Chicken fried steak cubes with bloody mary dipping sauce


* 500g sirloin or rump steaks
* 275ml buttermilk, (see cook’s note)
* 2 tsp tabasco
* 1 sprig thyme
* 230g plain flour
* 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 275ml vegetable oil
* 1 tbsp butter

For the bloody mary dipping sauce

* 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 275 ml vodka
* 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 2 tsp tabasco
* 275ml tomato sauce, (or 4-5 fresh tomatoes pureed)
* 1 heaped tbsp prepared horseradish
* sticks of celery and carrots, to serve

1. Slice the steak into small bite sized pieces and put in a shallow bowl. Pour over the buttermilk, Tabasco and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. For the bloody mary dipping sauce: heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Pour in half the vodka and reduce.

3. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, tomato sauce and horseradish. Bring back to the boil and season. You can add more vodka if you want to add an extra kick to the dip. I prefer to serve the meat hot and the sauce cold, so cool the sauce in the fridge while the meat is marinating.

4. In a shallow plate, season flour with Cajun seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper. Remove the steaks from the marinade and shake off the excess buttermilk. Dredge in the flour, making sure to fully coat each piece.

5. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Cook the steaks over medium heat until they are golden brown on each side, 5-10 minutes depending on size. Set aside to keep warm.

6. Transfer dipping sauce to a small dish and put in the middle of a serving platter. Surround the dip with meat bites and set several bamboo skewers along side the meat. Serve with celery and carrot sticks.

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