Salisbury steak was a popular dish in the 1950s and 1960s and is credited as the forerunner of the hamburger. The entree was created by Dr. James Henry Salisbury and dates back in print to 1895. Dr. Salisbury considered ground beef, specifically lean muscle fibers, to be a cure for Civil War soldiers who suffered from “camp diarrhea” and touted its health benefits for all Americans. The original Salisbury steak consisted of ground beef, minced onions, salt, and pepper which was then simply broiled and served. The recipe evolved from that point and is now usually served with a gravy. My version includes a mushroom gravy, just like Granny-Ma used to make. Served with mashed potatoes, rice, or buttered noodles, it is a perfect comfort food sure to evoke lasting memories.
Salisbury Steak in Mushroom Gravy Recipe
1 pound white mushrooms, divided use (see Notes)
2 pounds 80/20 chuck ground beef (see Notes)
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs or panko
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 package dry onion soup mix (or beefy onion)
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
3 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups strong beef broth
1/2 teaspoon browning sauce (such as Gravy Master or Bovril), optional
1/4 cup heavy cream
Additional chopped parsley for garnish
Brush the mushrooms clean and trim the very end of the stem. Remove all of the stems and fine-chop them. Set aside to use with the meat mixture. Cut the mushroom caps into quarters.
Combine ground chuck beef, bread crumbs, chopped mushroom stems, milk or cream, dry onion soup mix, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with a large fork. Form into 6 patties, each 1-1/2 inches thick.
Heat a large, deep, hard-anodized skillet (12-inch by 3-inch) or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Spray with olive oil. Sear beef patties until golden on each side. (Don’t worry about cooking them through. More cooking is to come.) Remove patties to a platter. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of grease.
To the same skillet, add butter and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms have released their liquid and are golden. Add pressed garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Continue to stir while slowly adding the beef broth until broth is heated and thickened. Stir in heavy cream and browning sauce, if using. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper, if needed.
Return the beef patties to the pan, along with any accumulated juices, and turn to cover with the gravy. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, turning patties once during the simmering.
Serve Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes, rice, or hot buttered noodles. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings
• I prefer ground chuck for this recipe because of its rich, beefy flavor. To be more authentic, use lean ground beef.
• Instead of the dry onion soup mix, you may substitute 1/2 cup finely-chopped onions. If you skip the soup mix, you may need more salt.
• I normally use plain white mushrooms, because my Grandmother did. However, if you want to upgrade, feel free to use your favorite variety of wild or common mushrooms. The beefy flavor of portobello mushrooms is an especially good complement to the beef gravy.
Salisbury Steak in Mushroom Gravy Recipe Photo ©2018 Peggy Filippone