French Onion Steaks

French onion Salisbury steak.

French onion Salisbury steak.

Years ago, when real steaks were out of the question because of their cost, Salisbury steak was a classic dish made with ground beef, and “fancied” up with a flavorful gravy and given an impressive name.   This was, of course, before my memory, but  my parents talked about  Salisbury Steak dinners, frozen and packaged as TV dinners.    I don’t know if these dinners even still exist,  perhaps not—they were awful, I hear.  Please don’t tell Swanson I said so!  : – )

Anyway, I came across this recipe in a rather old issue of Cook’s Illustrated that pairs the classic Salisbury Steak with another classic, French Onion Soup, giving that old recipe a new spin.  It even includes a crouton and melted cheese.

Dredging the lightly seasoned steak burgers in flour enhances browning and also gives body to the onion sauce.  Stove-top braising keeps the ground-beef patties moist and tender.  Sweet onions, like Vidalia give a milder flavor to the French onion sauce.  For a bolder taste, use yellow onions which are available year round.  If you are not an onion fan, I think this dish will win you over.

FRENCH ONION SALISBURY STEAK

SERVINGS:   Makes 4 steaks

For the steaks:

  • 1  1/4 lb. ground chuck  ( 80 – 85% lean)

    French onion Salisbury steak.

    French onion Salisbury steak.

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. minced scallions
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp, black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Cups sliced onions  ( 2 large onions)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Cheese Toasts ( recipe below)
  • minced fresh parsley for garnish
  • Shredded Parmesan

1.  Combine ground beef, 1/4 cup parsley, scallions, salt and pepper.  Divide into four even portions and shape each into  3/4 – 1 – inch thick oval patties.

Form beef into 4 oval-shaped patties.

Form beef into 4 oval-shaped patties.

2.  Place 2 Tbsp. four in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour.  Remove and save 1 tsp. flour.

Dredge each patty in flour.

Dredge each patty in flour.

3.  Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned.  Remove from pan and keep warm.

Brown well on each side.

Brown well on each side.

Set aside while you make the onion sauce.

Set aside while you make the onion sauce.

4.  Add onions and sugar to pan;  saute 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and tomato paste;  saute until paste begins to brown, 1 minute.  Sprinkle mixture with reserved flour; cook 1 minute.  Stir in broth, wine, salt and thyme.

Saute onions, garlic, tomato paste and thyme.

Saute onions, garlic, tomato paste and thyme.

5.  Return meat to pan, bring sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.

Return beef patties to the pan and continue cooking in the sauce.

Return beef patties to the pan and continue cooking in the sauce.

Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion sauce ladled over.  Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

IMG_4008

CHEESE TOASTS

  • 4 slices  Italian baguette, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices 
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400*F.  Lightly spray a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.  Place bread slices on baking sheet.

Combine butter, garlic, and paprika; spread on one side of each slice of bread.  Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter.

Top each bread slice with seasoned butter and cheeses.

Top each bread slice with seasoned butter and cheeses.

Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is melted, 10 – 15 minutes.

Cheese toasts.  Make extra to eat out of hand along with the meal.

Cheese toasts. Make extra to eat out of hand along with the meal.

French onion Salisbury Steak, served with spinach and strawberry salad.

French onion Salisbury Steak, served with spinach and strawberry salad.

SOURCE:   Cooks Illustrated

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2 responses

  1. I love how this recipe melded 2 classics into one. I absolutely love French onion soul, though I must admit that the cheesy croutons were always my favourite part. I think I’m going to try that onion sauce with chicken!

    Like

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