Sounds like something from a Chevy Chase movie–but no!
I credit my sister with the invention of Little Meats. She made them for us about 13 years ago while we were visiting from out-of-town. We all loved them! Megan loved them so much, she asks for them every year for her birthday dinner.
Little Meats are simply Chicken Fried Steak nuggets.
Never had Chicken Fried Steak?! Bless your heart!
(You can check out the wiki-history of Chicken Fried Steak if you are interested.)
There are hundreds of ways to make Chicken Fried Steak. I’ll walk you through how we make ours, the bite-sized version.
First, you get some cubed steak. Laura, my sister, pounds her meat a bit before doing anything else to it. I never do, mainly because I don’t have a meat tenderizer–mostly because I’m lazy!
Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. You can make strips if you would rather. We like the little pieces.
Get your prep station ready. Don’t you like my fancy prep pans? I got them from Pampered Chef several years ago.
Organization is really important when frying. It gets kinda crazy, so you need to have everything ready!
What you see here is the meat, flour with a little salt and pepper, and milk. You can use buttermilk. You can add an egg. You can use cracker crumbs. You can add different seasonings. Hundreds of different versions!
Plain Jane is easy and everyone likes it.
The next step can also have multiple versions. You can go flour-milk-flour or flour-milk-cracker crumbs or milk-flour or any other combination you can come up with. A very forgiving recipe-huh?
I go with the milk-flour routine.
All of this flouring is going on while the oil is heating up in the pan. You can use a deep-fryer if you like. I just use a pan on the stove with vegetable oil. I have used shortening before and they turned out great!
I always try the one had for wet and the other for dry technique. It never works for me. I end up with globby, flour hands anyway.
Into the pan! I always test a little piece to make sure the oil sizzles before adding any extra meat.
Don’t cram the skillet full of meat. If you do, you won’t get that yummy crispness that you want. Plus, it makes it harder to turn the meat when it is all crowded in there.
Once the Little Meats are golden on one side, turn them over. I don’t know how long-just until they are done.
Put your cooked Little Meats on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Making Little Meats is a labor of love! It takes a long time. It is hot standing over the stove all that time. It makes a huge mess of flour and milk and grease.
It is so worth all the trouble, though! They are yummy! Plus, I get lots of hugs!
When I make Little Meats, I make a lot because they get gobbled up so fast. I plan for leftovers (planned overs) because the best way to eat Little Meats is to sneak a cold one from the refrigerator!
One time I made white gravy to serve with the Little Meats. No one took the time to use it, so I don’t make it anymore. We do usually have homemade mashed potatoes!
There you have it, our special occasion meal–Little Meats. I’m so glad Laura made these for us all those years ago-thanks!
Do you make Chicken Fried Steak? What method do you use?