This easy Salisbury Steak is nothing like the slice of meat you used to get on school lunches! It’s so delicious, and the mushroom brown gravy really sends it over the top.
Forget what you know about salisbury steak, this Homemade Salisbury Steak recipe is out of this world! Topped with a mushroom gravy, it’s moist and delicious!
What is Salisbury Steak? Is it a steak or a hamburger? It is kind of both…
Salisbury steak uses a ground beef meat mixture to form “steaks”, so in fact they are hamburgers. But instead of serving on a bun with a side of fries, these ground beef steaks are finished off with a sweet onion and mushroom gravy.
Make sure you PIN Salisbury Steak!
Once known as a Hamburg Steak, Salisbury Steak has a vague history. Some say it was a physician with the surname Salisbury who was on one of the first low carb/high protein diets that invented it. And others say it came from overseas. Others also claim that this was first beef tartare.
It is no wonder why Salisbury Steak has stood the test of time and secured itself in the top 10 of comfort foods. It is relatively easy to make and also inexpensive.
One to two pounds of ground beef go a long way to feed a large family. It is now wonder how it became a star dish in school cafeterias.
Some folks like to make their ground beef patties large, like a monster hamburger, but I prefer to make mine into smaller oval patties. They are easier to manage in the pan and less likely to break while flipping.
This also means it will take less time for them to cook thoroughly so the outside won’t get tough and overcooked before the middle is done.
Which brings me to my next talking point about Salisbury Steak. Much like meatloaf, the ground beef steaks are usually served medium-well to well done. I am a girl who likes my beef rare, but for this dish, I make an exception.
Onion and gravy mushroom does a good job of keeping the steaks moist and flavorful instead of turning into hockey pucks. I suppose you could make rare salisbury steak if you liked.
Now onto the gravy… I first met Gravy Master years ago when an old flame used it to marinate steaks. I used to despise brown sauces and gravy in particular, so I kept my mouth shut. The name alone was a turn off.
It just so happened, the steaks turned out great- maybe even the best I’d ever had. Until I met hubby, the grill master, of course. Gravy Master is still in the cabinet and used for seasoned steaks from time to time.
I also use it in other beef recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce. While I love the rich, robust flavor, Gravy Master takes those same notes up a few notches and is also thicker, more like a syrup. Perfect for seasoning without watering down.
I also prefer to make salisbury steak without ketchup. Bold choice, I know, but plain old tomato paste does the trick while keeping my sauce savory and not too sweet like ketchup sometimes has the tendency to do. Caramelizing the onions in a skillet over medium high heat will provide enough natural sugar and elevate the entire dish past what you remember from your childhood.
So here is the skinny on how to make Salisbury Steak:
ONE. Make your ground beef patties. I use seasonings, the previously mentioned Gravy master, bread crumbs and milk.
PRO TIP: Don’t overwork your ground beef. Much like meatballs, it tends to get tough and chewy. Break into small pieces when placing in a mixing bowl then sprinkle other ingredients over top. Toss until just combined.
TWO. Cook ground beef patties in a large skillet over medium heat until they are mostly, but not all the way done. You want to make sure the patties are cooked, but not overcooked.
THREE. Make onion and mushroom gravy in the same skillet. It seems like a lot of mushrooms and onions, but they are mostly water and cook down. The liquid released from your vegetables will also help to season the gravy. This part will take the longest.
PRO TIP: All those little browned bits leftover from the hamburger patties are going to be little flavor bombs in your gravy.
FOUR. Mix the remaining gravy ingredients with mushrooms and onions.
PRO TIP: The reason the recipe doesn’t have an exact amount of salt is because beef broths have varying amounts and what worked for mine might be too salty for yours. Make the gravy, allow it to sit and then season with salt and pepper, or don’t season at all, right before serving.
FIVE. Thicken your gravy using cornstarch or arrowroot. Add ground beef patties back to the gravy and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes so the flavors marry and hamburger steaks reheat.
PRO TIP: Never add cornstarch, flour or arrowroot directly to the sauce you are trying to thicken. It will clump up and just make your sauce lump. Instead, whisk it with a small amount of liquid, either water or the liquid you are working with, until smooth, then stir into the gravy or sauce.
SIX. Serve your delicious Salisbury Steak!
Questions you might have about how to make Salisbury Steak:
What can I substitute for Gravy Master? Substitutions for Gravy Master include Kitchen Bouquet or Worchestire sauce. Of course, you can also use beef bouillon granules.
Can I use a different type of ground meat? If you don’t want to use ground beef, feel free to use ground chicken, turkey or any blend of the three. You can even use a little ground pork, if you’d like. A nice meatloaf mix is good as well.
What do you serve Salisbury Steak with? The most common foods to serve Salisbury Steak with are mashed potatoes, making the perfect starchy base for gravy to not escape onto the plate, and noodles. I prefer to use buttered egg noodles and seasoned peas and onions, but really it is up to you.
There is no reason why you couldn’t use rice, quinoa or another grain, as long as the base it assisting in soaking up the beautiful gravy.
More beef recipes:
- Skirt Steak Chimichurri
- BEST Steak Sandwiches
- Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas
- Instant Pot Swiss Steak
- Cubed Steak
Tools for making Salisbury Steak at home:
Heavy Bottom Frying Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.Forget what you know about salisbury steak, this Homemade Salisbury Steak recipe is out of this world! Topped with a mushroom gravy, it's moist and delicious!
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For the ground beef steaks:
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine seasoned bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, beaten egg and Gravy Master.
- Break ground beef into pieces as you add to the bread crumb mixture. Toss to combine. Do not overmix.
- Form ground beef mixture into 8 equal size patties.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with vegetable oil. Add hamburger patties. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes or until well browned.
- Remove and set aside.
- Without cleaning out the skillet, start the gravy by adding butter and sweet onion. Reduce heat to medium-low. cook onions until soft, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, stirring until they reduce by about half.
- Whisk beef broth, tomato paste, Gravy Master and black pepper into the mushrooms and onions.
- Ladle out a small amount of liquid, whisk with cornstarch and return to the skillet, stirring until it thickens.
- Taste gravy to determine if you need to add additional salt.
- Return hamburger steaks to gravy to reheat. Spoon gravy over each steak and heat for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was.