Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy -- A Ratatouille Moment

Now that the Christmas turkey dinners and prime ribs have been devoured, and the last of the Christmas cookies have been eaten-- it's time to get back to good ole regular food.  At least, that's how I'm feeling.  Yes, I gorged nibbled on some chocolates. I indulged in a cookie here and there.    At times like this, there  comes a point where I want some simple home cooking, with vegetables.  When that craving hits, I want it quickly, and I don't want to fuss over making dinner.

Cube steaks are an easy solution, because they are inexpensive and cook in a matter of minutes.  What? You've never had a cube steak?

A cube steak is either a piece of top round or top sirloin that has been tenderized with a masher.  I let my butcher do the work since he has a mechanical tenderizer.  One night, in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I spend a few dollars on cube steak with no particular recipe in mind. I'd had a long day at the office, I was tired and hungry.

I wiped each steak dry, so that they'd brown nicely in a hot skillet. Seasoning was simple-- kosher salt & pepper.  I wanted a sauce, because I wanted to make mashed potatoes. NOTE: Both steaks cost less than $7.00. 

So, I grabbed some beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, sliced onion and flour.  Yes, the onions could have been chopped, but I like the texture of cooked slice onion.  On another burner, I had some Yukon Gold potatoes boiling to make garlic mashed potatoes. Meat and potatoes = a sure husband pleaser.
NOTE: Mushrooms would be a perfect addition, to the gravy. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't get excited over mushrooms as much as I do. 

With a little olive oil, I seared one side of the steak until nice and brown-- about 3-4 minutes.

I cooked the other side for about 3 more minutes. (Cube steaks aren't very thick, so they cook very quickly.)  I wanted a lot of brown crusty stuff to be left in the pan, so I could get a flavorful gravy. that.  The steaks were removed onto a plate, covered in foil and kept warm in a preheated oven, set on the WARM setting (less than 200F). I added a teensie bit more olive oil, and added one large sliced onion. These were sauteed until light golden brown-- just a few minutes.

 The flour was sprinkled over the cooked onion, and cooked for a minute or two.  Then, I added about 1 cup of the beef stock, and the Worcestershire sauce. On medium-high heat, the sauce began to thicken very nicely.

I returned the steaks, with their natural juices, right back into the pan for about a minute.  Total cooking time, was less than 20 minutes.  Because I started my potatoes, first, and they were cut nice and small, they were cooked about the same time as the steaks. Using my food mill, I had creamy spuds with a bit of butter, a touch of cream cheese, and a splash of milk...okay, a tiny splash of heavy cream, too.

This is very simple comfort food, on the table in less than 30 minutes.  Pinkie promise.  By the way, egg noodles or rice would work very well with this steak and gravy.

VERDICT:  Something quite surprising happened, when my husband sat down and took his first bite. This is a true story-- Craig had a faraway look in his eyes.  Very much like the scene from the movie "Ratatouille", where the feared food critic is served a French comfort food dish.  My husband smiled, and said that the dinner I made reminded him of his childhood in Kansas City, MO.   He remembered that his mom used to make a dinner that tasted just like this one.  Suffice it to say, that my husband loved every bite, and I was so pleased that he enjoyed it as much as he did.  As for me, this dinner reminded me of the Banquet TV dinners that my mother used to heat in the oven, when I was a kid-- yes, that was before microwaves were invented, but I was born after the horse and carriage. 

It's funny how some of the most impromptu, inexpensive and fast dinners can be the one's that demand an encore.  My husband asked me to make it, again, the very next night.  So, I decided to grab my camera, measure out the ingredients and share it with my readers. Who knows, you might have a Ratatouille Moment of your own?

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.


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The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Looks like you had some fun. I got a kick out of the Ratatouille moment. Great analogy. I love it when something I serve to Sir Pickypants strikes just the right chord.

I remember HATING cube steak as a kid, but then I had to eat it "as is". No one made it into chicken fried steak or covered it in gravy for me when I ate it.

Kathy Mercure said...

Looks yummy! I remember that steak. My mom called it Minute Steak because it just took a few minutes to cook. Will try your recipe. Thanks!

Aarthi said...

Delicious..Yummy one to try it asap


Anonymous said...

This looks like the perfect recipe for my busy schedule!!!

wheatgerm said...

those actually made me hungry

Joanne said...

Somehow cube steak is the one cut of beef my mom never served. The onion gravy sounds like the perfect topping!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a simple way to make Salisbury steak. I also remember the t.v. dinner version that I actually loved as a child...think this one will be much better.

Big Dude said...

This looks and sounds delicious and will have to be tried. I've never made it and only had the TV dinner and cafeteria versions.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

We like to cook so many of the same things, Debby. Nothing reminds me of my grandmother's cooking more than this dish. She had a huge cast iron skillet and always got the most beautiful crust on her steaks. Gosh, it makes me miss her. Thanks for the lovely memory.

Kate said...

Your dish looks delicious! I haven't had Salisbury Steak in a very long time...will have to put this one on the list!

Anonymous said...

Yes I'm going to have to try this it looks yummy good. Pat

Velva said...

I cannot remember the last time I had salisbury steak- A definite American classic comfort food. Food that provokes fond memories are the best, it just does not get any better.

As much as I love Christmas, glad its over. I was one exhausted and overfed woman (laugh).

Happy New Year to you!


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe.... I made it tonight.... THose who know me know that I am not a big cube steak fan.... These came out absolutely amazing!!! I added 2 cans of mushrooms (with juice)(I tripled the amounts due to a larger family).... One of the best recipes I have tried!!!

Rachel Page said...

Good, homey dish. I served this with Wild and Brown Rice, and Peas and Pancetta.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Yay! Thank you for the positive feedback. So glad that you liked it!