Salisbury Steak…where do I begin? I think this is similar to chili in that there are about a hundred variations of this dish and everyone has their own philosophy. Of course I’m not seeing any Salisbury steak cook offs out there, but even google can’t seem to agree on whether it’s a gravy or a brown sauce. I’ve always seen it as a seasoned ground beef somewhere in the realm of meatloaf, but that is cooked then topped with a gravy with a healthy amount of caramelized onions. Which, coincidentally, how I made it today!
Thing is, I haven’t actually made Salisbury steak in years. The last time I made it was back in Culinary School we would make food for the school’s cafeteria. Our teacher would do all the planning of recipes and then we would get handed whatever we were making at the beginning of the day. So for this particular day I got to make a catering sized portion of Salisbury steak. After spending who knows how long mixing up about 5 lb of ground beef and all the ingredients I began cooking them up in a tilt skillet (which is a pretty sweet appliance) once they were done moved on to making the sauce.
I’m trying to recall exactly how it happened next. I think I caramelized sliced onions, deglaze with sherry and then add some seasonings and beef stock. After that the sauce was to be thickened with a cornstarch slurry. This is where things went bad. After adding the corn starch it was boiling away for a bit and all of a sudden everything changed. The sauce began to get this weird oily layer to it, so I began to frantically whisk it trying to mix everything back. Next thing I know the entire thing is separated and I am flipping out. Whisking just makes it worse and the whole thing nearly looks ruined. After I got a hold of my teacher, hoping she can somehow solve this problem, she just exclaims “Oh no, you broke the sauce!” which was….well really the best way to put it.
Fortunately, the fix just involved not over boiling the sauce and adding a bit more cornstarch slurry. Luckily this brought everything back together and the recipe was saved! Now, nearly eight years later I make it again. Truth is I never avoided the recipe out of fear or anything, just honestly haven’t thought of making it since. Maybe there was some trauma I locked away in my subconscious but who knows!
Either way, this recipe is perfect if you want something savory and beefy. It’s definitely going to hit the umami high and pairs well with mashed potatoes and corn. A perfect comfort food dinner if that’s what you are looking for. I hope you get the chance to try it out and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Savory Salisbury Steak
Super savory Salisbury steak keeps it simple with ingredients but not with flavor.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/3 C bread crumbs
- 1T worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 T flour
- Step 1 Start by mixing up the ground beef, bread crumbs, worcestershire sauce, granulated garlic and onion, 1 tsp of salt and all the pepper.
- Step 2 Separate into four equal pieces and patty.
- Step 3 Cook in a skillet on medium heat until cooked through (or temp reaches about 160F) About 5-7 minutes each side.
- Step 4 Remove patties and set aside, reserving grease. Add onions, sugar and remaining salt to skillet.
- Step 5 Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are soft and browned.
- Step 6 Add flour to skillet and cook for about another minute. Then slowly add the beef broth, whisking the entire time.
- Step 7 Continue to simmer until thickened. Add thyme to the gravy and reintroduce the patties to the gravy.
- Step 8 Cover and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until cooked through.
- Step 9 Serve the patties topped with the gravy.
- Step 10 Enjoy!