Salisbury Steak was invented by Dr. James Salisbury in the late 1800’s. He was an early low-carb diet advocate. He recommended patients eat chopped beef, lightly seasoned with onion if necessary, shaped into patties and broiled until done. Originally it was eaten plain, without gravy. Now most version recommend serving it topped with brown gravy and alongside a steamy mound of mashed potatoes. Not especially low-carb this way, is it? I suppose you could serve it with mashed cauliflower if you really wanted it to be low-carb.
During WW1 and even more so, WW2, Salisbury steak gained popularity because it extended ground beef, which was rationed and in short supply; yet was quickly prepared by women who had been working in munitions factories all day. In the 1960’s it became the darling of TV dinner manufacturers since it was cheap to make, and still tasted okay when frozen and reheated.
My recipe for Salisbury steak comes from a 1960’s cookbook that I had when I was 16. I don’t remember the title of the cookbook, but I do remember finding this recipe and falling in love with it. Some Salisbury steak recipes are shaped into individual patties, but this one is shaped like a large London Broil steak.
- 1 pound regular ground beef
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup tomato juice (or ketchup thinned with a little water)
- 1/4 cup finely minced onion
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt OR seasoned salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- Brown Gravy (see recipe)
Prepare your pan. Line a baking sheet (the kind with sides) with aluminum foil. Coat it lightly with no-stick spray or rub it lightly with solid shortening. Preheat the oven to 400°.
Now wash your hands. Measure all of the ingredients except the gravy into a medium-sized bowl. Mix everything together with your hands. Your hands will get gooey. That’s okay, you can wash them when you’re done.
Plop the meat into the center of your prepared pan. Shape it into a large, flat oval, at least an inch thick.
Wash your hands and the mixing bowl with soapy bleach water.
Place the steak into the oven and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it is sizzling hot and nicely browned.
While the steak bakes prepare some instant mashed potatoes, green beans and make your Brown Gravy.
When the steak comes out of the oven pour off the pan juices (mostly fat) and transfer the steak to a serving platter. Pour a little gravy over the steak and pass the rest at the table. To serve cut the steak into thin slices, like you would a London Broiler. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and carrot raisin salad. If you want to spoil your family, add a lemon meringue pie or lemon bars for dessert.