Hamburger Salisbury Steaks Smothered in Onion Gravy
Need a new ground beef dinner idea? Try Salisbury steaks!
Growing up, Salisbury steak was one of those food items my mom never made. My only exposure to this dish was from frozen TV dinners -- which in the 1970s were pretty much all terrible and disgusting -- and in the school cafeteria. School cafeteria Salisbury steak was even worse than the ones in TV dinners, if I remember correctly. Because I had never had this dish made by someone who was actually going to eat it, I had a very poor opinion of Salisbury steak.
Little did I know how delicious a home-cooked version of it really is!
I'm always looking for ground beef dinner ideas, and also entrees that both the kids and the adults in my family want to eat. While my husband and I like meatloaf and Mexican cornbread, the kids don't really want to eat either of those, despite Mexican cornbread being one of the "famous" specialties that I'm known for among friends and relatives. Personally, I'm a taco fanatic and could eat them just about every day, but my husband and kids aren't quite in love with tacos like I am. I can only make hamburgers and spaghetti so many times a month before even those favorite standbys lose their appeal.
So, I was really happy to discover that everyone in my cozy little nuclear family likes Salisbury steaks. They're made from good old hamburger meat, that always-available dinner staple, and the rest of the ingredients are items I just about always have in my pantry or refrigerator. They're not hard to make and don't take too long, and after they've simmered awhile in the beefy, oniony gravy, the meat becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender.
The onion gravy tastes terrific with the meat, and ladled over a generous helping of fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes. I don't call it onion gravy in front of my kids, though, because they think that they don't like onions. However, they love this gravy and its oniony taste. Salisbury steaks with a side of mashed potatoes, all smothered in onion gravy, is comfort food at its finest.
I always use the leanest ground beef I can find; usually it is something like 93/7. This way I don't feel too bad not serving boneless chicken breast, which is the usual healthy standby for our dinners.
- 1 and 1/4 pounds very lean ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 10-ounce can condensed French onion soup
- 2 14.5-ounce cans beef broth
- 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/4 cup water
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, dried bread crumbs, seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Measure out 1/2 cup of the canned French onion soup, and stir it into the meat mixture. Reserve remaining French onion soup.
- Divide the meat mixture into six or seven equal portions, then use your hands to mold each portion into a round or oval patty about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
- Place the patties in a large skillet and pan-fry at medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. I have a huge Calphalon 5-quart non-stick pan (in photo) which some might say is a little bit overkill, but I love that pan and in my opinion it is perfect for making this dish. Flip and pan-fry the other side about 3-4 minutes. Remove the patties from the skillet and set aside.
- Pour the beef broth into the skillet. Use a spatula to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the envelope of dry onion soup mix and the remaining canned French onion soup. Turn heat to medium-high, and bring broth mixture to a slight boil/simmer.
- In a small bowl, stir the corn starch and water together until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir into the simmering broth. Continue stirring until liquid has thickened to make onion gravy. If gravy does no thicken, dissolve another 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/4 cup water and stir this into the broth to thicken.
- Return patties to the skillet, placing them directly into the gravy. Allow steaks to simmer in the gravy three or four minutes longer, or turn the burner on low and allow the steaks to simmer up to 30 minutes. The longer the simmer, the more melt-in-your-mouth tender they will be.
- Serve Salisbury steaks and gravy over hot mashed potatoes (my personal favorite), hot cooked noodles, or hot cooked rice.