Esta's Kitchen: Beer Salisbury Steak
By: Esta Buchanan, August 8, 2012
Don Parkinson - Esta stocks up on her favorite ingredients.
If you know me at all, or even a little, then you know that I love, love, love the Olympics.
And by “love” I mean I'd gladly paint my ample bosom as an American Flag, make out with each athlete and leave my entire estate to the cause of bringing the Olympics to Cape Cod.
I often get asked what my favorite sport is in the Olympics. I have one answer: all of them. It doesn’t matter what the sport is— if it’s for Olympic gold, I will watch it.
I do, however, have some favorite outfits. The Speedos on the men’s diving team = yummo. They can dive into my pool anytime.
The Olympics also reunite me with my one true love: Bob Costas. Lord have mercy, do I love that man! I’m not worried at all about the age difference ... he seems to get younger each year.
For those of you who do not like the Olympics, I can only assume that you have no national pride, and/or hate spandex. In which case, I’m offended and adding you to my List.
The official meal of Team USA
So to celebrate the merging of all nations for the world’s greatest sporting event, this weeks’ column includes a recipe for Southern Salisbury Steaks. Because nothing says GO USA like a big ol’ minced meat steak covered in thick beer and mushroom gravy. It’s how we do down South, y’all.
- 1-1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 3/4-cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
- A couple dashes hot sauce (of course I used sriracha)
- 1 T good brown mustard
- 2 T mayo
- 1 T garlic powder
- ½T paprika
- 1 1/2 cups craft beer
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (I like baby Bella)
- ½ large Vidalia onion, diced
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup half-n-half or milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the ground beef, Panko, beaten egg, red onion, sauces, mustard, mayo, spices and ½ cup of beer. Set the mixture aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape the meat mixture into 5-7 rounded patties. In 12” skillet over medium high heat, brown the patties on both sides. Use a wide spatula to transfer the patties to an ovenproof dish and finish baking in the oven, about 10 minutes.
Using the same skillet (DON’T CLEAN IT FIRST), using all the drippings from the meat, sauté onions until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add flour to the onions and mushrooms until mixture is coated. Slowly whisk in the remaining beer until lumps are gone, then whisk in half-n-half. Cook on medium heat until the mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
The mixture will thicken even more after it is removed from heat. Top each “steak” with gravy and serve alongside pasta or rice.
Here’s the thing about Salisbury Steak: it’s actually not steak at all. It’s hamburger. With spices. Masquerading as a steak.
Of course an American invented such a thing (no really, look it up in Wikipedia). Who else would, really?
The good thing about this recipe is that, except for a few choice ingredients, you really can put in whatever spices you want, for whatever flavor you are going for.
I stuck to a pretty typical flavor combination, with a bit of a beer twist. You could also go Cajun or add herbs like thyme and rosemary.
Going for gold
The beer I used was bought on a whim from Windfall Market. It’s from 21st Amendment Brewery, called “Hell or High Watermelon.” You really can taste the watermelon in the beer, which, I’ve found, is very refreshing on a hot summer day.
This is a good craft beer that’s both light and deep. I don’t think the watermelon flavor added to the steaks, but since it’s a good beer it definitely added a depth to the recipe that I’ve grown to expect from adding good beer to food. (Notice I said “GOOD BEER.”) So from that perspective, it did its job.
And now, I’d like to address something rather important. There seems to be a school of thought amongst Salisbury Steak makers that one should use cream of mushroom soup as the gravy.
Let me say this in a way that all of you will understand: That’s about the dumbest-ass thing I’ve ever heard. What the hell is wrong with you people? Gravy is not to be trifled with. Gravy is sacred. Gravy is GOLD!
If you are not going to make gravy from scratch, then you get what you deserve. Which is something that resembles my ass. So have fun eating that.