A Grown-up Version of a Classic Dish
When I think of Salisbury steaks, I immediately picture the family-sized banquet meal from the freezer section of the grocery store. This was a meal I frequently had as a child. I thought these Salisbury steaks were great, but at that age, I also loved SpaghettiOs.
As an adult with much better taste in food, I know that those overly processed meat patties are actually not so good, or good for you. It really doesn't take much time or effort to make this much-more-delicious dish with venison! And if you enjoy food as much as I do, then you won't mind sacrificing less than an hour of your day putting together this dish.
As for the Spaghetti-O's, I've not taken the time to come up with a recipe for those yet! So just avoid those for now.
Not Quite the Classic Salisbury Steak . . .
A Salisbury steak is traditionally made from ground beef, but I decided against that. Since I married into a family of hunters, venison is always in my freezer—steaks, fillets, roasts, tenderloins, and ground. We eat deer meat more than beef, chicken, pork, or fish. With the abundant supply, I like to get creative with classic recipes. This version of Salisbury steak is one of my favorites. The meat is tender and savory while the mushroom and onion gravy is warm and slightly sweet. It's comfort food at its best. You'll also be enjoying leaner meat and won't notice the difference!
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4 to 6 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds venison, ground
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 8 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced or diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the ground venison, breadcrumbs, dry mustard, beef bouillon cube, 1 tablespoon of ketchup, and 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Mix it either by hand or with a mixer until the ingredients are well combined.
- Using your hands, form 4 to 6 oval-shaped patties and set them aside on a plate. Sprinkle each side of the patty with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the patties on both sides until there is no pink in the middle. Set them aside and remove any excess grease from the pan.
- Add the other tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add the onions and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until the onions are slightly soft.
- Add the beef broth, 1 tablespoon of ketchup, and 4 more dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil then combine the cornstarch with a little bit of the broth and add it back into the gravy. Stir and cook to reduce.
- Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Put the patties into the gravy and reheat for a couple of minutes, then serve.
Make Ahead and Freeze for Later!
If you're anything like me, some nights you just don't feel like cooking. In an effort to avoid the last-minute decision to hit the closest fast food chain, I try to plan a couple of meals in advance and freeze them to reheat later.
So how do you do this with Salisbury steaks? There are a couple of ways to go about it.
You can choose to make the patties ahead of time and just not cook them. Wrap the patties in plastic wrap and then freezer paper. Label, date, and freeze! When you are ready to make this dish, remove the patties from the freezer and let them thaw overnight. Then just follow the rest of the instructions for cooking the patties and making the gravy. Serve!
You can make the entire recipe as instructed. Place the patties and gravy into a 9x13-inch foil baking pan (you can also divide patties and gravy into smaller foil pans). Cover with heavy-duty foil. Label, date, and freeze! Reheat in a 350°F oven for 45 to 60 minutes.
Feel free to use substitutes in this recipe, you're the one eating it!
- Maybe you don't like venison—that's okay! Just use lean ground beef instead and you've got yourself a classic Salisbury steak.
- Need this recipe to be gluten-free? No problem. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs! And don't worry about cornstarch, it's already gluten-free.
- Hate mushrooms? Leave them out.