As we’ve cited in our other blog, steak is a gift. It’s the juicy cut of meat that when you smell it sizzling on a grill your canines seem to extend in your mouth. It taps into your primal side, it’s juicy and salty and everything you want at that moment. And because it’s one of the most wonderful foods on this green earth, there have been many variations of the core meat made into different recipes and even worked on salad. But don’t fret, we’re not here to talk about salad. We’re here to talk about chicken fried steak, one of the most impressive steak recipes in existence. How did this beautiful creation come into existence? Montana Jacks will enlighten you.

The Origins

Chicken fried steak is widely known as a sweet, juicy little cut of steak from the round that is then breaded and fried, much in the same fashion as you would chicken. Generally speaking, the Texas version, which is where it is largely known to have originated from, is served with mashed potatoes and creamy, rich gravy over the top. However, there is some debate about where this country delicacy originated from. Many believe that the first instance of pan-fried steak, or country fried steak, was found in an article from the Los Angeles Times in 1924. However, there is evidence that leads us to believe that the tradition started back in the 1800s.

The Steak Challenge

At one point, the only people having prime cuts of juicy, savory meat were wealthy. They’d get sweetmeats and prime cuts because they could afford to eat like kings. Unfortunately, that meant that if the people who were less wealthy wanted to eat steak, there was quite a bit of preparation involved. The cuts of meat were often rather dry and lacked flavor altogether. So, to alleviate the bland taste and tough texture of the meat, they got creative with their cooking techniques and produced various methods of breading and frying to bring the moisture back to the meat. You’ll find that this theory is often back by various other origin tales. For example, there is one line of thought that states that chicken-fried steak originated from wiener schnitzel as it’s the same principle of breading and frying, but with veal instead of steak. The assumption is that German immigrants would take the recipe with them when they moved to Texas. Others assert that a short-order cook in Lamesa invented the widely popular dish as an accident. Although the origins are murky, the variations on the delicious recipe are completely real.

From Texas to Missoula

If you’re in East Texas the country steak you’ll get there will differ entirely from the steak you’ll find in other portions of Texas. The recipe has evolved and taken on its own shape in each region and has influenced different restaurants outside of Texas that are bringing the Southern style food outside of the South, like Montana Jacks.  You’ll find the East Texas version is dipped in egg and then flour just like fried chicken from the South is prepared. However, Central Texas prepares it with bread crumbs in a fashion that is much closer to the way wiener schnitzel is prepared instead. In West Texas, you’re more likely to find that they’ll make pan-fried steak right out of the pan without using egg to dip the meat in at all much like the cowboys on the plains prepared the recipe with.

Taste The Difference

While many restaurants are willingly sacrificing taste for more batter, grease, and gravy, Montana Jacks are willfully sticking to the top-notch recipes that all of Texas has forged into existence.The difference is that our meat quality never dips like the meat cuts that inspired the recipe. At our Missoula restaurant, you’ll find our chicken fried steak is all certified Angus beef steak that is then breaded and fried to a delicious, flaky, golden brown. Served traditionally with our country gravy, it’s bound to bring that sweet memory of original Southern cooking back and fulfill all of your expectations at the same time.

The Food Will Bring You Back

Interested in accessing beautifully crafted, quality food? Come to Montana Jacks. A great casino has to have amazing food. Our restaurant and casino are specially designed to entertain all of your cravings. Come find out just how much we can surpass your expectations.