Everything old is new again, so go retro for dinner with some not-a-tv-dinner Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes.
Sometimes you need to make the classics. One great economical meat is ground beef. If we’re not making koobideh kabobs, or meatloaf with it, we regularly make this one skillet spaghetti. But what about the classic Salisbury steak?
I remember Salisbury steak from those aluminum foiled tv dinners my brother and I would sometimes get when my parents would go out for the night. We thought those meals were great! It took 30 minutes to cook in the oven and we would salivate while it cooked and filled the air with its scent.
Remember this is before the microwave. Our dinner included a meat compartment, a veggie compartment, a starch and a warm dessert – like cherry pie! But the salisbury steak from the past doesn’t measure up to my standards today. How can I make it better? By making it myself.
What’s so great about this dish?
Besides the warm and nostalgic feelings I have for Salisbury steak, it really is a great meal to prepare for the family. It is super budget friendly since you are using ground beef. It is also very easy to whip up during those busy weeknights.
You can serve it over mashed potatoes, egg noodles or even rice. Go full retro and serve with creamed spinach or go simple and serve with a green salad or steamed broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus.
This meal is super versatile and even if your kids don’t eat mushrooms, they will love the gravy sauce that comes in this recipe.
See my Salisbury Steak Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you will need
Today, the classic Salisbury steak is more than just minced beef that is grilled. It is served with a mushroom gravy that is prepared in the same pan as the meat patties.
Some people add eggs to bind the meat patty together, similarly as you do with meatballs. My recipe does not include eggs. My recipe below also includes ingredients for mashed potatoes. Feel free to skip that if you are not making them.
- Ground Beef: this is the star of the meal. Even though it would taste fantastic with the more expensive ground sirloin, you can, you can totally use inexpensive 80/20. You could make it with ground turkey or pork, but the flavor is not quite the same. I suggest mixing it with some ground beef. If you do use 80/20 ground beef, you can omit the olive oil for browning the mushrooms and use the beef fat in the pan.
- Onions: chopped up and mixed in, onions give simple ground beef tremendous flavor. Don’t skimp and substitute with onion powder. Definitely not the same thing.
- Worcestershire sauce: That strange named condiment packs a lot of flavor. If you don’t have any in the fridge try substituting with soy sauce and apple cider vinegar using a 2:1 ratio.
- Mushrooms: Simple inexpensive white mushrooms are all you need for the mushroom gravy. Of course you could use cremini mushrooms or go full gourmet and use shiitake or oyster mushrooms. If you’re a mushroom lover, feel free to double the amount used in the recipe.
- Beef Broth: this is used for the gravy. You can also use vegetable, mushroom or even chicken broth. Plain water could be used, but certainly would add zero flavor.
Recipe Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Prepare the meat: Combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic powder until thoroughly combined. The meat should be mixed enough so that patties can be formed and hold their shape.
2. Form into patties: There is no set rule on what shape to make your patties for Salisbury steak. I make oblong ovals about the size and thickness of the palm of my hand. You should make about 8 to 10 patties. Place on a baking sheet so they are ready to be cooked when you need them.
3. Brown the patties: You will need a large pan if you are feeding a crowd, like I normally do! Heat your pan, add the oil and start browning the patties. Cook over medium high heat for about 6 minutes on each side until meat is evenly caramelized on the outside and juices run clear.
4. Transfer patties: Once the patties are cooked, transfer them to your serving dish and loosely cover with foil.
5. Sauté mushrooms: If you are using lean ground meat, add more oil and start to cook those mushrooms. You want them soft and golden.
6. Make the gravy: Once the mushrooms are cooked, stir in the flour and mix into the mushrooms. Whisk in beef broth and let sauce thicken, about 2 minutes more. Once thickened, pour over the Salisbury steak and serve.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
One of my favorite ways to serve Salisbury steak is over a generous serving of mashed potatoes! I have made mashed potatoes with a variety of different potatoes over the years. Sometimes it is just a matter of what potatoes I have on hand – and I always have potatoes on hand!
- Mashed potatoes are best made with potatoes that are high in starch like Russets or Yukon golds. This makes a nice fluffy and flavorful mash. The red or white waxy potatoes can be used for mashing, but it will be a bit creamy and can easily turn into a thick goop or paste.
- You can also combine purple potatoes with Russets (equal parts of both) to create purple mashed potatoes which are rich in polyphenol antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Looking for another easy weeknight dinner your family will love? Then try my bolognese pasta bake! So easy that even my teenagers can make it!
Totally! It is an easy dish to make ahead and reheat. We frequently reheat leftovers in the microwave.
Yes, Salisbury steak freezes very well with the mushroom sauce. Divide into individual portions or freeze a whole batch. Thaw completely before reheating.
Some recipes add fillers like bread crumbs to their recipes. Like meatballs, it makes it more fluffy and less dense. I prefer my version that does NOT include bread crumbs.
- 4 lb russet potato, peeled and quartered
- 2 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 lb lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
- 3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large onion, grated
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 32 oz sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 4 cup beef broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- In a medium-sized pot add potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cover with water.
- Cover pot and bring water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, take lid off and reduce heat to medium-low until potatoes are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- While potatoes cook, in a medium-sized bowl combine ground sirloin, Worcestershire sauce, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic powder until thoroughly combined.
- Form meat mixture into 8-10 large, oval patties, approximately, 1-inch thick.
- Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add meat patties into the hot skillet and cook 6 minutes on each side until meat is evenly caramelized on the outside and juices run clear.
- Remove meat, place on a serving platter and cover with loose tin foil to keep warm.
- To the hot skillet, add remaining 2 TBS olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, 3-5 minutes.
- Add flour to the mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in beef broth and let sauce thicken, about 2 minutes more.
- While sauce thickens, drain potatoes in a colander and return the potatoes to the pot.
- Using a potato masher smash potatoes with heavy cream. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- To serve, pour gravy over Salisbury steak. Serve with potatoes.
You can use regular 80/20 ground beef. If you do, you can sauté mushrooms in remaining beef fat and will not need additional olive oil.
For potatoes, you can use also half russet potatoes and half purple potatoes to make purple mashed potatoes.
Serving Size:1 patty
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1138mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 47g
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This post was originally published July 17, 2009. The post, recipe and photographs have all been updated.