cubed steaks were a staple…UNTIL I was hacking away at my steak with the saucer, as my mom had, and the next minute I was trying to dig shards of pottery out of my steaks! Realised these steaks were “toast” and didn’t make them again for a long while. An expensive mistake!

  12. ruth says

    Hi Christy, I am 77 years old, and when I was a little girl my mom beat the steak with a saucer to tenderize. And made wonderful gravy using canned milk. Love your recipes. You should have your own television show, with your wit and great recipes.I enjoy your website. God Bless, Ruth

  13. Betty Pritchard says

    Christie, we always called it “Cream Gravy”. We use evaporated milk mixed half milk and half water. This makes a wonderful Breakfast gravy. Fry up some bacon or sausage, then make your gravy in same pan. All you need is a hot biscuit and a good cup go coffee.

    • Mary Lyman says

      I made mine with a teflon pan as well and had plenty of drippings. It might be that you did not have a lot of oil in your pan. I added just enough to coat the bottom of my pan and added a couple of teaspoons of butter to make it even richer. Hope this helps :)

  14. Shelly says

    Is this the same recipe as your chicken fried steak? (except on the CFS you double coat the cubed steak) I love your site & recipes and am making my grocery list now! But being blonde…and old (dbl whammy)….I’m getting confused LOL. I don’t want to make the same thing but call it something different. I might get called out on it by the family.

  15. Mary Lyman says

    Hi Christy! Just wanted to share with you that I finally got around to making this recipe for the family last night and it was a great hit! Everyone loved it and requested that I make this again. I love the gravy and the fact that the steak is not covered in a lot of breading like Chicken Friend Steak. I did modify a bit by adding a 1/2 tsp of Lawry’s Season Salt to the flour mixture…Delicious!! Thank you!!

  16. glenda bedell says

    Can you e-mail me your receipe of cube steak with gravy that your grandfather and mother made. It reminds me of my growing up years and I don’t know if I can save all the pictures in my documents.

  17. Erica says

    I usually just make chicken fried cubed steak sometimes with or without beef gravy so I wanted to find some other ways to make it without the fat content of frying it in oil. Definitely trying this one tonight :) I do have one question..does it matter what type of oil you use?? i.e (olive, vegi,canola) thanks for the recipe!!

  18. Brittany says

    I’m going to try this recipe tonight! But I have a silly question. Do you use self rising flour or all purpose? I’m fairly new to cooking and don’t really know the difference between the 2. Thanks!

    • says

      Hey! For this, I use whichever I grab first. :). When baking, self rising flour already has the ingredients in it to help it rise, all purpose doesn’t. So if a recipe calls for all purpose (or plain) flour, plus salt and baking soda or baking powder – if you decide to use self rising, you leave the salt and powder or soda out. This is an easy sub for most recipes but I wouldn’t try it with cakes as each cake rises differently according to the recipe.
      In this, though, it won’t matter. If you use self rising, just decrease the salt a smidge. You for this! :) Holler if you ever have questions, I’m happy to help!

      • Brittany says

        Thank you so much!! It turned out perfect with the all purpose flour. I will definitely be back looking for new recipes to cook for my family! And thank you for the advise that helped me understand the different flours much better!

  19. LULU says

    This is exactly like my Momma used to make except she added onion. I have tried many times over to cook them exactly like her, failing every time. Most of the time the issue is the potatoes getting mushy and breaking up easily when turned.
    I have a quicker variation that might fit better for these days and times. I bake the potatoes first and put in fridge overnight. Come dinner time I put layer of veg oil in pan and heat, dice potatoes and put layer of potatoes at a time in oil. It frys them without getting mushy…and quicker b/c the potatoes were cooked the night before. I think that the potatoes being cold helps tremendously with the ‘mush’ factor. This is my boyfriends FAVORITE thing that I cook…serve these with a medium rare ribeye and you got them reeled in! ;)


  1. […] Mama put a big old bowl of fried potatoes on the table and Granny Jordan leaned in and asked in her deep drawl “Well now, those look interesting! What are they?” Mama and I hid our surprise as Mama responded that they were just fried potatoes. To which Granny Jordan replied “Well now, isn’t that neat. I bet those sure will be good!”. Born and raised in Atlanta and had never had fried potatoes? Lets get some on y’alls table as soon as we can, alright? All you need are potatoes, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. (You are just going to love how wonderful these taste if you’ve never had fried potatoes before!) Pour just enough oil into a skillet to coat the bottom of it. Turn the eye on medium to let your oil heat up for a few minutes. Peel and chop up your potatoes. Add them to the hot skillet. Salt and pepper them well, to taste. When cooking you should always lean on not putting in enough rather than too much, that allows your guests to season according to their preference. Did you know its considered very rude to salt or pepper your food before you taste it? Interesting tidbit that you might not have known about! Its insulting to the cook. Y’all just go for it if you’re at my house though, I don’t mind. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about ten minutes on medium, but check on them every few minutes. Once the ones on the bottom start browning you need to stir them up from the bottom, so the ones on the top end up on the bottom and the ones on the bottom end up on top. It sounds like I am about to start calling the hokey pokey, doesn’t it? Growing up, we never had lids for our pots so Mama just used a Corelle plate. After ten minutes or so, remove the lid and stir. Keep cooking until all potatoes are tender and most of them are browned, which will probably be about five to ten minutes longer. Spoon into large bowl and dig in!! These are great served alongside beans, hoe cake, and any type of country meat, such as Steak and Gravy! […]

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