I saw this recipe at Homesick Texan a few months ago and parked it in my sidebar until it went on my menu a few weeks ago. My son's girlfriend was over and it was a Friday night, so everyone was in a fun food mood. These steak fingers did not disappoint. I admit they were pretty labor intensive with all the frying, but with the raves I got at the table, I say they were worth it.
I started with cube steak, and I can't imagine adding pounding the steak to the prep, so do yourself a favor and start with cube steak. The jalapeno gravy is definitely a must with these steak fingers, but I did switch things up and make it after I fried the fingers, using a little of the frying fat instead of bacon grease. I don't doubt that bacon grease would make an awesome gravy, but I don't keep a can of bacon fat around (gasp!). I upped the quantity of cube steak to about 2 1/2 pounds for 6 people, but I wouldn't change any other quantity. I made just a few modifications in method, which I think make for a less complicated recipe.
Chicken Fried Steak Fingers
with jalapeño cream gravy
2 jalapeños cut in half lengthwise, stems and seeds removed
2 cloves of garlic
2 T. bacon grease or oil
2 T. flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 t. ground cumin
Salt to taste
2-3 pounds top round steak or cube steak
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 t. black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 t. cayenne
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)
Oil for frying
To make the cream gravy, place the halved jalapeños skin-side up and the garlic on a sheet and place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until jalapeños and garlic are blackened (or, if you have a gas stove, place on top of your grate over the flame). Remove from the oven. Place in a plastic bag until cool. Rub off the blackened jalapeño skin and then dice. Mince the roasted garlic.
In a large heavy skillet, heat up the bacon grease or oil on medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk and stir until thickened, which should take a couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the diced jalapeños and garlic. Add the cumin and add salt to taste. If too thick for your tastes, add more milk. Reheat on low for serving.
To make the steaks, if you using top round steak, you’ll need to pound it with a meat mallet until flattened and doubled in size. If using cube steak, you can skip this step. Cut the tenderized steak into 1-inch strips.
Mix together the flour with the salt, black pepper and cayenne in a shallow dish. Whisk together the eggs with the buttermilk in a shallow dish. Lightly sprinkle the steak strips with salt and pepper then dredge each strip in the flour. Dip the flour-coated steak into the egg/milk and then dredge again in the flour.
Heat oven to 200 degrees. In a large heavy skillet, such as a cast-iron skillet, heat up an inch of oil to 300 degrees (until a small bit of flour dropped in bubbles up). Place 4 strips into the skillet and cook until you see red juices bubbling on top of the meat, about 2 or 3 minutes. With tongs, turn over the fingers and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and place in the oven while you fry the remaining strips.
Serve with mashed potatoes and southern style green beans.
Source: modified from Homesick Texan.