Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steak...

Ahh... the humble hand-formed meat patties making a splash at the dinner table with its sumptious gravy sauce and juicy mushrooms... just the way we like it around here.

Salisbury steak was prescribed as the diet antidote for health and nutrition back in the Civil War times by creator American physician James Henry Salisbury (1823-1905). He was a devoted advocate of shredding all food to make it more digestible, recommending hamburger be eaten three times a day along with drinking cups of hot water, especially for soldiers who were suffering from "camp" digestive issues. The term Salisbury steak was first recorded in 1897 but became popular during World War I when patriotic Americans wanted an alternative for the German word hamburger, which was created in the city of Hamburg, Germany.

Here was Dr. Salisbury’s recipe: "Eat the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled. This pulp should be as free as possible from connective or glue tissue, fat and cartilage.....The pulp should not be pressed too firmly together before broiling, or it will taste livery. Simply press it sufficiently to hold it together. Make the cakes from half an inch to an inch thick. Broil slowly and moderately well over a fire free from blaze and smoke. When cooked, put it on a hot plate and season to taste with butter, pepper, salt; also use either Worcestershire or Halford sauce, mustard, horseradish or lemon juice on the meat if desired."

Aside from being an early contributor to the low-carb diet philosophy, I think we can all agree Salisbury steak has its delicious merits especially coupled with mushrooms drenched in savoury gravy. Take the dish up a notch by trying it with a mixture of wild mushrooms available to you such as oysters, chanterelles and shiitakes.

Savoury Mushroom Salisbury Steak
Makes 6 Patties

For the patties:
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

For the sauce:
1 lb. mushroom, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup beef stock or 1 cup water with 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon seasoning
1/2 cup red or white wine, dry
1/4 package (40 g) of onion soup mix
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 whole sprigs fresh thyme, or leaves plucked
water as you need

In a large bowl, combine all meat patty ingredients well, adding bread crumbs last. 


Use a disposable glove to make mixing well a cinch!

Shape into 6 oval patties. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm and flavours to meld.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in medium hot fry pan or skillet and cook four minutes each side or until nicely brown. Remove patties onto paper-lined towel to drain and set aside. Drain excess oil from pan or skillet.

In the same skillet, sauté mushrooms in butter for a few minutes then stir in flour. 

Add beef stock, wine and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir or whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Add beef patties to the skillet and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes spooning sauce over meat patties occasionally. Add some water if sauce seems too dry.

This is done when meat is cooked and sauce has thickened down.

Kids had sweet potato halves and roasted cauliflower.

Mashed potatoes are always a hit with saucy "steak" like these, but steamed or broiled potato are just as good to save some time on the mashing. It was excellent with last night's leftover garden salad with buttermilk dressing and a spear of Arabic-style pickled cucumber!

If you like Salisbury steak give Japanese Hambagu in Creamy Mushroom and Teriyaki Hamburg Steak for an Asian twist.


  1. Happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for making it!

  2. This turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

  3. Thank you Rachel. If you like Salisbury steak give Japanese Hambagu in Creamy Mushroom and Teriyaki Hamburg Steak for an Asian twist.