For the uninitiated, a Salisbury steak is a hamburger steak smothered in brown savory gravy and usually served with mashed potatoes or some other carb-laden side. It was the brainchild of Dr. James Salisbury, where the dish acquired its name, as a treatment for “digestive problems”. The idea that this dish originally came with salubrious intention made the choice to take it a step further an obvious idea.
To do that, this Salisbury steak uses a ratio of two to one mixture of ground beef and mushrooms! The mushrooms make this an easy way for those looking to cut back on meat, be it for nutritional health, environmental health, or moral reasons. It’s a stepping stone into that direction that doesn’t make the diner feel cheated in any way.
Adding on to the beneficial aspect, this recipe leaves out the potatoes, rice, or pasta. Instead, fresh spinach leaves are substituted and sauteed in a bit of balsamic vinegar and a spoonful of rich butter. Again, making it difficult to feel cheated for those looking to up their vitamin intake and lower their unnecessary refined sugars.
Last is the gravy. This gravy isn’t healthy per se. It is, however, a lighter version with plenty of flavor including the ubiquitous Worcestershire sauce that gives that umami flavor and subtle spice from mustard seeds. This sauce pulls everything together, especially when topped with a dollop of creamy horseradish made mild by stirring in a bit of Greek yogurt.
Altogether, this makes a satisfying, delicious, and comforting version of the American diner classic!
Salisbury Mushroom Steak with Gravy and Creamy Horseradish and Sautéed Spinach
- ¼ onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot
- 8 ounces button mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ onion
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups spinach
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons horseradish
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ bunch fresh chives
Dice the onion, carrot, and mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
Heat half of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and stir. Allow it to cook 1 minute. Add the carrot and cook 3-4 minutes, or until the carrot has softened a little. Add the mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring well to combine. Turn off the heat.
Put the ground beef into a clean bowl and add the sautéed vegetables to the beef. Add the egg, oregano, salt, and black pepper to the beef mixture and mix well to evenly distribute everything throughout.
Cover the meat mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes.
On a clean cutting board, slice the onion and then into ½ inch pieces. Wash the fresh oregano and remove any tough stems from the leaves.
Pour the olive oil into a sauté pan and heat it over medium-high. Add the onion to the pan and cook 1 minute. Add the mustard seed and cook them another 1-2 minutes. Add the oregano leaves and stir. Sprinkle the flour over the pan and stir so the flour absorbs the oil.
Pour the broth into the pan and stir well to combine. Add the Worcestershire sauce and pepper to the pan and stir again and bring it to a simmer. Allow the sauce to cook 8-10 minutes or until it’s thickened a bit. Turn off the heat.
Pour the sauce through a strainer to remove any large pieces. Cover and set the sauce aside.
Remove the beef mixture from the refrigerator and form it into 5 meat patties.
Heat the other half of the olive oil for the steaks in a clean sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the patties in a single layer to the hot pan. Cook the meat 3-5 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate before cooking the rest. Cover them to keep them warm while they rest.
In the same sauté pan used for the steaks, deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar for the spinach. Add the spinach to the pan and stir well. Add the butter to the pan and let it melt as the spinach wilts. Taste and season with salt as needed and turn off the heat.
In a small bowl mix the horseradish and yogurt together. Chop the chives.
Layer the plate with the spinach first, Salisbury steak, brown sauce, and with a spoonful of the creamy horseradish. Finish it off with fresh chives.
STEP ONE – PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
Cut the onion, carrot, and mushrooms into small cubes on a cutting board. Peel and mince the garlic finely.
STEP TWO – SAUTE THE MUSHROOMS
Pour half of the olive oil into the saute pan and place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and let them cook about a minute; just long enough to soften slightly and become fragrant. Toss in the carrot and cook it for another 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the mushrooms and let them cook until lightly browned. Turn off the heat.
STEP THREE – MIX THE MEAT AND MUSHROOMS
In a bowl, mix the ground beef and mushroom mixture. Add in the oregano, salt, pepper, and crack the egg into the mix.
Using your fingers, mix it together until everything is well combined.
STEP FOUR – REFRIGERATE MEAT MIX
Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put the covered bowl in the refrigerator to chill about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and to help keep the meat mixture from falling apart when it’s formed into the Salisbury steaks.
STEP FIVE – PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE
While the meat and mushroom mixture chills, prepare the ingredients for the sauce but slicing the other ¼ onion on a clean cutting board. Clean the oregano and trim off any tough pieces of stem.
STEP SIX – MAKE THE SAUCE BASE
Heat a clean saute pan over medium-high and add the olive oil to the pan. Cook the onion for 1 minute before adding in the mustard seeds, stirring, and cooking them another 1-2 minutes.
Toss in the oregano leaves and sprinkle in the flour. Stir well to make a paste and so the flour absorbs all of the oil.
STEP SEVEN – ADD THE BROTH AND SIMMER
Slowly pour the broth into the pan, stirring well.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer and allow it to cook about 8-10 minutes. it’s done when the sauce has thickened a bit but is still easy to pour.
STEP EIGHT – STRAIN THE SAUCE
Place a strainer over a measuring cup or bowl and strain out the onion and oregano leaves from the sauce and toss them out. Save the sauce and cover it to keep it warm.
STEP NINE – MAKE THE MEAT PATTIES
Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Form 5 even sized balls of meat. Pat each ball out into a thick, round patty.
STEP TEN – COOK THE SALISBURY STEAKS
Place a clean pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Pour in the rest of the olive oil into the pan and let it heat up. Lay the patties, in a single layer, in the pan and cook them 3-5 minutes on each side.
Once they have browned and cooked through, transfer them to a plate to rest.
Cover the plate to keep the Salisbury steaks warm while making the spinach.
STEP ELEVEN – MAKE THE SPINACH
Pour the balsamic vinegar into the saute pan used for the steaks. Gently scrape the bottom with a spatula to release any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt and stir well. Taste and add salt to taste.
STEP TWELVE – MIX HORSERADISH AND CHOP CHIVES
Spoon the horseradish and Greek yogurt into a bowl and stir them well. Finely chop the chives with a chef’s knife.
STEP THIRTEEN – PLATE THE SALISBURY STEAKS
Divide the sauteed spinach among 5 plates. Top each pile of spinach with a Salisbury steak and ladle some sauce on top. Add a dollop of the creamy horseradish mixture on top and serve with a sprinkle of fresh chives.
As you can see, the addition of mushrooms help to not only lend flavor to these Salisbury steaks, they also reduce the amount of meat needed to make each patty. An added bonus to mushrooms being incorporated into the steak mix is they prevent them from becoming dry as they cook!
After trying this recipe, are you more likely to add mushrooms to other beef recipes such as hamburgers and meatballs? What about mixing them into recipes that use ingredients well known to be easily dried out when cooked through such as ground chicken or turkey?
We’d love to know!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.