How to Make the Perfect Salisbury Steak with Ground Beef

Salisbury steak is a classic American dish that is easy to make and always satisfying. This iconic comfort food consists of seasoned ground beef patties smothered in a savory mushroom or onion gravy. With simple ingredients like ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings, you can recreate this retro recipe at home in under 30 minutes.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to make mouthwatering salisbury steak with ground beef. You’ll learn tips on choosing the right beef, proper shaping techniques, how to cook juicy patties, and how to make rich, flavorful gravy every time. With a bit of know-how, you can master this craveworthy staple Let’s get cooking!

Choose the Right Ground Beef

The key to flavorful salisbury steak is starting with high-quality ground beef. Go for ground beef with an 80% to 85% lean. Ground beef that is 90% lean or more will likely end up dry and bland. The higher fat content of 80-85% lean beef keeps the patties tender and moist while amplifying the beefy flavor.

Chuck beef is an excellent choice for salisbury steak as it has great fat marbling that prevents the patties from drying out. Ground sirloin is also a good option. Avoid extremely lean ground round beef. For best results, grind your own beef using chuck roast or sirloin steak.

Add Binders and Seasonings

In addition to ground beef, salisbury steak patties contain binders and seasonings. These ingredients help hold the patties together, infuse them with flavor, and improve texture.

  • Breadcrumbs are a classic binder that soak up meat juices and stop the patties from falling apart Use fresh breadcrumbs or panko.

  • Eggs act as a glue, binding the ingredients together. This is especially important if not using breadcrumbs.

  • Worcestershire sauce adds a savory depth that complements the beef beautifully.

  • Onion and garlic powders provide flavor throughout. Dried parsley is also a nice addition.

  • Salt and black pepper are essential for enhancing the overall beefiness.

Mix and Shape the Patties

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty! In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, binders, seasonings, and any other ingredients until well blended. For 4 servings, use 1 to 1.5 pounds of ground beef.

Shape the beef mixture into oval-shaped patties that are about 3/4-inch thick. Forming oval patties rather than round ones allows more surface area for the gravy to cling to. Use your hands to gently pack the meat and form patties of equal size so they cook evenly.

Chill the shaped patties in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking if time allows. This helps them hold their shape better.

Cook the Patties Perfectly

To cook salisbury steak, you’ll want to brown the patties first to develop that crispy, caramelized exterior while keeping the interior juicy. Use a heavy skillet or cast iron pan and heat over medium-high.

Add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully add the patties, without overcrowding. Let the patties cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to build a good crust. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on the second side.

Cook until lightly browned but not fully cooked through. The patties will finish cooking later in the gravy.

Make the Gravy

A flavorful gravy takes salisbury steak from ordinary to extraordinary. The gravy should be rich, savory, and gently coat each bite.

For onion gravy, cook sliced onions and garlic in butter. For mushroom gravy, sauté sliced mushrooms. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings, then stir in a flour slurry to thicken.

Let the gravy simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Bring It All Together

Nestle the browned patties into the gravy, spooning some over the tops. Let them simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. The patties should reach 160°F internally.

For ultimate flavor, make sure the patties spend plenty of time immersed in the gravy, turning them over halfway through. The gravy imparts incredible savoriness to the meat.

Serving Suggestions

Salisbury steak is comfort food at its finest. For the perfect plate, serve it with:

  • Creamy mashed potatoes to soak up the gravy
  • Egg noodles or buttered pasta
  • Buttery green beans, peas, or glazed carrots
  • Warm dinner rolls for dipping in the gravy
  • A crisp side salad for some freshness

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy this satisfying meal straight from the skillet for maximum coziness.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving. Salisbury steak also freezes well for up to 3 months.

Common Questions

What’s the difference between salisbury steak and meatloaf?

While both dishes contain seasoned ground beef, salisbury steak is loose patties in gravy rather than a baked loaf. The gravy also sets it apart from a typical hamburger.

Should I make the gravy separately?

You can, but braising the patties right in the gravy builds maximum flavor. Cook the onions first, then brown the patties before making the full gravy.

Can I use turkey or chicken instead of beef?

Ground turkey makes a fine substitute, though the flavor won’t be quite as robust. Chicken tends to become dry and stringy. Stick with beef or turkey for best results.

Is salisbury steak healthy?

While not the leanest dish, salisbury steak provides protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Opt for 80% lean beef, drain excess fat, use reduced sodium broth, boost veggies, and avoi

Salisbury Steak Recipe – How To Make Classic Salisbury Steak and Gravy


Is Salisbury steak made of ground beef?

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.

What is Salisbury steak sauce made of?

Whisk in the beef broth, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and whisk until smooth. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has just thickened.

What is the difference between hamburger steak and Salisbury steak?

Salisbury steak traditionally calls for ground sirloin, which is a lean cut of beef known for its tenderness. On the other hand, hamburger steak can be made with pretty much any cut of beef, including chuck, round, or a bit of both. Ideally, cuts with slightly more fat content are used to retain moisture while cooking.

How do you keep Salisbury steak from falling apart?

Why does my Salisbury steak fall apart? Make sure to mix the egg and cracker mixture well and shape the patties tightly to prevent this Salisbury steak from falling apart. The egg and crushed butter crackers are both meat binders, so they’ll keep steaks firm and intact.

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