Sunday, April 6, 2014

Satisfyingly Simple--Salisbury Steak

Sometimes we crave simple things. Someone who wraps you up in a big hug. A steaming bowl of oatmeal. Old pajamas, well-worn soft flannel to ease into. The intoxicating aroma of a good decanted wine. Reruns of the movie Sense and Sensibility. An unexpected fleeting but delightful visit from my daughter. Shooting the breeze with your BFF. Kisses from the man who still makes my heart pitter-patter. It is these small joys, interjected daily into my days, that are the glue that holds, the tie that binds, the reason for my well being. They put me in a good mood and happiness almost always leads to a good meal.

Today I rework an old recipe. I try to inflect my old faithful Salisbury Steak, with new life. I mix beef with fresh herbs, cheese, eggs and some ciabatta breadcrumbs. I change up the gravy a bit. But I leave the side, a bowl of buttery mashed potatoes, the perfect foil for the tomato based gravy. A spoonful of beef patty along with gravy and mash, spells happiness on a fork!

Serves 4

1 pound Ground Beef
3/4 cup fresh Breadcrumbs (not dried!)
1 Egg
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1/4 grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 + 2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 Onions
2 Poblano peppers
1 boiled Carrot, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 heaped teaspoon Flour
1 cup Water
2 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon Soy sauce
Freshly cracked Black pepper

Mix ground beef, fresh breadcrumbs, egg, chopped parsley, cheese, salt and pepper gently.

Using a 1/2 cup measure, make beef patties. Keep aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick saucepan. 

Peel onions. Keep them whole and slice into 1/4 inch rings.

Cut poblanos into 1/4 inch rings. Remove inner pith and seeds.

Fry onions first till they are slightly brown. Remove and keep aside.

Add the poblano and sauté along till soft for 5 minutes. Add peppers to onions.

Add more olive oil to saucepan if needed.

Place patties in pan, making sure not to crowd them. You want the patties to brown, not steam. Do the browning in two batches. Keep patties aside.

At this point you should have at least 1 tablespoon of drippings in the pan. If not, add a teaspoon more of olive oil.

Sprinkle flour over drippings and whisk well so the flour don't burn, for 30 seconds. Keep the flame on medium for this part of the recipe.

Add water to roux and stir well to mix. Bring to a simmer.

Season sauce with ketchup, Worcester sauce, soy sauce and pepper and let the sauce come to a slow boil.

Return patties, onions, poblanos and boiled carrots to the pan and let them swim in the sauce for 5 minutes. 

Serve Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes.

Every mouthful is a pleasure for all at the table. Sounds of scraping spoons resound as we converse. This falsely labeled entree is a no-knife pleasure! Beef patties masquerading as chunks of steak, doused in onions and peppers, with a side of decadent butter and cream cheese mashed potatoes, is simple everyday food. I do need a helping of simple satisfaction every once in a way!