3/4cupplus of shortening or vegetable oil for frying
For the gravy
1/3cupshortening or oil
salt and pepper
Line a dish or baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
Soak meat in milk for about 5 minutes. Shake off excess liquid. Generously salt and pepper both sides of meat. Dredge in flour, then the milk, and then flour again.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat shortening on medium-high heat, about 350°F (don't let the oil smoke). If you don't have a thermometer, test the oil by dipping a fork in the flour then the oil. If it sizzles right away, it's ready. Fry two or three steaks at a time about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place cooked meat on the prepared paper towel-lined dish or baking sheet to absorb the excess oil.
When all of the meat is cooked, reduce heat to medium-low. Run a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan to loosen the pan drippings. Add additional oil or shortening to the pan until it equals about 1/3 cup, or remove extra oil until 1/3 cup remains. Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over hot oil, and stir until dissolved. Continue to stir until the mixture is slightly toasty and starts to brown, about 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and reduce to simmer. Gravy thickens as it cooks. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Spoon gravy over fried cubed steaks, or return steaks to the pan and simmer in the gravy for about 10 minutes.
If the gravy is too thick, add 1/2 cup of water and stir. Repeat until gravy is the desired consistency.