Sunday, September 18, 2011

Salisbury Steak

A couple of months ago, for some unknown reason, I constantly though I needed ground beef. So whenever I went to Costco I got ground beef. Only to return home to find that I had ground beef. This happened several times and I ended up with a lot of ground beef in the freezer. I've done this before. One summer I was constantly under the impression that we needed mustard. By the end of the summer we had enough yellow mustard to last two years. Hmmm, wonder why that happens? Maybe its a condition. Maybe there is some obscure word for it. Maybe I don't want to know. Anywho, I ended up with a lot of ground beef.

After making plenty of spaghetti sauce with meat, hamburgers and meatloaf I'd run out of ideas on how to use up the ground beef. So I did the obvious, I Googled "ground beef recipes". Lots of stuff came up but Salisbury Steak leap out at me. After all, I was a child in the 70's and I had a mom that didn't particularly like to cook. Not that she couldn't cook, in fact she was a pretty good cook. She just didn't enjoy it. Perhaps it had something to do with my dad being an airline pilot and being gone 3 or 4 nights a week. Or maybe she just didn't want to clean up all the mess. Who knows, the point is, as a child I ate my share of TV dinners. Heavy in the rotation was Salisbury Steak. It somehow was the best choice, not that it was actually a steak but it did have "steak" in it's name. What it was, was a hamburger-esque patty covered in dehydrated mushroom gravy. It sat nestled in it's triangular foil compartment with watery mashed potatoes to the left and rubbery cubed veggies to the right. If you were lucky, there was some sort of brownie or cobbler right in the middle that you had to carefully peel back the foil on before cooking. Ah, those were the days. So in homage to my childhood and my mother I had to try my hand at Salisbury Steak. I read through several recipes and came up with this gem. Enjoy!

Get your ingredients ready: Condensed French Onion Soup, ground beef, dry bread crumbs, an egg, salt, pepper, AP flour, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, mustard and sliced mushrooms.

Start by putting the soup in a blender and blending it up until smooth. Measure out 1/3 cup and set it aside.

To the remaining soup in the blender, add the flour, ketchup, water, worcestershire sauce and mustard. Blend until smooth and set aside. 
This sauce definitely has a hint of ketchupy flavor. If you don't like that then by all means back off on the ketchup a bit, or leave it out all together and/or replace it with tomato paste. Make it your own.

In a large bowl mix together the reserved 1/3 cup blended soup, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. The easiest way to do this is to get your mitts in there. Clean them first, of course, but to get it well mixed together a spoon just isn't going to cut it.

Divide it into 4 equal portions.

And shape them into oval patties about 1/2-inch thick.

Brown them up, on both sides, in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Spoon off any excess fat.

Turn the heat to medium low and pour the sauce mixture over the meat. Lift the patties up so the sauce runs underneath. Then toss the mushrooms on top. Cover and simmer 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

There you have it. Salisbury Steak. A quick easy, "Old School", weeknight dinner and a great alternative use for ground beef. Enjoy!

Salisbury Steak 
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup 
1 pound ground beef 
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs 
1 egg 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons ketchup 
2 tablespoons water 
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce 
1 teaspoon mustard
4-6 oz. mushrooms, roughly chopped

1. Blend soup until smooth. Reserve 1/3 cup.
2. To remaining soup add flour, ketchup, water, worcestershire sauce and mustard. Blend until smooth, set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together reserved 1/3 cup condensed French onion soup with ground 
beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper. Shape into 4 oval patties. 
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Pour off 
excess fat. 
5. Pour sauce over meat in skillet. Add mushrooms. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Serves 4

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