Thursday, April 28, 2011
Growing up, every once in a while we would be allowed to have tv dinners as a special treat. There was something special about getting to pick your own entree without a concern for who else liked it, and to have your own personal tray of perfectly portioned out dinner and your own dessert too. None of which you had to share!
Most often the way I chose which dinner I wanted was based on the dessert included. I remember wanting to go with Mom to the store to pick out my dinner instead of just placing my order, so to speak. That way I could see what was available and make sure I got a good combination. Cell phones would have come in quite useful at the time, I'm sure.
Unfortunately, sometimes the dessert I wanted was accompanying a meal I didn't. When that happened I still got the dessert it just meant I had to eat something gross first, Salisbury Steak for example. I never really cared for it, and since the only time I had tasted it was in a prepackaged dinner that isn't very surprising. What is surprising is that when I saw a recipe for Salisbury Steak, I got a weird nostalgic craving for it, a food I'd never liked.
After reading the recipe and seeing all that Salisbury Steak could have been I was tempted to try it, and eventually gave in. The tender and moist beefy patties weren't spongy like a remembered. The rich and hearty mushroom sauce wasn't nearly as salty and was missing a distinct chemical aftertaste. In other words, it was delicious and beyond surpassed my childhood memories. Enjoy!
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup instant potato flakes (not granules or buds, they won't work here)
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter/oil
1 large onion halved and sliced thin
1 pound white mushrooms sliced thin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
In a large bowl combine the milk and potato flakes. Add the beef, salt and pepper and using your hands mix it until it is thoroughly combined (you don't want pockets of mashed potatoes!). Shape into 6 patties, about 1/2-inch-thick each. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours to allow them to set up a bit..
In a large skillet set over medium high, heat 1 TB oil and cook the patties 5 minutes or so per side until they are well browned. Remove the patties from the pan to a plate. To the empty pan add the remaining oil and cook the onions for 5 minutes until they are soft. Add mushrooms and salt and cook until their liquid is gone, about 6 minutes.
Mix in the tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer before returning the patties to the pan. Reduce heat to medium low and cover, cooking the patties for 12 minutes or so until they are cooked through. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.