Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Salisbury Steak with Onion & Mushroom Gravy

Salisbury steak is something many of us only eat when it comes out of a box in a TV dinner from the freezer. But it's actually a great comfort food  that's highly underrated, since it's actually pretty easy to make from scratch and, if cooked properly, absolutely delicious. So I poured through my cookbooks and searched for online recipes and finally came up with my own version, which includes both onion and mushrooms in the gravy. I seasoned the beef mixture well with minced fresh onion, parsley and scallion, granulated garlic, dried minced onion, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Then I added some panko bread crumbs and a couple eggs as a binder. I dredged the patties in flour, which helped them to brown nicely in the pan, and for the sauce, I used both red and yellow onions and tomato paste concentrate, which adds a lot of depth to the overall flavor of the dish. The gravy goes really well with mashed potatoes on the side, or you can top the steak and gravy over garlic cheese toasts. Salisbury steak freezes well, so you can cook a batch of these up and freeze the leftovers for a future meal.

For the Beef Patties:
2 lbs. ground beef chuck (80% lean)
1/2 cup finely minced onion
3 tbsp. minced scallion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten

5 tbsp. flour, for dredging
2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. sugar
10 oz. sliced button mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
4 cups (32 oz.) low sodium beef broth 2 tbsp. tomato paste (I like to use 'Amore' brand, the concentrated stuff in a tube)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. beef base (optional)

4 tbsp. water + 2 tbsp. cornstarch (cornstarch slurry)

1. Combine all the beef patty ingredients together by hand in a large bowl. Divide into 8 portions, then shape each one into an oval-shaped patty, about 3/4" thick. Lay patties flat on a foil or parchment-lined sheet pan and set aside.

2. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to a large saute pan and heat over medium high heat. Dredge beef patties in flour, shake off excess, and add to the pan. Cook four patties at a time, about 3-4 minutes per side, until browned. Remove patties to a plate. Brown the remaining 4 patties, adding another couple tsp. of olive oil to the pan, if needed.

3. In the same pan, add 1-2 tsp. of olive oil, then add the sliced onions. Stir in 1 tbsp. of sugar, then cook about 7-8 minutes until the onion starts to caramelize. Stir in the minced garlic and mushrooms and cook about 3-4 minutes until mushrooms start to soften. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes until any liquid has evaporated from the mixture and the tomato paste starts to darken. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of flour over the onion mixture, stir, and cook 1 minute.

4. Add the red wine and beef broth. Season with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. If you like a beefier flavor to the sauce, add 1 tsp. of beef base. Add the browned beef patties to the sauce in the pan, bring sauce up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the beef patties to make sure they're not boiling in the sauce at any time, or that they don't overcook and shrink down to half their original size. 

5. Serve with your fav mashed potatoes or over garlic-cheese toasts (spread slices of French bread or baguette with garlic butter, top with shredded Swiss & Parmesan cheeses, then bake in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until crisp). 

Mix together ground beef, minced onion, scallions, parsley, granulated garlic, onion powder, dried minced onion, salt, pepper, panko bread crumbs and eggs together in a large bowl. Best to use your hands.

Divide meat mixture  into 8 portions and shape each one into 3/4" thick oval patties.

Sliced yellow & white onions, minced garlic and sliced button mushrooms.

Dredge patties in flour before browning.

Brown in batches over medium high heat.

Once patties are browned on both sides, remove to a platter.

In the same pan, add 1-2 tsp. of olive oil and saute onions, sprinkled with 1 tbsp. sugar, for 7-8 minutes until they start to caramelize.

Add minced garlic.

Add sliced mushrooms.

Add tomato paste.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp. flour over the onion mixture and cook 1 minute. 

Add red wine.

Add beef broth.

Season with dried thyme, salt, pepper and beef base (if using).

Return beef patties to the sauce in the pan; cover & simmer over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Do not boil or overcook, or the meat will shrink substantially and/or may become tough.

Bring sauce up to a boil and add cornstarch slurry. Cook for 1-2 minutes until thickened.

Serve with mashed potatoes or over garlic-cheese toasts.

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