14 July 2022

Salisbury Steak - Classic Comfort Food

Salisbury Steak - Classic Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

Salisbury Steak popped into my head this morning when I was thinking about dinner. Then I thought how nice it would be to make a big enough batch to make four dinners for the two of us, one for this evening and three for the freezer.

So I scaled up my usual Salisbury Steak recipe. This is what I call streamlined cooking and why I have so many of these Pyrex 3-cup rectangular storage dishes, perfect for my make-ahead freezer meals for two. 

Wish I'd had them in the freezer last week when I needed to take food to a sick friend. But, no, I had to make a batch of chicken soup when I wasn't feeling all that great myself. Can't let my freezer stash get down to zero again!

Let me assure you, my Salisbury Steak is good old-fashioned comfort food, not like the TV dinner version with painted-on "grill marks" or like the school lunch version I avoided throughout elementary school.

What is one of your favorite comfort food meals when life has gotten hectic or stressful?

Salisbury Steak - Classic Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Salisbury Steak

(Makes 8 servings)

The Steaks

2 pounds (32 ounces/ grams) lean ground beef (organic and grass-fed, if possible)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 slices/3.5 ounces/99 grams good sourdough or white bread)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

The Gravy

1 small (4 ounces/113 grams) yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound (8 ounces/227 grams) mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 quart (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) lower sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) water

1 In medium bowl, mix together ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, ketchup, dry mustard, salt, pepper, marjoram and Worcestershire sauce. Using 2/3-cup measuring cup, divide mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into oval patties about 5 inches long and 3/4 inch thick.

2 Heat (I mean really heat!) a large skillet*, add butter and oil, and brown the steaks well (I mean really well!) over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer steaks to a plate and pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Do not clean it or scrape it! Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping up the tasty brown bits in the pan, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms (and a little more butter or oil, if needed) to the pan, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

* I use this All-Clad 6-Quart Saute Pan (12-inch, 2.75 inches deep, straight sides). Being stainless steel with no nonstick coating, you can get it really hot to put a brown crust on things. I can't imagine that my gravy would have turned out so beautifully brown if the steaks hadn't been browned really well, leaving fabulous fond in the pan. And its straight sides mean a large surface area for cooking.

3 Add beef broth, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to skillet. Mix well, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. When sauce begins to bubble and thicken, add steaks back to pan. Cover loosely and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to heat through. When 2 or 3 minutes remain, taste and adjust seasoning.

4 If you're making meals for two for the freezer, put 2 steaks in each of 4 Pyrex 3-cup rectangular storage dishes, use a slotted spoon to divide the mushrooms between the 4 dishes, then divide the sauce between the four dishes. Put the lids on and allow them to cool for 1 hour, then transfer them to the refrigerator until they are thoroughly chilled before placing them in the freezer.

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