Chiseled? Chislic? What?

Chislic is a South Dakota specialty. Made with beef or lamb, this can be served numerous ways – But the simplest and tastiest is with crackers and hot sauce. Make this as an appetizer for your next party or as a weekend snack, and have a taste of SoDak!


I happened upon a recipe for something called Chislic in a rather odd way…In sorting the mail at work, I discovered that one of the natural gas companies is, for some reason or another, now including recipes with your monthly bills. Maybe they figure the pain of paying said bill will be lessened if you can eat your feelings after making something new.

Chislic is one of those things that I’ve seen on menus all over Brookings, at the Arts Festival, I’ve heard people talk about it, but I’ve never had it.

City Chicken aside, meat on a stick tends to skeeve me out a bit, so I stay away (I don’t really know why…I’ve cooked my share of kebabs on the grill plenty of times…I think it’s more due to the mystery-meats-on-a-stick that Jay loves to get at the Arts Festival or any other festival/fairs we attend…Which, since I’m not eating them, I don’t know why they bug me, but they do).

In doing a little digging, I discovered that chislic is apparently a strictly South Dakota item, and what you get or how it’s served depends on where in the state you order it. And depending on who you ask, it’s generally either lamb or beef, although it can be made with just about any meat you can cube.

I chose to try it out with beef, as I’m not that big a fan of lamb. I also figured I’d serve it rather simply, with saltines and hot sauce. Those two items seemed to be featured in most of the recipes I came across.

Jay and I have been on this not-so-diet-friendly kick lately of eating appetizers for dinner at least one evening over the past few weekends…We’ve been consuming a LOT of Buffalo Chicken Dip and Fritos, so I thought I’d change things up this time around.

It’s good–I can see why it’s a bar/pub staple nowadays. If I drank it, a cold beer would pair perfectly with this.


There are folks out there who would tell me this isn’t real chislic, since it’s not made with lamb. And maybe I’ll make it again using lamb–I know Jay and the bambino would really like that. But now that I know what it is, I won’t look at a menu the next time I’m at a bar and recoil with mild horror at whatever that stuff called “chislic” is!

Yield: 4-6



An eastern South Dakota specialty

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 1-in. cubes
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • garlic salt
  • saltines
  • toothpicks, for serving
  • Hot sauce (optional)


Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet to come up 1/4-in on the sides (you can also use a deep-fryer), and heat it over medium-high.

While the oil is heating, cube the sirloin. Once the oil starts to shimmer on top, begin frying the meat. Cook the meat about 1-2 minutes, until browned on all sides. Do in batches if necessary, to avoid over-crowding the pan. Remove it with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

While the meat is cooling, sprinkle with garlic salt.

Stick toothpicks into the chunks, and serve with saltines and hot sauce on the side.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag it on Instagram using #tramplingroserecipes