Friday, October 22, 2021

All Beef Salisbury Steak

Photo: Wikepedia

At the supermarket, I spotted the $6 Hunger Man frozen meals and got the idea to make Salisbury Steak for dinner. Thought I ... why not buy $5 worth of ground beef instead of these $6 frozen dinners? As I put the ground beef into my basket my 2nd thought was I've never made Salisbury Steak, I wonder what all's in it? Well ... how hard could it be?

As it turns out Salisbury Steak is a version of Hamburg steak consisting of ground beef, breadcrumbs and seasonings with gravy. Oh, yeah, gravy! Definitely, we are heading in the right direction. German immigrants brought the stick-to-your-ribs dish over to the US during the 19th century. It was adapted by Dr. James Salisbury, an American physician, to put meat in the diets of Civil War soldiers to promote their health.

It's a one-pan easy recipe, fairly universal in ingredients checking with the various online cooks. The one optional ingredient I'm adding to the gravy is a big ole grilled onion. Moreover, I'm omitting ground pork .... why do we need both? We don't. Let's keep it simple like the Hamburg Steak (unless you happen to have ground pork and want to use it up). I'm familiar enough with German cooking to know Hamburg Steak would have been made both ways -- with or without the addition of pork depending upon what the family had in their panty on a given day. 

All Beef Salisbury Steak

Ingredients for the steak:
1 - 1.5 lbs of lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (per pound of meat)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
4 sprinkles of Worchester sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
A sprinkle of dried garlic, onion powder, parsley
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I tossed in the entire package.)
1 onion, sliced

Directions for the steak:

1) Toss the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, ketchup, mustard, Worchester sauce, and seasonings into a mixing bowl and using your hands incorporate uniformly. (I don't use milk, but you can if you wish to moisten your bread crumbs.)

2) Shape into patties -- one pound makes 2; 1.5 pounds give you 3; 2 pounds make 4 servings, etc.

3) Grill in a frying pan. As the meat is cooking, you can toss in the mushrooms and onions to tenderize them for the gravy. After the ground beef patties are done cooking, remove them from the pan and temporarily put aside. Be sure to save the brown meat bits, mushrooms, and onions for the gravy. 

Gravy Ingredients:

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced and at least partially cooked
1 onion, sliced and at least partially cooked
1 cup of water per pound of ground beef (Eyeball the water amount. More or less gravy is up to you.)
1 beef (or chicken) bouillon cube
2  tablespoons of all-purpose flour (Eyeball it. A tablespoon of flour per half cup of water cooked for 5 minutes will thicken your gravy.)
Salt, pepper, dried garlic powder to taste


1) Add the water, bouillon cube, and flour to the pan drippings, making sure to dissolve the flour and bouillon into the water. 

2) Bring to a boil, then cook until the gravy thickens. It thickens in about 5 minutes ... during which you return the Salisbury Steaks to the gravy for them to heat up and absorb the gravy. 

3) Taste the gravy and adjust the spices to taste: a tad more salt or black pepper, a capful of cider vinegar for more flavor, etc. {(If I need to get rid of a ripe tomato laying in the refrigerator, I toss it into a gravy or vegetable stew at the beginning to add more flavor. A capful of vinegar can also balance the sauce out resulting in a hodge-podge of deliciousness! So will red wine ... but I suggest you sip it instead while cooking.😁}

Salisbury Steak is often served with mashed potatoes and peas as side dishes. More than a hamburger, easier than a meatloaf. I also like how you can make as much as you need -- a dinner for one or more people. We love our stovetop, skillet meals. Guten Appetit!

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