You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t keep her from hankering for a good chicken-fried steak.

In honor of Texas Independence Day March 2, the Homesick Texan (a.k.a. Lisa) posted a poetic ode to her home-state favorite: the chicken-fried steak. Amongst the three food groups in Texas (Tex-Mex, barbecue, and chicken-fried steak), this is the dish that has captured her heart and stomach.

As Lisa sees it, chicken-fried steak is a “dish which through hard work and culinary ingenuity catapults a cut of gristled beef from its rough-hewn, lowly beginnings to delectable and iconic heights.”

This post—which includes possibly the prettiest photo of pounded meat ever—offers a recipe, some history, and a wee bit of hand-holding for those not yet initiated into the cult of the Texas chicken-fried steak:

The preparation of chicken-fried steak is a violent, messy and dangerous affair. Do not be afraid of small chunks of meat flying from your tenderizer and adhering to your walls. Do not be afraid of being covered head to toe in a paste-like mixture of flour, batter and grease. And do not be afraid of hot oil splattering and some screechy sizzling as you flip the steaks in the skillet.

Now, not everyone is going to want to worship at the shrine of what Jerry Flemmons once called the “Great God Beef dish,” and Lisa’s philosophical about this. “[T]here are a select few who just don’t get it,” she admits. “But that’s OK because it leaves more for the rest of us.”

Spoken like a true Texan, cream gravy and all.

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