Finger steaks recipe is a western staple, but if you haven’t tried them yet, you should. If you already enjoy them, you must try them with this extra crispy flavor-packed coating.
They are incredible! Crispy on the outside and incredibly tender on the inside.
WHAT ARE FINGER STEAKS?
Finger steaks are fried strips of steak that have been breaded (or battered) and fried in oil until golden and crispy. They get their name from their finger-length shape.
Idahoans like to think of them as the Northwest’s answer to Southern fried chicken, and they can be found in restaurants and bars throughout Southern Idaho and neighboring states.
FINGER STEAKS ORIGINS
According to my friends at the Idaho Beef Council, the legend of the finger steak begins in the 1950s at Milo’s Tavern in Boise.
The owner is a U.S. citizen. Mylo Bybee, a forest service meat cutter and chef, created the iconic dish because he was committed to using every possible part of the cattle, including steak trimmings.
So he battered and deep-fried them, and the rest, as they say, is history! A few decades later, in 1972, B and D Foods began producing frozen finger steaks.
Since then, they have been selling to fast and fast-casual restaurants, and they produce approximately 600,000 pounds of finger steaks per year!
WHAT ARE STEAK FINGERS MADE OF?
- Steak fingers are made from the same meat as Chicken Fried Steak — cube steaks.
- Cube steaks are cut from the cow’s neck and shoulder area. This subprimal cut is also known as “beef chuck,” and it has a lot of movement. Because cube steaks are a naturally tough cut of meat, they are thinly sliced and then tenderized, making them ideal for frying!
- Steak fingers are also made with a crispy, crunchy flour batter. The batter also contains Saltine crackers, Kosher salt, and black pepper, in addition to flour. The Saltine crackers will add crunch and texture to the steak fingers.
- Steak Fingers are fried in oil to cook. You’ll need a flavorless oil with a high smoke point for this task, such as canola, peanut, or vegetable oil.
HOW TO MAKE STEAK FINGERS?
- Cut the Cube Steaks – If you can’t find cube steaks pre-packaged as strips, you can make your own. Cut each steak into three strips and set aside until ready to use.
- Prepare a Dredging Station – Prepare a dredging station with three rimmed trays or pie dishes. In the first tray, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Combine milk and eggs in the second attempt. For the third tray, combine the flour, cracker crumbs, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl.
- Heat the Oil – Place your oil in a large frying pan, Dutch oven, or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and allow it to heat up.
- Batter the Steak Fingers – Dredge each piece of steak in the flour mixture first, then in the egg wash, and finally in the flour-cracker mixture.
- Fry the Steak Fingers and Serve Hot – Now it’s time to get the skillet going. Before you start frying, prepare a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Place a cooling rack over the paper towels if you want your Steak Fingers to stay crispy on the bottom. Then, in batches, add the steak fingers to the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, then serve with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Country Gravy.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE OIL IS RIGHT FOR FRYING?
Consider purchasing an infrared or candy thermometer if you are new to frying. This will help to ensure that your oil is within the proper temperature range.
A flour test is another option. When you believe the oil is at the proper temperature, sprinkle a small amount of flour over it.
If it doesn’t do anything (or only barely sizzles), the oil isn’t hot enough. If the flour immediately darkens and smokes, the oil is too hot.
If the oil is the right temperature, the flour will simply bubble and sizzle, emitting no burning or smoky odor.
SERVING FINGER STEAKS RECIPE
Finger steaks are typically served in a parchment-lined basket with a side of French fries and a mandatory dip sauce, often Idaho fry sauce.
Personally, I enjoy mine with a chimichurri mayo dip as an accompaniment to a cold beer!
But, now that I’ve had finger steaks more than a few times, my mind has been racing with new ways to serve them. Here are a few examples:
- Toss them with a sauce, just like chicken wings. Buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, Korean sauce, you name it!
- Make a sandwich, tacos, gyro, poutine, or top a salad with the finger steaks.
- Serve with various dipping sauces, such as garlic aioli, blue cheese, BBQ, ranch, sriracha, horseradish cream, marinara, mustard, and so on.
EXPERT TIPS FOR MAKING FINGERS
- Season with your favorite seasoning, such as Italian Seasoning Blend, house seasoning blend, or your favorite seasoning.
- Use a premade coating mix or homemade Bisquick to save time.
- Alternate ingredient: Feel free to use your favorite hot sauce or cayenne pepper to add some heat.
- Alternate cooking method: Cook these in a regular frying pan, on the grill, or in an air fryer. They’re delicious any way you make them.
- Different Dippers: While the campfire sauce is delicious, you can also use gravy, barbeque sauce, boom boom sauce, or ketchup.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can crush the corn flakes and french fried onions with a rolling pin in a zipper bag.
FAQs on Finger Steaks Recipe
Finger steaks are strips of steak (usually top sirloin) that have been battered with a tempura-style or flour batter and deep-fried in oil. They’re usually served with French fries and buttered Texas toast.
The restaurants are mostly in Idaho, but they do have a peppered finger steak that has found a market in Texas. Every year, the company produces 600,000 pounds of finger steaks.
Chislic (or chislick) is a dish made of skewered cubes of red meat, usually mutton or lamb, but game meats such as venison and even beef steak can be used. Chislic, which is most commonly associated with the state of South Dakota, was declared the official state “nosh” in March 2018.
Preheat your air fryer to 380°F. Cook the frozen country fried steaks for 4 to 6 minutes in the air fryer. Take the chicken fried steaks out of the air fryer and serve!
inspired by: https://www.oliviascuisine.com/idaho-finger-steaks/