Last updated on January 27th, 2022
I made a Salisbury Steak Dinner yesterday for three important reasons: One, it was so cold and rainy outside, all I could think about was comfort food. Two, I didn’t have anything better to do. And finally…I was hungry! Here’s the recipe for this rib-sticking meal that comes together easily and freezes perfectly:
Salisbury Steak Dinner
For the "steaks":
- 3 Lbs. lean ground beef
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs (gluten-free crumbs work well here)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for browning the steaks
For the onions and mushrooms mixture:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
For the gravy:
- 3 cups water (or mushroom broth or beef stock)
- 3 generous tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- Mashed potatoes
- Le Sueur peas
Mixing, forming, and browning the steaks:
- In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the beef, eggs, and bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 8 oval-shaped patties or "steaks."
- In a wide, fairly-deep skillet, warm the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the steaks, and let them sit, undisturbed, until they develop a richly-browned crust -- 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a platter or plate. Drain off the fat in the pan.
Cooking the onions and mushrooms:
- Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and toss to coat. Add more butter or oil if necessary. Then cover the skillet, reduce the heat to "low," and let the onions cook (give them a stir from time to time) until they soften and begin to caramelize -- about 8 minutes. Scrape up any bits of meat that have stuck to the bottom of the skillet, and stir them into the onions.
- Stir the mushrooms into the onions in the skillet. Cover and let cook over low heat until the mushrooms soften -- about 5 minutes.
Making the gravy:
- In a bowl or 4-cup glass measure, whisk together the water, cornstarch, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Tip the gravy mixture into the onions and mushrooms in the skillet. Then increase the heat to "high," and stir slowly and constantly until the gravy bubbles and thickens -- 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lower the heat so that the gravy is only simmering, not boiling. Return the steaks to the skillet, and let them cook in the gravy until they achieve 160°F when checked with a digital thermometer -- 10-20 minutes. The steaks will cook faster if you cover the skillet.
- Serve hot or warm, with such accompaniments as mashed potatoes and baby (Le Sueur) peas. Make a well in the potatoes to hold the wonderful onion-mushroom gravy.
Mind keeping me company while I make this scrumptious dinner? Watch the video recipe above. As a bonus, you’ll learn about the doctor for whom “Salisbury Steak” is named. Watch all the way to the end, and you’ll meet a vicious dog that loves Salisbury Steak as much as Mr. Fox and I do.
Salisbury Steak Dinner: Recipe Notes
I always use 90% lean ground beef for Salisbury Steaks. Why? Because lean meat doesn’t shrink measurably as it cooks. If you prefer more fat in your steaks, then go ahead and select ground beef that is 80-85% lean.
To make a vegetarian version of this dish, substitute “Beyond Beef” for the meat component. Mix and form the Beyond Beef as described for the real meat in the recipe above, but cook the patties for only 4 minutes on each side. The patties will be fully-cooked at this point. Rewarm them in the hot gravy mixture just before serving time. Related recipe: Vegetarian ‘Beyond Beef’ Loaf.
A note for the gluten-avoiding: Use 4-C gluten-free dry, seasoned bread crumbs in the meat mixture. These crumbs work out gloriously-well for Salisbury Steak!
How to Freeze and Reheat Salisbury Steaks
First, let the steaks and gravy cool to room temperature. Then transfer the goods to glass freezer containers with tight-fitting lids. Before reheating, let the steaks thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then reheat in the same container, with the lid slightly ajar, in the microwave on the “Defrost” setting (30% power) for 8-10 minutes.
And here, in case you need it, is the recipe in photographic steps:
Throw the beef, eggs, and bread crumbs into a large bowl, and thoroughly mix them together by hand.
Form the meat mixture into oval-shaped “steaks.”
Warm the vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet…
And add the steaks. Let the steaks sit, undisturbed, until they develop a richly-caramelized crust — 4-5 minutes per side. (The meat will finish cooking in a later step.)
Transfer the steaks to a clean platter or baking sheet. Also, drain the fat from the skillet.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in the skillet.
Add the onions, and toss them to coat with the butter (add more butter or oil if necessary). Cover the skillet, lower the heat, and let the onions cook until they soften and color lightly — about 8 minutes.
Stir the mushrooms into the onions. Then cover the skillet, and cook just until the mushrooms have softened — about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the gravy: In a 4-cup measure or a medium-size bowl, violently whisk together the water and cornstarch. Then whisk in the Worcestershire sauce.
Tip the gravy mixture into the skillet, crank up the heat, and stir slowly and constantly until the gravy bubbles and thickens — 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Return the steaks to the skillet. Then lower the heat, and cook until the steaks until they achieve 160°F when checked with a digital thermometer — 10-20 minutes.
Serve hot or warm, with mashed potatoes and baby peas on the side.
And for dessert? Well, you can’t go wrong with this feather-light, 2-ingredient 1960s Jello confection! Click here to watch/get the recipe.
I hope you will give this classic dinner a try. xKevin