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.