Calling all Meat & Potato lovers!!
This Salisbury Steak is just what you need!!
This simple Salisbury Steak recipe is flat out greatness. The meat slow cooks all day. Tenderizing and soaking in its own homemade gravy. No jarred pre-made goo here. These steaks slowly stew and bathe in a creamy brown gravy that we will help guide you to make from scratch. This 5 Dinner recipe is so easy and delicious and oh so much better than any store bought variety.
What is Salisbury Steak?
It is actually a very simple dish by name but can be quite a hassle and labor intensive to make on a tight schedule and budget. Salisbury steak is basically ground beef mixed with onions, mushrooms and served with a gravy poured over it.
The labor part is what I try to avoid at all costs. I just do not have time to mix hamburger meat with onions and mushrooms on a daily basis. Time is at a premium around here. We really do not any time to spare with kids activities going 365 days a year. Typically, we have three kids going to three different things all at the same time. Getting to Hockey, Dance, Cheer, Volleyball, Golf and Baseball take up a TON of time and getting to a from them is a beating by itself.
Then throw in some extracurricular school functions like choir, band, tutoring, cheer at all school sports and oh then toss in some additional homework for extra credit [much needed around our house for sure].
Where can I squeeze in time to make a healthy dinner and avoid the drive through lines?
How many of you have these same problems?
Where did Salisbury Steak come from?
While reading several articles about the history of Salisbury Steak, it was interesting to find that the idea has been around the United States since 1897. The dish is named after an American physician, James H. Salisbury. Salisbury believed that you should eat meat at least three times a day. He also believed that we should avoid vegetables and fruits.
What? Three times a day? No veggies or fruit.Yep. True story.
Doctor James Salisbury was a physician during the Civil War and believed that troops would be better off with a diet of coffee and lean beef. Salisbury was actually considered one of the earliest “Food Faddist” and taught that the diet was the main cause of poor health. Which was not really that far off except he thought that limiting the diet of fruits and vegetables, the troops would be less inclined to get diarrhea.
During the time of the Civil War, Doctor Salisbury observed that in human detention [prisoners of war], humans demonstrated that they were meant to eat meat and not vegetables. His belief was that the fruits and vegetables put off poisonous gasses and tried to limit starchy foods and fruits to one third of the prisoners diet. According to him, those gasses trapped in the body could lead to heart disease, tumors, mental illness and tuberculosis.
In order to get his idea out there about eating meat, the good doctor came up with the Salisbury Steak. Which is ground beef flavored with onion and seasoning and then deep-fried or boiled. Salisbury believed that consumed with lots of water, this diet would clean out the digestive system. Revolutionary thinking for the time, as he was also a proponent of Low Carbohydrate Diet for weight loss and he pushed.
Amazing to think that people were interested with dieting relating to health and heart issues back in the 1860’s.
How did I make Salisbury Steak so simple and healthy at the same time?
We are a family on the go and I was looking for a HEALTHY and easier way to make this family favorite. (See below for the USDA guidelines for Salisbury Steak… It is scary what they will allow into food).
Falling back and leaning on my 5 Dinners style of preparing make ahead meals. I tweaked a semi-labor intensive meal into a throw it into a slow cooker, set the timer and walk away until dinner time.
I gathered up the basic ingredients;
I made it in my most used 6 quart slow cooker. How simple is that. I love this size slow cooker for big meals like this and I LOVE the fact that I can set the time and it turns to warm automatically. That is a must around here. Dinner is always warm and ready, no matter what time we get to finally eat it.
Spray slow cooker with non stick spray. Add meat patties and mushrooms if using. Layer if needed. We used preformed 93% to 7% fat ratio hamburger patties. If you use 85% to 15% ratio, you may have an excess of fat build up as the patties cook down.
Lay the patties out so that they cover the bottom. In between the first and second layer, cover with mushrooms and then dump the rest on top. If you do not like or have issues with mushrooms, you can leave them out. We love them so we pile them on for that extra bit of rich flavoring.
Since the patties are not “grilled” and have been cooking in their own gravy, the meat will be pink inside which is normal. They will be done. Check with a meat thermometer to be sure to satisfy your own fears.
Fresh Ideas for updating Salisbury Steak!!
You can add a 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream to the broth mixture to make a “Creamy” gravy. This was a knock out in our house.
If you like thick gravy, then add 1/4-1/2 cup of cornstarch or 1/2 cup of flour. Always mix those in a little water or broth first before adding to the slow cooker, otherwise your will have lump gravy.
If you have a meat lover in your house that thinks “clean eating” is a bunch of rabbit food. Cook this for them with their favorite vegetables and it may win them over. Clean eating does not have to be complicated or boring.
Something to think about – USDA Standards for “Salisbury Steak”
This is taken straight from WIKI for Salisbury Steak
Standards of identity (for packaged product) – in other words, TV or Microwavable Dinners.
The USDA standards for processed, packaged “Salisbury steak” require a minimum content of 65% meat, of which up to 25% can be pork, except if de-fatted beef or pork is used, the limit is 12% combined. No more than 30% may be fat. Meat byproducts are not permitted; however, beef heart meat is allowed. Extender (bread crumbs, flour, oat flakes, etc.) content is limited to 12%, except isolated soy protein at 6.8% is considered equivalent to 12% of the others. The remainder consists of seasonings, fungi or vegetables (onion, bell pepper, mushroom or the like), binders (can include egg) and liquids (such as water, milk, cream, skim milk, buttermilk, brine, vinegar etc.). The product must be fully cooked, or else labelled “Patties for Salisbury Steak”.
The standards for hamburger limit the meat to beef only, and of skeletal origin only. Salt, seasonings and vegetables in condi-mental proportions can be used, but liquids, binders and/or extenders preclude the use of the term “hamburger” or “burger”. With these added, the product is considered “beef patties”.
Products not made in USDA-inspected establishments are not bound by these standards and may be bound by other standards which vary from country to country.
USDA Regulations? Really?
Now I do not know about you but after reading that blurb, I am a bit scared of what is in my patties and other meats. Why would we want to be feeding something that has “meat by-products” to you family? Exactly. It is truly scary to think that the government would allow some of that stuff into our foods. We thought they were supposed to have our best interests in mind. We try to stick with organic and locally grown grass fed beef products.
Ok. I will get off my soapbox about that but that is definitely another story for another day.
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