Friday, November 15, 2013

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

A grown-up version of Salisbury steak that will make you wonder why you ever thought the TV-dinner versions were so appealing.

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms | Taste As You Go
Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

Two distinct memories come to mind whenever I think about Salisbury steak. In the first, I'm looking at a brightly colored handout outlining the school lunch menus for the upcoming month, marking the days that Salisbury steak appears on the schedule, and, in the second, I'm bouncing down the frozen foods aisle in the grocery store because I'm giddy with happiness over being allowed to select a Salisbury steak TV dinner as a treat. Whether at school or at home, there was something oddly comforting to me about eating a gravy-covered slab of beef accompanied by a scoop of mashed potatoes.


I've tried to get back to that place, to those feelings and those memories, a handful of times throughout my adult life by going against my better judgment and eating Salisbury steak TV dinners. Unfortunately, I was met with the disappointing reality that those dinners didn't taste the way I remembered.

The beef was rubbery, the gravy greasy and salty. And the scoops of mashed potatoes? They resembled the lumpy piles of paste that were passed out by my elementary school art teacher at the beginning of class.

I had nearly given up on the possibility of ever enjoying a Salisbury steak dinner again. But when I saw a recipe for Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms in Food Network Magazine, I decided to see what would happen if I made the dish from scratch.

Would all those nostalgic memories come flooding back?

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms | Taste As You Go
Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

At first, yes.

But the more I ate, the more I moved past those memories. This version was better than the versions I remembered by leaps and bounds. And by the time I finished eating, I wondered two things -- why did it take me so long to try making Salisbury steak from scratch and why did I ever think those TV dinners were so good?

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Printable Recipe

Note: I served the Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms with buttered egg noodles, as suggested in the original recipe, and steamed green beans. Feel free to serve with mashed potatoes if you're looking to relive some childhood memories.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large bowl, gently mix the beef, egg, onion, breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper with your hands. 
  2. Divide the beef mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into oval patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the patties, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the same skillet and cook the mushrooms until slightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste, scraping up any browned bits.
  6. Sprinkle in the flour and stir, then stir in the hot water and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. 
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  8. Return the patties and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Simmer until the sauce thickens and the patties are cooked through, about 2 minutes. 
  9. Taste the sauce and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler | Taste As You Go // Adapted from Food Network Magazine

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