Salisbury Steak!

So, for the longest time the words “Salisbury” and “Steak” conjured up images for me of those TV dinners that used to come in foil trays.  You know, the ones that had different sections for the mashed potatoes, the peas and carrots, and the Salisbury Steak?  And so it has taken me years to shake my skepticism regarding Salisbury Steak, which is totally unfair to the non-TV-dinner form of Salisbury Steak, because as it turns out, when you make it yourself it is a warm and wonderful plate of hearty deliciousness.

According to The Internet, Salisbury Steak was invented by a doctor named (yup) Salisbury back in 1897, who thought folks should be eating a high protein, low carb diet. I think it’s safe to say he probably didn’t live long enough to see his healthy invention become one of the superstars of TV dinners, which is probably a good thing.  But it made me even more eager to give this recipe a fair shake, because as it turns out when you make it with all good fresh ingredients, it not only tastes good but it’s pretty good for you as well.

I made this with my own ground beef (and wait! Before you run away, if you have a food processor and 5 extra minutes you can do it too!  Click here for all the info.)  And you can certainly use regular ground beef if you want to.  One way or the other, mix it up with some fresh breadcrumbs, an egg, some tomato paste and a little salt and pepper and form it into those oval shapes you remember.  (Why the oval shapes?  I have no idea.)  Before you cook the burgers, saute up some onions until they are soft and golden.  Then cook the steaks and set them aside.

The last very vital step is to make that gravy up there, which you cook up in that same skillet out of some beef broth, a little cornstarch and the pan drippings.  Very easy and essential to the whole Salisbury Steak Experience.

Now dish it up with a steak covered in the soft onions and liberally topped with the gravy, and if you want the full experience, go for the mashed potatoes and peas and carrots on the side.  I now feel completely rehabilitated, Salisbury Steak-wise!

Salisbury Steak!
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Pinch of coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute over medium high heat until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Combine meat, crumbs, egg, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Form into 4 oval shapes and cook in the same skillet over medium high heat for 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
  3. Combine cornstarch with beef broth and pour into skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened. Add onions and stir to heat. Add steaks, spooning gravy on top.
  4. Place each steak on a plate, top with onions and spoon gravy over the steak. Serve at once.


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  1. Theresa M. says

    Ok, I was going to make meatloaf tonight with the ground beef I took out of the freezer to thaw. Now you had to go and put this recipe up. No more meatloaf on the menu for tonight! But I’ll have to put some buttered noodles alongside as I am too lazy to go to the store for spuds.

  2. Nina says

    I love that you posted a recipe like this & yes I remember growing up with those T.V. Dinners in the foil pack I have an idea that I hope you would consider………………….
    Would you do a “T.V. Dinner Week” recipes from all the favorite dinners from the past Remember the “meatloaf” “mashed potatoes” the “apple Desserts that came in the dinners ……. would love to see what you come up with & i’m sure you would come up with some amazing ideas ………. You have the best recipe posts and whenever I need an idea for something different to cook or bake I always come right onto your page Love you & keep up all your good work

    • Kate says

      Nina, I love this idea! I’ll definitely give it some thought. :) Meantime, your sweet comments about my recipes made my whole day – thank you!!!


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