Salisbury Steak is a juicy, perfectly seasoned beef patties, seared until rich brown, then cooked in a delicious brown onion gravy flavored by the beef’s juices, caramelized onion, garlic, and other natural flavor-enhancing ingredients. I am sharing the recipe for the stovetop version and the crockpot version for the Salisbury Steak recipe in this post.
Salisbury Steak is an inexpensive dish, you can use cheaper beef cuts, and it will taste amazing because the combination of ingredients will add mind-blowing flavor!
Please watch the video tutorial and the step-by-step images to guide you through the cooking process!
Visiting the USA opened my eyes to new adventures and new delectable dishes. Salisbury Steak is one of those dishes that will stay with me forever, not because it tastes oh so good, nor because it is quick to make and ready within 30 minutes, or because the ingredients are budget-friendly. Itwill stay memorable to me because it wasn’t what I expected!
Salisbury Steak is a pleasant surprise
When you have never heard of Salisbury Steak nor have seen an image of it, you will think it’s a thick cut of steak. When at a restaurant and I see a dish that doesn’t sound familiar, I would mostly ask for it, Salisbury Steak didn’t sound familiar, and I was in the mood of having a steak. Why not order it? I might discover a new flavor for steak.
I was delighted with what was served before me. It saw a thick piece of meat covered with brown gravy on a bed of creamy mashed potato. Oh heaven, it looked so good.
And I cut into the Salisbury Steak to find that it’s ground beef!! I was shocked, my brain wasn’t ready for that switch, but I was enjoying every bite in a few seconds. The beef patty was perfectly seared; it looked like a steak at first glance, and the thick gravy did a great job disguising it.
What is Salisbury Steak?
In the year 1888, An American Physician, Dr. James Henry Salisbury, introduced Salisbury Steak. He believed that humans were meant to eat meat and that vegetables and starchy food are the main culprits behind mental illnesses and heart diseases. Dr. Salisbury promoted a meat-centered diet, which became popular in the USA since, at that time, meat was affordable.
Salisbury Steak recipe is ground beef combined with seasoning ingredients like salt, pepper, garlic, and other ingredients to form and bind the patties and prevent them from shrinking while cooking, like eggs breadcrumbs.
These beef patties are given an oval shape, and then like a steak, seared from both sides on high heat until it forms a brown crust. The gravy consists of onion, garlic, seasoning, and a thickening agent like flour or cornstarch.
Ingredients in Salisbury Steak Recipe
There is Worcestershire sauce in this Salisbury Steak recipe, but I did make this dish many times without it. You can safely omit the Worcestershire sauce and still have a great tasting dinner.
Instead of beef bouillon, I have used chicken bouillon. I think Salisbury steak tastes better using chicken bouillon. If you don’t use bouillon, I will show you how to substitute it with broth or stock later in this post.
You can see from the ingredients below that making this dish will not hurt your budget, and there is no sacrifice on flavor.
For the patties, you will need:
- Ground beef, preferably 93% lean, for more flavor and tender texture.
- Garlic and onion.
- Breadcrumbs will prevent the patties from shrinking while you are frying them.
- Mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, these ingredients give a depth of flavor. If you are not fond of Worcestershire sauce, use soy sauce instead or omit it.
- Black pepper.
- Chicken bouillon. If you don’t have it, then add three tablespoons of chicken stock.
- Egg works with the breadcrumbs to help the patties maintain their shape and seal in all the flavor.
- Oil. I have used olive oil, but you can go for a flavorless oil like corn oil or sunflower oil. For more flavor, you can use both butter and oil.
For the gravy:
Large onion. I use purple onion because, in my house, they like its taste, but you can use yellow onion in this recipe because it is sweeter and get caramelized faster.
Garlic. Use fresh.
All purpose-flour. It makes the gravy thick and creamy, but you can use cornstarch instead. If you decide on using cornstarch, then mix it with the water.
Water. Use room temperature water. Hot water will cook the flour quickly, and you might have lumps in the gravy.
Chicken bouillon. You can use beef bouillon instead, but I prefer adding chicken bouillon in this Salisbury Steak recipe. If you don’t want to use bouillon, substitute water with chicken broth to keep the measurement the same.
Black pepper and salt for seasoning.
How to make Salisbury Steak?
If you can make meatballs and meatloaf, you can make Salisbury steak; the steps are straightforward and straightforward.
To Make the Patties
- In a bowl, mix the ground beef with the patties ingredients mentioned in detail in the recipe card below. Do not over mix, or the meat will get tough.
- Form 4 oval shape patties and make them as thick as a steak.
- Add oil to a pan and keep the heat high. Fry the patties and your goal here is to sear the patties, have brown patches on both sides of the patties, and not cook them. Sealing the patties allows the juices and flavor to get trapped inside the patties, and this is how you get a tender and delicious Salisbury Steak.
- Keep the Salisbury Steaks aside and cover with aluminum foil.
To Make the Gravy
- There should be some oil left from frying the Salisbury steak. If not, add a little oil to the pan. Add butter to the oil and when it melts, add the onion and fry until light brown.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for making the gravy except water. After a minute of cooking, add the water and stir quickly to prevent lumps from forming.
- When the previous mixture comes to a boil, place the seared patties in the sauce and cook until the gravy is thick and the patties are thoroughly cooked. The larger the patties, the more time it will take to cook. In general, if you make 4 equal size patties from the amount of ground beef mentioned in this recipe, it should cook for 12 minutes in the gravy while cooking on medium-low heat and 5 to 8 minutes on medium heat.
- If you want to be exact on how long to cook the patties, then using a cooking thermometer, let the internal temperature of the patties reach 157F/70C.
How to cook Salisbury Steak in a crockpot?
- In a bowl, mix all the patties ingredients. Form oval shape patties.
- In a pan, add oil, and when hot, fry the patties and sear both sides; this will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Searing is essential since we are capturing the juices within the patties, which some will release in the crockpot while cooking.
- Spread the onion slices at the bottom of the crockpot.
- Place the seared patties over the onion.
- Mix 1 ¾ cup boiling water with half chicken bouillon, garlic, black pepper, and salt.
- Pour the previous mixture over the patties and onion. Cover the crockpot and cook on slow for 5 hours.
- After 5 hours, remove the patties and keep them aside.
- Turn crockpot to high.
- Mix ¼ cup water with 11/2 tablespoon cornstarch. Pour this mixture over the sauce in the crockpot and mix well. Cook until the gravy is thick.
- Return the patties to the crockpot and gently cover with the gravy.
- Serve with mashed potato, plain rice, or noodles.
- We are using cornstarch in the crockpot version instead of flour because it needs to cook first to remove the raw taste, which won’t be possible in a crockpot.
- The flour will need a longer time to thicken the gravy.
How to store Salisbury Steak?
In the fridge. You can place the leftover Salisbury steak in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep in mind that the gravy is made of flour, and the texture of the gravy will get thicker when refrigerated. To heat this dish, add two tablespoon water to it and then heat it on the stovetop or in a microwave. If heating on the stovetop, make sure to stir the gravy. When heating in a microwave, stop the heating process after a few seconds, stir the gravy and continue heating.
In the freezer: Place the leftover in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw the frozen Salisbury steak, place it while frozen in the microwave and heat it for a few minutes. Bring it out of the microwave, stir it and then microwave it for a few minutes until thoroughly heated.
Can I freeze the Salisbury Steaks to use later?
Of course! You can make the patties, and after shaping them, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet with the patties in the freezer for 2 hours, and when the patties are completely frozen, place them in a Ziplock bag and freeze.
Please note: You can freeze fresh ground beef, but you can’t freeze previously frozen and thawed ground beef. It is harmful to your health. So, if you plan to make the patties and freeze them make sure to use fresh ground beef!
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