Currently cooking from The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen.
Remember those frozen TV dinners? I only recall eating them once or twice, but as someone who didn’t like their food to touch (and still doesn’t), I loved the segregated trays they came in. The food I don’t remember so much about, except that the dessert was usually cherry something. Cobbler? Pie? Cake? Whatever it was, I’d be willing to bet that salisbury steak was the entree in those dinners. And that’s pretty much the total sum of my exposure to salisbury steak. I might have eaten it, a couple of times, years ago. So I didn’t know what to expect with this recipe. It was loaded with mushrooms and onions and hamburgers and gravy; all things I like and Bryan loves, so I figured we’d be good.
And it was good. Really good. The meat was tender and had good flavor, and the gravy was rich and tasty. I only had one problem, which I explain below.
The recipe starts off by having you whisk together potato flakes and milk. Then you add in hamburger, salt and pepper, mix everything up and form patties. This was the only place I encountered problems. My reconstituted mashed potatoes clumped together and refused to mix in with the hamburger. I mixed it as well as I could, but in the finished dish, there were discernible chunks of potato in the meat. Not a big deal, just a little strange.
After a short rest in the fridge, you brown the meat, then soften and brown onions and mushrooms, whisk in some flour and tomato paste, and then finish it off by adding beef broth and port (or dry sherry which is what I used). The hamburger finishes cooking in the simmering sauce, which thickens and reduces to a rich brown gravy. I served the salisbury steak with garlic mashed potatoes (also from this book) and green peas. For dessert, I opted for chocolate pudding. No mystery cherry dessert here.