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Fleur de Lolly: Taking Salisbury steak to a different level

Laura Tolbert
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Salisbury Steak with Onion and Mushroom Gravy.

Salisbury steak with onion and mushroom gravy was a staple of “TV dinners” in the ’60s. This version is on an entirely different level.

I cooked these in a large Lodge cast iron skillet, and the tantalizing aroma from my kitchen would have made anyone ravenous. Comfort food does precisely that. It comforts us from the pressures and dramas of the outside world.

This dish was invented during the Civil War by Dr. James Salisbury, who prescribed minced beef for convalescing soldiers. During World War II, the recipe quickly became a classic in homes nationwide.

When served, the steak will be fork-tender, and the onions and mushrooms will be smothered in rich gravy.

SALISBURY STEAK WITH ONION AND MUSHROOM GRAVY
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
• 2 cups chopped onions, divided
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 pounds ground chuck
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
• 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onion and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat. Pour onions and garlic into a small bowl and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, bread crumbs, mustard, Worcestershire, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the cooled onions and garlic. Mix ingredients well and shape into six equal-sized oval-shaped patties.

Cook steaks in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes per side or until browned. Do not cook through. Remove from skillet to a platter or plate.
Add remaining 1 cup onions to drippings in skillet, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes.

Whisk in flour and cook, continually stirring, for 1 minute.

Whisk in wine, broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, occasionally stirring, 5 minutes. Add patties back to skillet.

Place steak in the oven and bake, covered, for 25 minutes until done. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or even riced cauliflower. Top with chopped parsley before serving.
-Adapted from “The Southern Living Community Cookbook”

HONEY GLAZED CARROTS WITH THYME
I wanted a simple side dish to serve alongside the Salisbury steaks. Within 15 minutes, the carrots were ready to serve.
• 6 to 8 carrots, peeled and trimmed and cut on the diagonal
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

Place a steamer basket in a medium saucepan and add enough water to reach the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil over high heat and add sliced carrots. Cover, lower temperature to medium-high and let carrots steam until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove carrots from the steamer basket and place in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter so that it begins to melt and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with thyme and serve immediately.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.