Our Paleo Family

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Sauce

I don’t suppose it’s very often that you turn to a food blog and find the author writing about finding recipe inspiration from school lunches. Well, that’s what you’re getting with me today. Please don’t stop reading! It will be good, I promise.

My kids were asking about my elementary school experience a few days ago and it got me thinking about those school lunches.

Most days we were served cold sandwiches. Unless you also grew up in the mid-west, I suspect you’ll never guess what kind of sandwiches we were served, so I’ll just tell you – butter! Yes, butter sandwiches. White bread with butter in the middle. That’s it. We would stand in line – silently – and hold up our fingers – 1 or 2, meaning I want 1 or I want 2 sandwiches. They were very generous. Even as a first grader, I remember thinking this was bizarre food. But I ate it because it was the only choice.

But come Wednesday, we got hot food. It’s possible that I’m getting my facts a little mixed up, but the way I remember it, we only got something besides butter sandwiches on Wednesdays. The special Wednesday treat I remember most is Salisbury steak. It was an oval shaped patty with little red flecks in it. Was it bell pepper? Was it tomato? I’m not sure, but compared to butter sandwiches, I thought this was fine cuisine.

So it is this weird memory of elementary school lunches and the desire for some warm, comforting food that prompted me to try my hand at Paleo Salisbury Steak. What you’re working with here is basically a ground beef patty with some seasoning. Not too difficult.

The most typical seasoning in Salisbury steak is Worcestershire Sauce. There is some controversy as to whether Worcestershire Sauce is acceptable for a Paleo diet so I made my own when I first attempted this recipe. It tasted fine, but I started assessing the flavors in the sauce and thought I could replicate it while skipping the step of having to make that sauce. It’s a little acidic and a little sweet. So I used some vinegar and some honey and thought it tasted great. And easier.

I realize that a lot of Paleo meals can be complicated and time consuming to make. This one is not. Hallelujah! I hope this will remind you of a warm, comforting meal from your childhood, whether it was in your school cafeteria or not.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Sauce
Print Recipe
A throwback meal that's perfect for a cold, winter night. Cover your steak with the mushroom sauce. Make mashed sweet potatoes or rice and ladle on more sauce. Serve with a green vegetable and you have a quick and hearty meal.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Sauce
Print Recipe
A throwback meal that's perfect for a cold, winter night. Cover your steak with the mushroom sauce. Make mashed sweet potatoes or rice and ladle on more sauce. Serve with a green vegetable and you have a quick and hearty meal.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Steak Patties
Mushroom Sauce
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. To make the steak patties, add the onion and bacon to a food processor and chop until the bacon and onion are in very small pieces. *The last onion I purchased was labeled as sweet, but it was very, very strong. If you have a strong onion, cut down the amount you use by half. How will you know it is strong? If the smell knocks you over when you cut into it, it's strong!
  2. Add all remaining steak patty ingredients (except the bacon fat) to the food processor and pulse 8-10 times, just until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Form five evenly sized patties. You could actually make as many as you want and whatever size you like. For my family of four, I made five patties so there would be one leftover for my husband's lunch the next day.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Preheat a large cast iron pan, or other heavy skillet, over medium high heat. Add bacon fat and swirl to coat bottom of pan.
  6. Add all patties to hot pan and cook for 3-5 minutes per side. You are not cooking them through, just searing the outside. Once browned on each side, remove to an oven proof dish.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165-170 degrees.
  8. Remove the meat from the oven and tent with foil while you finish the mushroom sauce. You can see from the picture, that the meat is covered so it won't cool off, but not tightly so as to create a lot of steam.
  9. While steak patties are baking, make the mushroom sauce. Add remaining half of onion to the drippings in your skillet. Saute over medium to medium high heat for 10 minutes or until softened.
  10. Slice mushrooms and add to the skillet with the onions. Add a little salt and pepper, if desired.
  11. Saute for an additional 5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked to your liking.
  12. Sprinkle arrowroot over veggies and stir well. You want this mixture to look dry. Can you tell that there is no longer any fat or liquid in the pan? This is what you want at this point.
  13. With heat still at medium high, slowly add your broth while scraping the bottom of the pan. Add a little more broth. Keep stirring and scraping up all those flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining broth to achieve the thickness that you like.
  14. This sauce needs to cook for only about two minutes for all of the starch to cook. If you're not quite ready to sit down to dinner, just lower the heat to low and stir it occasionally.
  15. Once again I have to apologize for not having a picture of the finished product. My camera is having some problems. It's the operator. 🙂 I promise to do better.
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