This savory Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy is a made-from-scratch recipe that is pure comfort food heaven. Pour that delicious gravy over mashed potatoes and your taste-buds will thank you.
The very first time I had Salisbury Steak was in the elementary school cafeteria for lunch. Probably showing my age, but this was a time when the “lunch ladies” actually cooked all of the food right in the school’s kitchen. It was served hot and fresh. Best meals ever. I am not a “gravy” person. It has its place with me and very little at a time. However, this – this Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy I can eat the gravy all by itself.
Through the years, I’m sure I’ve had Salisbury Steak by way of frozen meals or if my parents prepared the dish but I had never made it until I was married for a few years. My husband isn’t a “brown gravy” person – he prefers chicken or turkey gravy so when I make this recipe, it’s a real treat for me. He does enjoy it and even has seconds.
Normally, I like recipes that aren’t so heavy on the prep or cooking time but caramelizing onions is not a quick process. You can’t rush it or you’ll end up with mushy burned onions. Gross. So, let them do their thing in their own time-frame. It’s so worth it.
I also like to cut down on the dishes and extra oil so I tend to brown my beef patties on the grill over pan browning them. You can also use a grill pan or just a skillet if you don’t have a grill.
It’s pure comfort food – in the bestest way possible.
To Make the Onion Gravy:
- 2 large red onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsalted beef stock
- 1/2 cup dry red wine or 1/2 cup beef stock optional
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
To Make the Beef Patties:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup oatmeal you can use breadcrumbs, Panko, or even cooked rice
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
To make gravy:
- Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook over medium-high heat, until the onions start to brown. Give them a stir occasionally.
- Add 1/4 cup of the beef stock when the onions are a deep, rich brown. Reduce heat, continue cooking, adding more stock as needed to prevent caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan from burning. It takes a bit of time for the onions to caramelize - about 15 - 20 minutes. Rushing it will only produce burnt onions.
- When the onions are caramelized, stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, to cook out the "flour" taste.
- Add wine (or beef broth) and simmer till it's reduced by half (about 10 min).
- Stir in remaining beef broth, tomato paste, and cider vinegar; adding salt and pepper to suit your tastes. Then simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. The gravy will thicken as it cooks more.
- Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
To make the beef patties:
- Mix all ingredients for beef patties except the olive oil.
- Shape into 4 - 6 oval patties. I like to make them on the smaller side but feel free to make them a bit larger.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Alternatively, you can also sear and brown the patties on the grill or a grill pan, which I do often.
- Sear patties about 3 minutes per side, or until a brown crust forms. If grilling, remove from grill and place in pan with gravy and simmer for about 10-15 minutes more until patties are cooked through. Otherwise, pour gravy over patties and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes more until patties are cooked through. Serve.
- I like to serve Salisbury Steak with mashed potoates and roasted corn.