Salisbury steak was in the air. It seemed like everywhere I turned one week someone was posting a Salisbury steak recipe. I’d recently made Swiss steak, a fond memory of my childhood and Salisbury steak also fit into that category. Again, as I mentioned in the Swiss steak post, I was mostly all about the gravy. I liked to put it on white bread. Yes, a carb nightmare. I’ve grown up since then.
When I researched the origin of Salisbury steak I found it was named after a Dr James Salisbury during the Civil War. Woo hoo for having an American origin! A second woo hoo for being a northern food, as he was from New York. Salisbury was an early proponent of low carb diets and designed his ground beef dish to accommodate his beliefs. Ironically his Salisbury steak didn’t seem to have any gravy. That’s been added over time. Oops on destroying a healthy dish!
I wanted to make dinner and have it simmering in the crockpot because I didn’t know when my P.S. would be home. Thus I created a version that can be made ahead. I started with making the beef patties, adding the ingredients to a bowl then getting right down in there with my hands. It was easier to get the ingredients evenly mixed with 10 fingers rather than a spoon.
I then used my hands to make 8 fairly equal patties. I’m not the burger maker of the castle, my P.S. (Patty Specialist/ hubby usually does that job. He was at work this day so I did my best. They looked ok. Not pressing them too much is important in making the patties, the tv chefs always tell you. They cook more evenly.
I heated my trusty large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and fried 4 patties at a time. I let them get dark brown on one side then flipped and browned the second side.
As they were done I put them into a crockpot that I’d put a liner in. I had to circle them around the outside of the large oval crockpot and overlap them just a little to fit. Then I forgot to take a picture of that part. I’m sorry!
In the same skillet I added a drizzle of oil and fried the sliced onions and mushrooms over medium high heat for about 15 minutes, turning often, until they were nicely browned. I’ve found I love mushrooms that have that caramelized look.
When the mushrooms were browned I added flour to the skillet and stirred, cooking it for several minutes. It helps to cook the raw flavor of the flour somewhat.
I poured the beef broth into the skillet and stirred until there were no lumps of flour floating around, then added the remaining gravy ingredients. I let the gravy simmer and bubble for about 6 or 7 minutes, when it began to thicken.
The gravy was poured over the beef patties in the crockpot and I put the lid on top. I set the heat for high for an hour, then turned it down to low for another hour.
I added a handful of cleaned asparagus over the top to steam the last hour. That is optional.
I know I said I loved the gravy over bread, but for our meal I made a pot of mashed potatoes. Another one of my favorite comfort foods. I might have made pasta instead but I didn’t have any shapes I thought would go with the Salisbury steak and gravy. I had spaghetti, lasagna and some screwy cavatappi. Mashed potatoes seemed to fit better.
As I mentioned previously, you could make the meal and eat it immediately. You could add the patties back to the frying pan and let them simmer for about 10 minutes then serve dinner. I just needed to be flexible to accommodate my P.S.’s schedule. He walked in the door sniffing appreciatively about 1/2 hour after I started cooking. The crockpot wouldn’t have been necessary but oh well. Now I know how it turns out when it is made ahead.
And how did it taste? Totally delicious! I liked that it wasn’t super seasoned. The beef, mushroom and onion flavors were front and center. It’s definitely a simple recipe that presents in a fancier way.
Make Ahead Salisbury Steak
Make this Salisbury steak with onions and mushrooms in a tasty gravy ahead of time and simmer for several hours in a crockpot until you're ready to eat!
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup onion; finely minced
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic; minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 16 oz mushrooms; sliced (I used white mushrooms)
- 1/2 onion; sliced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic; minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- trimmed asparagus if desired
Combine beef patty ingredients and form into 8 patties. In a nonstick skillet brown patties on each side over medium high heat. You want them very browned, for best flavor. Place beef patties in crockpot in a circle, slightly overlapping to make them all fit.
In the same skillet add a drizzle of oil to the beef drippings and add mushrooms and onions. Fry for 15 minutes or until mushrooms are very browned.
Add flour to skillet and cook for several minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and stir for 3-4 minutes until beginning to bubble. Add rest of gravy ingredients and stir well. Taste test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Pour gravy over beef patties in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
Top with trimmed asparagus the last 30 minutes if desired.
Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles or rice.