Welp, I have finally made a believer out of my hubby on just how incredibly flavorful, and *TENDER!*, Chicken Fried Steak Fingers with Ragin’ Cajun Gravy can be!! I battled him for years on this, (as evidently it wasn’t one of his mom’s better dishes), and hers always turned out tough and dry. That can surely, of course, have you believing that you don’t like them! But these. Are neither! Absolutely thrilled that he finally LOVES them. Believe me, next time I’m DOUBLING this!
Such a simple and easy dish, but oh so comforting and addictive that you can enjoy either as an appetizer, or add a side dish or two, and you’ve got yourself one southern-style feast!
You just simply start with “cubed” steak. Cubed simply means that “steak”, round steak usually, is run through a tenderizer by the butcher to make the lesser cut of meat super tender and thin, so that it cooks in minutes without having to slow cook it. It always comes out tender if you just don’t overcook it!
I simply pat the meat dry first, then cut the meat into strips, dredge them into seasoned flour, then into a spiked milk and egg bath, then back through the flour again. The trick to this, is to always shake off any excess flour and egg bath as you go. That way the coating won’t get too thick and gummy.
And the bits won’t all fall off when you go to fry it and just end up inedible, burnt, blackened, teeth-shattering pebbles on the bottom of the pan!
I always prep the meat first, then heat up the oil. Letting the coated meat rest while the oil heats up, also helps the breading to stick! It’s wonderfully seasoned and flavorful! You don’t want to lose any of it!
Also, make sure that your oil and butter is nice and hot. The meat should sizzle immediately when placed into the pan, and don’t cook them for more than 1 – 1 1/2 minutes per side. And NEVER. I mean NEVER pierce them with a fork to turn. Always use tongs. Piercing makes the juices run out and the oil run in. Not good! Unless you like dry, greasy meat.
Once they’re all fried and placed onto a rack over a baking sheet (no paper towel to steam that gorgeous breading and make it mushy!), you pop it into a preheated 200º oven to keep warm while you make the gravy!
*I actually like to make the gravy the day before, or earlier in the day, using all butter instead of the pan drippings, but you can make this however you want to!
So while those gorgeous golden steak fingers stay warm in the oven, whip up the gravy! If you’ve made it ahead of time, you can fry up a batch of homemade french fries if you’ like! I did, and served a nice little cup of homemade cole slaw to go alongside, too!
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You wanna talk about a midwestern/southern-style feast!
Like running into your best friend when you were 10!!
Grab one while they’re hot, dunk, and enjoy!!!
I only made a single batch, (fried in two separate batches), but next time, and OH HELLZ YEA there WILL be a next time, I’ll have to go back to making a full, 2 pound batch! The hubs all but INHALED them. Gosh I hate it when I’m right. 😉
But just thankful that it’s another one of my favorites that I have finally convinced him to give a second chance! Hope you enjoy these, too! Make a batch (or three!) this weekend!
*These Steak Fingers can be served by themselves
with the Cajun Gravy for Dipping as an Appetizer,
or make it a “Platter” and serve with any of my Side Dishes such as:
*If Gravy is not preferred for dipping, might I suggest:
- 1 lb. tenderized cubed round steak
- Seasoned Flour:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbl. cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt, (1/4 tsp. if salt-sensitive)
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. regular ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- ⅛ tsp. onion powder
- Wet Ingredients:
- 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. hot sauce such Louisiana, Frank's, or Sriracha
- To Frying Pan:
- 3 Tbl. butter
- 3 Tbl. vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 200º F. Pat the cube steak dry with paper towels, then cut the steaks into strips approximately 1 to 1½ inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long.
- In a small shallow bowl mix the flour, dry seasonings, and baking powder together. In another shallow dish, whisk eggs, whisk in milk, worcestershire, and hot sauce.
- Dredge steak strips into the flour mixture coating both sides. Shake off excess flour, then dunk the strips into the egg mixture coating both sides. Gently shake off excess drippings, then coat both sides in the flour mixture again. Shake off any excess flour and place strips onto a rack placed over a baking sheet.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and oil, stir together when butter melts.
- Once the oil is hot (between 350-375º F), gently place as many strips that will fit without over-crowding into the hot oil and fry for 1-1/2 minutes per side until golden brown. Use tongs to move the steak fingers to a clean cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining steak strips. Pop the cooked strips into the oven to keep warm.
- Once all of the steak fingers are fried, reserve ¼ cup of the pan drippings getting the bits off of the bottom. Rinse and carefully wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Place it back over medium heat, add the reserved pan drippings back in, and make the gravy. *This can be done in advance if using all butter. (*Recipe below!!)
- Serve the steak fingers with warmed Country Cajun Pepper Gravy for dipping. These go extremely well with my Copycat 5 Guys Fries and my Sweet Creamy Southern Cole Slaw!
For the Cajun Pepper Gravy to dip ‘n dunk!
- ¼ cup pan drippings with bits from the bottom of pan, *can sub bacon fat but will have a predominant bacon flavor (**if NO pan drippings available or preferred - or want to make in advance, you can use ALL butter)
- ¼ cup (4 Tbl.) butter, (*if using ALL butter - NO pan drippings - use 1 stick)
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2½ cups whole milk, (more at the end if needed - just a small splash if too thick)
- 1 tsp. cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2½ tsp. fresh cracked or coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- ⅛ tsp. ground dried rubbed sage
- ⅛ tsp. onion powder
- ½ Tbl. sour cream, (whisk in very last after removing from heat)
- Add pan drippings and butter (*or all butter) to frying pan, and melt over medium heat. Sauté minced garlic for 1 minute.
- Whisk in flour until smooth and no lumps. Whisk or stir for 5 minutes to cook out raw flour taste. Do not brown, adjust heat if needed.
- Add the broth and milk into a glass measuring pitcher, and slowly pour it into the flour mixture, whisking constantly, to keep lumps from forming.
- Stir in rest of seasonings (except sour cream).
- Bring to a boil, stirring, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. About 4 - 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir or whisk in the ½ Tbl. sour cream well, until creamy and no tiny lumps remain. If too thick, add a small splash of milk to thin. (If you accidentally add too much milk, simmer for a minute or so to re-thicken. No harm done.) Taste and add more salt and/or pepper to taste.
- Pour into small individual finger bowls and serve hot, garnished with more pepper if desired.