Monday, September 12, 2011

Salisbury Steak

Like any good midwesterner, I had the sudden craving for meat and potatoes. Something old-school. And there's not much more old-school than salisbury steak. There's not much easier, either!

Salisbury steak is nothing more than a thin hamburger patty smothered in gravy. Kind of like meatloaf that you cook on the stove instead of in the oven. I flavored my steak with onions and garlic, but, like meatloaf, you can add any vegetable fillers that you like. Or, you can add no vegetable filler.

For extra easiness, I threw the onion and garlic in my mini food processor.

The processor did all the work for me!

Two eggs bind your meat and prevent it from falling apart as easily.

Bread crumbs add additional stability to your patties.

Dried parsley gives your bowl of meat some color.

There's a whole lotta brown in this recipe. I had to photograph something green.

Gently mix everything together. You don't want to mix too violently or your patties will be tough. Just mix until you no longer have lumps of whole eggs, pockets of bread crumbs, or solid masses of onion and garlic.

Melt some butter in a big pan (after washing your hands, of course. Or have someone else set up the butter and pan for you.)

Once the butter has melted, gently add your patties. I made 5 patties out of my meat mixture (I slipped the fifth guy in after the first four shrank down enough to make room). Make more or less depending on your number of guests and your hunger level.

If you're by yourself, you could always make one humungous patty. Just one of the joys of living alone.

Once your patties are golden brown on one side, flip 'em over.

I had some mushrooms in the fridge that needed to get used, so I cleaned and quartered them.

After the patties are cooked on both sides (but not necessarily cooked all the way through), you can take them out of the pan and set them aside. Throw in the mushrooms and let them pick up the beefy goodness left behind.

Now for your gravy. A tablespoon or so of flour is necessary to get it started.

The mushrooms likely soaked up a fair amount of the butter and meat juices. To make a proper gravy, you need an equal ratio of flour to fat. If your pan looks like this, it means there's not enough fat in the pan. A pat of butter or a swirl of olive oil will solve your problem.
Much better.

A can of beef broth completes your gravy.

Let the gravy come back up to a simmer.

Carefully slide the salisbury steaks into the pan with the gravy. Scooch the mushrooms around a bit to make room, if necessary.

A shake of Worchestershire sauce will give your gravy a deep, salty, delicious flavor.

Cover with a lid (or tinfoil, if your pan is too big) and let your steaks simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Serve your salisbury steaks with some mashed potatoes and a veggie. For an extra vintage feel, serve in a sectioned plate, make your veggie mixed vegetables, and grab yourself an individually-wrapped brownie. Then grab a TV tray, turn on your favorite show, and sit down in front of it with your stovetop TV dinner.

Recipe: Salisbury Steak

1/4 onion
1 garlic clove
1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1 tbsp. butter

1/2 lb. button mushrooms, quartered

1 tbsp. flour
1 can beef broth
a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce

Finely mince the onion and garlic. Add to a large bowl, along with ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, and parsley. Mix lightly until just combined. Shape into thinnish, slightly oblong patties.

In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add beef patties. When patties are browned on one side, flip to cook other side.

When patties are browned on both sides (but not necessarily cooked through), remove from pan and set aside. Saute mushrooms in the same pan.

Add flour to make a roux; if flour mixture looks dry, add enough additional fat (oil or butter) to make a paste. Add beef broth and Worchestershire. Return to simmer.

Add patties back into pan. Cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

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