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May 7, 2002 09:26 AM

Salisbury steak

  • w

Ok Chowhounds My Mum is looking for a recipe for Salisbury steak.
She has been disappointed with all the ones she has found on the net because “They all seemed to call for ketchup and packaged onion soup”
Dose anyone have a good recipe that uses real ingredients, and no ketchup.
She use good quality meat and has all the standard kitchen goodies.
And no I don’t know why she just doesn’t open “Joy” or “Julia”, sigh but that’s what a good daughter dose, gets the info she wants, the way she wants it (grin)

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  1. Hi WildRose, I used to make a dish called Salisbury steak a lot of years ago. I went to Google to be sure I was remembering correctly and was amazed to see that the recipes called for ground beef. Is that what your mom uses? My Salisbury steak started out with round steak, with a lot of seasoned flour pounded into it. So what was I making all those years? Or is my rendition just a variation? Now I'm confused! Pat

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      Sounds like you were making "Swiss Steak". This was a pretty common way to deal with cheap beef a few decades ago.

      1. re: Sharuf

        Oh yeah! As they say, " Never mind". pat

      2. re: Pat Hammond

        sounds like swiss steak

      3. Your best source will probably be those ring-binder cookbooks that every church group/ladies' auxiliary/Association of Clerks of Court etc put out as fund-raisers. The best I can do DOES have ketchup in the sauce (I might substitute Heinz 57)

        From a handwritten note in he family archives: dates to the 1950's by my guess.

        ground beef (2 lbs)
        4 Tblsp chopped onion
        2 Tbls finely chopped green onion
        garlic, chopped fine
        parsely, chopped fine
        salt/pepper to taste
        paprika, 1/4 to 1/2 teasp


        butter 3 Tblsp
        ketchup 1/2 cup
        Lea & Perrins 1 Tablesp
        dry mustard 1/2 tsp
        sherry 3 0r 4 Tablsp.

        Combine frst list through paprika for your burgers. Make into thick patties, dredge in flour, drizzle oilive oil over them and grill to desired doneness.

        Melt butter and other sauce ingredients together. Add sherry at the end. Pour over beef

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hazelhurst

          Thank you Hazelhurst but it seems that’s the problem. All the recipes she has been finding have been those 1950’s Midwest church supper type. What she is looking for is what she use to eat in Canada/England in the 40’s 50’s. It had a brown gravy perhaps with a bit of onion but no ketchup or bottled souses of any kind. I think what “TV Dinners” use to make is closer to what she is looking for than anything else.

          I must say I think its neat that you have a hand written note with a family recipe. I think we have two like that, one for bread, and one for a lemon desert. Perhaps I will pass on my Hard Drive to my children so they can have my recipes

        2. s

          Have some for you, if you want me to look more let me know.

          From Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking (1947)

          1-1/2 # Ground Beef
          1-1/2 t salt
          Pepper to taste
          2 t grated onion
          1 egg, beaten
          Melted Butter

          Purchase meat in the piece and have it ground once. Combine all ingredients except butter, mixing thoroughly but lightly. On a buttered shallow baking pan, mold the meat into the shape of an oblong, oval or rectangle to fit platter, making it about 1-1/4" thick and pushing edges up so they will be square like a steak. Brush top and sides with melted butter and place in a hot (450) oven. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderately slow (325) to finish cooking, which will take about 25 minutes longer. Brush with butter once or twice during baking. Slide carefully onto hot platter, using pancake turner. Serve with sauteed mushrooms, french-fried onions or tomato sauce, if desired, or with more melted butter. 5 servings.

          From the McCalls Cookbook (1963)


          1-1/2 # ground chuck
          3/4 cup raw quick-cooking oats
          1/4 c chopped onion
          2 t salt
          1/4 t pepper
          1 egg
          1/2 c tomato juice

          Combine all ingredients in large bowl. On rack of broiler pan, shape meat mixture to resemble 1-1/2" porterhouse steak. Broil 4 inches from heat; for medium rare, broil 7 minutes on one side, 5 minutes on other.

          >I can see why most recipes call for the ketchup and onion-soup mix to "pep" things up. If I were going to do this I would probably have a chuck roast coarsely ground (once, as in the first recipe) and add a little tabasco or worchester sauce and do a modified marchand du vin sauce with lots of mushrooms and onions and maybe a little mustard.

          1. Thank you all and sorry for the double posts, but they seem to have been cleared up.
            More from the Mum front. she says "Will try that, but the recipe I remember contained fresh bread crumbs soaked in milk, and I can't find it anywhere"
            I think its how the housekeeper made them, sigh. Anyway thanks again.

            3 Replies
            1. re: WildRose
              Stanley Stephan

              No milk, but mushroom sauce. Don't know if this is any help. I searched around and found my mom's old recipe (we lived in NEW England). Can't give you specifics like what type of fat or what type of stock.

              Felecia's Salsbury Steak

              2 cups mushroom sauce
              1 1/2 pounds ground beef
              1/2 bread crumbs
              1/4 cup finely chopped onion
              1 egg, slightly beaten

              In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix 1/4 cup sauce, beef bread crumbs, onion and egg. Firmly shape into patties.
              Heat skillet over medium heat until hot. Add patties: cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until browned. Pour off fat. Strir remaining sauce into skillet. Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes sirring occasionally.

              Mushroom Sauce

              4 tablespoons flour
              4 tablespoons fat
              2 tablespoons chopped onion
              1 cup sliced fresh or canned mushrooms
              2 cups stock
              Salt and pepper to taste

              Brown flour in saucepan. In another pan, melt fat. Saute mushrooms and onions until slightly brown. Remove from fat. Add flour to fat. Mix well. Add stock gradually, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Add onions and mushrooms. Season with salt and peper to taste. Simmer 2 minutes.

              1. re: WildRose

                The bread and milk that Mum is referring to is a "panade" in French cooking--bread, breadcrumbs or cracker meal mixed with milk to form a paste. It is the secret to tender gound meat products. I use about a third cup each of cracker meal and milk to 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat and one egg as the basis for meatloaf, meatballs and panfried ground beef patties that my mother called "koteletten". The meat mixture for the latter is flavored with fresh garlic, salt and some ketchup. If one wishes to avoid ketchup, the milk in the panade can be replaced with tomato juice or V8. The patties are shaped, rolled in cracker crumbs and then sauteed in vegetable oil until cooked through, browned and crispy on both sides. If a similar meat mixture were flavored with chopped onion instead of garlic, shaped into squares, cooked at lower heat until cooked through but not crisp and then served with a brown gravy--voila! Salisbury steak!

                1. re: WildRose

                  Was the soaked bread added to the meat (as mentioned, a panade), or used as thickener in the gravy.

                  There is a British gravy called bread sauce

                2. Have not checked this story, but: Originally this dish was referred to as Hamburger Steak. Then came The Great War (aka WW I), and lots of names got changed from more -Saxon to more Anglo-. Hence the Battenberg family became the Mountbattens, and Hamburger Steak turned into Salisbury.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CTer

                    There was a Dr Salisbury in the 19th c who promoted an Atkins like diet. A simple ground beef patty was his favorite food. As you note his name came to be attached to the more seasoned version (with gravy) as a result of WW 1 sentiments.