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)
- 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.
2. Place 2 Tbsp. four in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Remove and save 1 tsp. 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.
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.
5. Return meat to pan, bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion sauce ladled over. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
- 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.
Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is melted, 10 – 15 minutes.
SOURCE: Cooks Illustrated