Salisbury steak. If you haven't made it, then you should. It's comforting, easy, economical, SO RETRO, and it just might remind you of school lunch. What? You don't want to be reminded of school lunch? Well, I can't help but think of school lunch when I think of Salisbury Steak. I think they had it every week when I was in school, mostly on Thursdays. It was probably the only day I bought my lunch. Yes, I loved the Salisbury Steak and mashed potatoes served up by the lunch ladies. It was hot and comforting and a welcome break from all the peanut butter sandwiches I ate for lunch the rest of the week. However, this homemade Salisbury Steak blows the school cafeteria out of the water. It is tender and flavorful and pairs well with peas and macaroni and cheese. Hearty and retro, it reminds me of the 70's and 80's.
Salisbury Steak-adapted from Recipezaar
1 - 10oz. can Campbell French onion soup (I used about 20 oz. of beef broth)
1 - 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used a lean ground round and it worked great)
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup ketchup
1-3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/4 cup water
*may need to make a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with water)
1-2 tablespoons olive, veg or canola oil to brown Salisbury steaks
In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup French onion soup, or 1/3 cup beef broth, with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper (be easy on the salt, the gravy tends to be salty). Shape into 6 oval patties. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties, in 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Remove patties and get ready to make the gravy in the same skillet (the patties will finish cooking later in the gravy).
Here is where I altered the instructions.
Once the patties are removed, you will begin making the gravy. I used ground round, so I didn't have much fat. It was only about 1 tablespoon, so I added the tablespoon of flour to the fat instead of trying to mix flour and broth/soup into a smooth mixture, which will never happen. I cooked the flour for a minute or two and then poured in the beef broth/or soup, whichever you chose to use. At this point, mix the ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder in a small bowl and pour it into the flour/broth mixture. Let it come to a simmer and thicken. My gravy didn't thicken too much, so I added a cornstarch slurry (one tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon of water). The cornstarch slurry did the trick perfectly and the gravy was thickened nicely. Once your gravy is where you want it, place the Salisbury steaks back in the pan, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. You want to cook the steaks all the way through and kinda of give them a quick braise so that they soften up a bit. If your steaks stick out of the gravy you can baste them periodically.
Notes/Results: Loved this Salisbury Steak. It is going to be a definite repeat in my kitchen based on the ease of the recipe and the flavor punch it delivers. At first I wasn't sure about the ketchup/tomato flavor added to the gravy, but it definitely added a sharpness and kicked the gravy up a bit. The original recipe calls for a base of french onion soup to make the gravy. I wanted to have a lot of gravy, so I doubled the liquid, instead of using 10 oz. of french onion, I used 20 oz. of beef broth. This is probably why I had to thicken my gravy with a cornstarch slurry later. Either way, the gravy was delicious and the steaks were tender. You could add mushrooms and onions along the way if you wish. This is a hearty, delicious, and comforting main dish recipe.
I recommend this very creamy macaroni and cheese as a side dish. Thanks to Natashya over at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies for sharing this recipe. It looked so good over at her site that I absolutely had to try it. This macaroni and cheese is a combination of one brick cream cheese, gruyere, and cheddar. With all that cheese, how can it not be delicious? My family adored this recipe. Thanks Natashya!!