Salisbury Steak | The Modern Proper (2024)

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March 29, 2024

Salisbury steak is, of course, not steak at all. Think perfectly browned ground beef patties, seasoned with abandon and served with onion-and-mushroom gravy. So yeah, now you know what’s for dinner!

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Photography by Gayle McLeod

Easy, Budget-Friendly, And Tasty Weeknight Comfort Food

Salisbury steak is not trying to win any awards for flair or elegance. It’s not trying to be elevated, or ultra healthy, or trendy. Salisbury steak just wins on taste and comfort alone. Remember eating Salisbury steak TV dinner? Maybe it’s something that your own mom (or dad) served on the regular. Whatever this all-American comfort food means to you, our Salisbury steak recipe is sure to hit the spot. Bursting with savory umami-ness and bathed in a delicious mushroom-and-onion gravy, our classic Salisbury steak recipe quite simply rocks. Oh, and it’s easy on the budget, too, much like the similarly awesome-retro Patty Melt — another beefy, dinnertime fave.

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What Is the Difference Between Salisbury Steak and Hamburger Steak?

Nothing, really! Salisbury steak and hamburger steak are pretty much the same dish. Ground beef is seasoned—quite generously—and formed into oval-shaped patties. It’s cooked and served with a beef-forward onion gravy. Recipes vary a bit, but essentially Salisbury steak and “hamburger steak” are the same basic thing. What is Salisbury steak? Attributed to the good Doctor Salisbury, an American physician who supported a meat-loving diet for good health, the Salisbury steak showed up in the United States in the late 1800s.

What Kind of Meat Is Salisbury Steak Made Of?

Like we said, Salisbury steak isn’t really steak at all—it’s made from ground beef. You can think of it sort of like a hamburger patty without the bun, or like a pan-fried single-serving meatloaf, or, think of it as rather meatball-like. And you know how much we love meatballs, as you can tell from this roundup of Best Meatball Recipes. Anyway, Salisbury steak is made of ground beef. It’s ground beef in disguise as a steak. Sort of. So, what else is in our Salisbury steak patties? Well, just about everything savory and good on this planet, that’s what! Ingredients like:

  • Eggs

  • Whole milk

  • Italian seasoning

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Ketchup

  • Mustard powder

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Breadcrumbs

  • Oil

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Everything You’ll Need to Make Salisbury Steak Gravy

Lots of people call Salisbury steak sauce a gravy, but it’s not exactly a gravy, it’s just a really yummy sauce that echoes the seasonings that have been mixed into the Salisbury steak patties. Similar to Beef Stroganoff, not exactly gravy but reminds you of gravy. Big, beefy, and bold this simple brown sauce is the reason that Salisbury steak is sooooo good. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

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How To Make the Best Salisbury Steak Recipe Ever

Easy, quick, and cozy, Salisbury steak is the retro comfort food your family needs right now. You can throw this dinner together in about 30 minutes and it doesn’t need to be served with anything too fancy. A Simple Butter Lettuce Salad and some Sourdough Bread, or maybe if you’re feeling ambitious, some Crispy Shallot Mashed Potatoes. We think that a side of Green Beans with Apples and Sage Butter would be classic, or Perfectly Roasted Broccoli for a simple vegetable. Here’s how to make easy Salisbury steak:

  1. Mix all the seasonings into the ground beef. Use your hands and try to have a light touch, just as you would if you were making meatballs. It'll keep the "steak" tender rather than tough.

  2. Form the meaty mixture into six oval-shaped patties.

  3. Brown the patties! They don't have to be cooked through, just nice and brown.

  4. Make the gravy! Sauté the onions and mushrooms, add the garlic. Add butter, let it melt, then stir in the flour, mustard powder, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Pour in the broth, bouillon and Worcestershire. Bring the gravy to a boil.

  5. Add the browned beef patties to the onion gravy. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

  6. Dig in!

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Tools You’ll Need

More Easy Ground Beef Recipes

  • Gingery Ground Beef (Soboro Donburi)

  • Beef Empanadas

  • Crispy Ground Beef Taco

  • Thai Basil Beef

  • Patty Melt

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Not Your Usual Frozen Food Salisbury Steak

Don’t overthink it, but do make it homemade! This old-fashioned Salisbury steak recipe is a classic for a reason. Easy to make, easy to love, good leftover—this is the kind of weeknight recipe we can never get enough of. We hope you give it a go! When you make it, show us how it all turned out, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Salisbury Steak | The Modern Proper (2024)
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