Well, I am going to make a huge confession here, and let you in on how exactly I learned to cook. The answer: SURVIVAL!!! Yeah, you read that right. Both my parents worked, and in my earliest years we were dumped off at my little grandma’s, where we watched, enjoyed and learned from her cooking. Then as we grew older and started grade school my sister, brother and I were latch key kids from the late 80’s into the early 90’s. For a painfully shy introverted child, this was not the easiest circumstance. Although looking back I am thankful for those moments of solitude. However, what were three little kids supposed to eat? The usual frozen fare, which even back then I found pretty lackluster (I’m being generous in that statement). More often than not there wasn’t any kind of cohesive meal plan, and I learned to improvise with whatever we had on hand. I was a master at the egg sandwich. I am shocked now at the realization that I was doing this all on my own before the age of 10. I could not fathom my own children taking so much on at such a tender age. At any rate, it made me a stronger person, and a pretty awesome cook.
Okay, about the recipe already…. This one is my spin on that classic of classic T.V. dinners Salisbury steak. You know the one with the rubbery beef (fillers more like) patty covered in the gelatinous gravy. Yum, I bet you’re getting hungry now! I do not add mushrooms or onion to the gravy in ours, because my kids are Picky with a capital P. If you like them, go on and add them in sauteing them in butter before making the gravy. Give this recipe a try, and erase those memories of rubbery beef in a gelatinous concoction. This is comfort food without any pretension.
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (seasoned or plain are both fine)
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups of beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
*If the gravy is too thick thin it out with a little water
In a large pan melt the heat the butter and oil.
Place the meat in a large bowl, and add the breadcrumbs, Worcestershire, onion, salt & pepper. Mix together just until everything is combined. Do not over mix.
Form into 4-6 oval patties. Place in the preheated butter/oil mixture over medium-high heat. Cooking on both sides until browned and no longer pink in the middle.
Remove patties from pan.
Strain out excess grease in pan. Leaving only the browned on bits.
Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in the pan. Add in the flour and cook 3-4 minutes. Then slowly add in the beef stock, stirring out any lumps. Let simmer until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste, and add the beef patties back in to absorb some of the gravy.
Serve, and enjoy. The additional gravy can be spooned over the patties, and used on mashed potatoes.
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