French Onion Salisbury Steak is a recipe that I learned from my high school culinary classes. It is a retro dish that always brings back memories of high school – not just because I learned the recipe there – but because I have only ever seen “Salisbury Steak” in a school cafeteria.
Salisbury Steak day in school is the worst (pizza day is of course the best), it usually consisted of a dried out hamburger patty with some sort of clumpy gravy on top. I’m not 100% sure it was even beef. More like a flavorless cardboard hockey puck.
I think the horrible school cafeteria version has ruined Salisbury Steak. Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered a Salisbury steak? Oh course you haven’t – because:
A. You believe Salisbury steak is disgusting from years of school cafeteria abuse
B. No one even serves Salisbury steak*
*I seriously don’t think I have ever seen it listed on a restaurant menu
The thing is Salisbury Steak doesn’t have to be a disgusting way to use up old hamburger patties. It can be a quick, simple, and nutritious dinner.
My French Onion Salisbury Steak is a complete 180 from the mystery meat blob of your memories. Mine is more like a meatloaf than a hamburger patty, with real beef flavored with garlic, spices, and cheese. It’s seared on both sides first, then cooked in a sauce , giving it a nice golden brown exterior and a softer meatloaf like center.
What really takes this dish over the top is the velvety and rich French onion sauce. You basically make a condensed (i.e. thicker) version of French onion soup to serve as the sauce. This stuff is good. I usually end up eating just the sauce by the spoonful!
This recipe really is one of my standard go-to dinner time dishes. It’s easy and once you have made it a couple of times you don’t even need a recipe.
And just in case you still need a bit more convincing….
• This is a ONE PAN DISH
• You probably have all the ingredients on hand…
• ….and if you don’t you can buy them all for a pittance
• It takes less than 30 minutes to make
• It’s ready to eat when everyone is ready to eat
Here’s what I mean about that last bullet:
Most recipes require you to eat immediately – they will start getting cold or will overcook the longer you wait to eat. With French Onion Salisbury Steak I don’t have to worry about it getting cold when everyone isn’t ready to eat. Just keep it on the stove (on simmer) until you’re ready. The dish isn’t going to get cold, overcook, or burn – it’s ready when you are.
To round out the dish I usually end up serving it with mashed potatoes and green beans (usually from a box and a can). That French Onion Sauce make a delicious gravy for the mash potatoes.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- ½ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, cut into long thin strips
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup wine (optional)
- 1 cup beef broth
- Mix together beef, 2 cloves of minced garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, 1 tablespoon ketchup, basil, parsley, salt and pepper, and egg. Form into 4 patties. Set aside.
- Bring a large skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil. Add beef patties and fry on both sides until a brown crust appears (about 1-2 minutes per side). Remove meat patties from pan. (Don’t worry, the middle will not be done.) Keep them warm on a plate covered with aluminum foil.
- In the same pan that use used for the meat, reduce the heat to medium, add butter, onions, and sugar and sauté them until they are golden brown* (about 3-5 minutes). Add in the remaining 1 clove of minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon of ketchup and flour and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine, then add in the beef broth.
- Return the beef patties to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the Salisbury Steaks are completely cooked though (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent anything sticking to the bottom and burning.
*Adding the sugar will help the onions caramelize.