Monday, March 5, 2012

Salisbury Steak - Total Comfort Food

Happy Monday to all.  Everyone's favorite day of the week right?  Not so much?  Why is that?  Why is Monday so hard?  Even songs written about Monday give it a bad rap.  You never hear "hip hip hooray, it's Monday!"  It's things like Monday, Monday, can't trust that day.  Guess it's because the weekend is over and it's back to the grind.  Maybe we need to start an "Up With Monday" group or something.

Today was a perfectly lovely Monday here in middle Tennessee and I really have no complaints.  Hope your Monday was the same.  We did some errands and enjoyed the sunshine, even though it was a little cool.  I will take that ANY day over all the scary storms we had on Friday, yes indeed.  My heart goes out to everyone who lost so much.  It is just another reminder not to put stock in "things", but in those you love and care about.  Things can be replaced.

Sunday was a great day, because Sunday evening we got to watch our oldest daughter on 60 Minutes which was really awesome!  She had all the family members living here over to her house for a 60 Minutes party.  It was really interesting trying to watch with 4 little boys running around screeching and playing while the baby hung on to his mama because he had not heard so much noise in his 2 and a half weeks here in this world.  Actually, I am not sure I had heard anything like it in my  63 years.  haha  We all saw bits and pieces as we could and enjoyed each others company.  After we got home, we watched in online and actually got to see the whole story.  It was still fun watching all the little boys play.  Shows how unimportant things are to little guys who are just enjoying life.  We could probably all learn a lesson here.

After we got home this afternoon, I spent some time on a project I have been working on and then it was  that "what are we going to have for dinner?" moment that arises like some big surprise.  Not.  I don't always plan meals ahead, do you?   Sometimes I wake up in the morning and know what I want to make for dinner, other times it's the very last thing I want to think about.  Today was one of those days.

While I worked on my project, I thought - Salisbury Steak!  I want Salisbury steak.  It is one of my favorites from childhood.  I'm weird I know.   I loved salisbury steak in the school cafeteria - probably the only one in the world.  I even like it in a TV dinner now and then and I LOVE it home made.

Ever wonder were the name Salisbury Steak comes from?  It is named for an American physician by the name of Dr. J. H. Salisbury.  He created the steak to use in a low carbohydrate weight loss diet and the term Salisbury Steak has been in use since 1897.  Yeah, it's been around a while and it's Worcestershire sauce that gives it it's distinct flavor.  Worcestershire sauce has been around since 1853.  Wow.  Talk about staying power!

This is how I make this delicious comfort food.  Here is what you need:

2 medium onions, dice 1/2 onion and cut the remaining 1.5 onions into rings
1.5 pounds ground beef (80/20)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
4 ounces (1/2 an 8 ounce pkg) baby bella mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 32 oz box beef broth
2 TBSP vegetable oil

Place the ground beef, bread crumbs, worcestershire sauce, and egg in a bowl and set aside.  Put 1 TBSP vegetable oil in a large saute pan.  Add the 1/2 diced onion and cook just until translucent.  Remove pan from heat and put cooked onion in bowl with ground beef mixture.  Add about 1 tsp salt and black pepper.  Thoroughly mix, incorporating all ingredients.  Form the ground beef mixture into 6 oval patties.

Slice remaining 1.5 onions into rings.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms, wipe clean and thinly slice.  Set aside.

Put the patties in the large saute pan and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side and remove from pan.  They will not be done at this point, but you will finish them in the gravy mixture.

Drain off all but 2 Tbsp of the fat from the pan.  (I didn't have to drain any, meat was that lean)  Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to remaining fat in pan, keeping all the bits from browning the patties (that is LOTS of flavor). Add onions and  mushrooms and saute until onions are translucent.  Add the 1/4 cup all purpose flour and stir into the onions and mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.  Add the box of beef broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and place the patties back in the gravy mixture and cook for 10-15 until the gravy thickens.    You are ready to serve!

We had mashed potatoes and roasted carrots with fresh thyme to accompany our delicious Salisbury steaks.  YUM  This made for a great Monday supper - it just hit the spot and did not fail my comfort food craving.

We all have those "favorites" we go to when it comes to food.  There are foods that take me to a certain place just like a song can.  Food memories play such a special part in our lives - likes and dislikes.  Sometimes it is something as simple as a piece of toast, or as complicated as a Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope you will try this recipe when you are looking for "comfort" food.  It is really, really delicious and easy to make.  It won't be rubbery like cafeteria food or TV dinners can be (even though I like them both).  It is tender and flavorful and the onion/mushroom gravy is spectacular.  Salisbury steak day was always a good day in the school cafeteria for me, especially if it was Monday - a lifetime food memory.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

"Food is the most primitive form of comfort."

Author: Sheilah Graham

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