I walked in my front door a few weeks ago and heard my oldest gal call “hey Mom!” from the family room sofa. She’d come home from college for a few days to recover from a cold she’d picked up during mid-terms. After we chatted for a few minutes about how she was feeling, she asked me if I could cook her dinner. “Mom”, she says, “I just need a good home cooked meal and I’ll feel so much better”. Who could resist a plea like this? I was putty in her hands.
Off with my rain coat and on with my apron, and into the kitchen I went. I knew my pantry and frig were looking a little trim but there is always something to eat in my house. I would just have to get creative.
Rummaging around I found all the ingredients for a perfect old fashioned comfort meal; a meal from my memories, comforting and tasty, the perfect meal for my ailing college student.
My Grandmother was often seen standing in front of her old gas stove frying up hamburgers and preparing pan gravy to ladle over the hamburger steaks and mashed potatoes. I remember anxiously waiting until dinner was done and we could all sit down at the old kitchen table and dig into the delicious home cooked meal Grandma prepared. It’s amazing how certain foods are tied to our memories. And for some reason, most of my childhood memories involve food!
Salisbury Steak is the official title to this lovely little pan fried hamburger patty. It’s lightly filled with fresh chopped onion, garlic, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and a few more savory ingredients that create the perfect comfort meal. Add some pan gravy and mashers and life just slowed down to a tasty crawl, waiting to be savored and cherished.
Before my oldest gal left to drive back to college, she announced that Salisbury Steak is her new favorite “Steak”. This announcement really tickled me because it’s not technically a steak. However, to my sweet college gal, it was every bit as good as a $100 steak dinner.
Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!
1 lbs grass fed organic ground beef (Not only a healthier option, but much more flavorful and tender as well)
½ cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs, or your favorite brand of bread crumbs (skip the bread crumbs for wheat free recipe)
¼ cup warm milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon High heat oil (safflower, sunflower or coconut oil)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup organic beef broth (I love the organic Beef Better than Bouillon)
Dash of red wine (optional)
½ cup sliced sautéed mushrooms (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the bread crumbs and warm milk. If you are preparing a wheat free meal, skip this step.
Mix together the ground beef, onion, garlic, bread crumb mixture, Worcestershire, egg, fresh Italian parsley, salt and pepper.
Form the ground beef mixture into 6 round patties, pressing slightly thinner in the center of each patty for even plumping during cooking.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Place the patties in the skillet and pan fry on each side until the beef is done to your preference.
Transfer the patties to a platter.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter to the skillet. Just as the butter melts whisk in the tablespoon of flour.
Add the beef broth and a dash of red wine if desired. I like about ¼ cup red wine. Continue to whisk the gravy, pulling up all the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
Once the gravy has thickened slightly, taste for salt and pepper. If using mushrooms, add them to the sauce. If the gravy is too thick add additional beef broth until it’s the desired consistency. For more sauce, the recipe is easily doubled.
Pour the gravy over the patties and garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green salad, or roasted veggies.