Friday, August 31, 2007

Salisbury Steak

One night back in college, I was having dinner in the caf with my friends Ty and Garron. Ty and I both got salisbury steak. Garron sniffed at us and said something like "I can't believe you're going to eat those botulism patties." I rolled my eyes. Ty said "Look, at least we know what we're eating. Salisbury steak is fuckin burgers in gravy. That's it. Do you know what that shit is that you're eating?" Oh Snap. Hippie got owned.

Yup, Ty was right: just burgers in gravy. But how is it so delicious?!

This is basically a fancied up version of my mom's recipe.* I have eaten her salisbury steak more times than I can count. We all have predominent tastes from our childhoods; this is one of mine. I have to say that I liked my version a little bit better, but only because of the inclusion of mushrooms in the gravy. My mom is a mushroom phobe, so they never show up in hers.

You will need a cup of already cooked rice for the patties. I used some that we had leftover from Chinese takeout. Seriously, we have ten of those cartons full of white rice stashed in our fridge, because God forbid my husband waste a single grain of precious, precious rice. It's so expensive and hard to find, right? To reconsitute leftover rice that's been sitting in the fridge for a while, put it in a bowl and add a splash of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Magically your old, dried out rice will be moist, fluffy, and ready to use in the beef patties (this trick never ceases to amaze me)!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, 3/4 finely chopped, 1/4 grated
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 ounces crimini (a.k.a. baby portobello) or white button mushroom, sliced
2 cups beef broth or stock
Flour or cornstarch
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are darker and slippery, about 15 minutes.

While the onions and mushrooms are cooking, start making the beef patties. Combine the beef, egg, 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, and the rice in a large bowl. Take the 1/4 piece of the onion and grate it directly into the bowl. Mix everything together, and form into 4 or 5 patties.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the onion mixture into a medium sized saucepan. Mix in the Lipton onion soup mix, beef broth, and 2 cups of water. Bring up to a boil and let simmer. In either a large skillet or the vessel in which you will bake the patties, add a tablespoon of olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the patties and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. In the pot with the gravy, stir in a cornstarch or flour slurry to thicken. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Transfer the patties into a deep baking dish or dutch oven if they're not there already. Pour the gravy mixture over the patties and cover. If your baking dish doesn't have its own cover, use tinfoil to tent the dish instead. Bake for one hour, checking halfway through to spoon some gravy over the tops of the patties. While the salisbury steak is baking away, make some rice, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes to serve with it.

Some people might want some sort of vegetable to go with this, but I say it's cool without. There's mushrooms and onions in the sauce after all!

Rating: This is awesome
Obviously I'm going to love it, but I do think that it's a classic.

*Edit: After talking to my mom yesterday, I found out that this is actually my paternal grandmother's recipe. She passed away before I was born, so let's consider this tasty dish and the fact that I'm still making it as a memorial to her.


Alli said...

I'm so making this tomorrow night. I'm on a comfort food kick this weekend. (I wonder why?) :)

Bridget said...

Alli--Awesome, let me know how it goes! I loved it. I'm totally daydreaming about eating the leftovers :-)