Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak

*Photo and recipe updated March 2012*

Inspiration: I’ll admit it. I used to love those Salisbury steak TV dinners as a kid. I mean, really love them. Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, corn, brownie. Something reminded me of them the other day, and I got to thinking that I’ve never had a homemade Salisbury steak before. In fact, I didn’t even know how you would even go about making one. Would you use cube steak? Ground beef? Some other cut of meat?  When I told Brandon that I was making this for supper, he replied with, “I don’t even know what those are.” Meaning, “I used to eat those,  but what are they…?” Sure sounds like a meal in need of a nice homemade revamp.

What we Loved: These were absolutely fabulous. Really, they’re the perfect comfort food for a dark, cold evening, and I’m craving one again just writing this post. The steak itself is made from ground beef that’s mixed with seasonings and onions and then pan fried, but what really makes this dish is the gravy. It’s rich and flavorful, thick and creamy from a touch of sour cream, and nice and earthy from the mushrooms. When you cut into the meat, which is already moist on the inside like a burger, the gravy seeps down into the steak for a really delicious bite. The gravy is made in the same pan in which you pan fry the steaks, so all of the brown bits from the beef get incorporated into the gravy for an extra layer of browned beef flavor. What a great comfort meal.

Helpful Hints: Make sure to allow your pan sauce time to reduce down. At first it’s very thin, but after a few minutes of simmering away, it really thickens up nicely.

Salisbury Steak
Source: Yum Sugar

I modified this recipe to serve two. Here’s the recipe as I made it.

1 slice Vidalia onion, minced
About 3/4 lb ground beef
Garlic powder, to taste
Seasoned salt, to taste (I used Lawry’s)
Dried thyme, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
About 4 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 – 1/3 cup sour cream

1. Heat a pat of butter in a saute pan, and saute the minced onion until it is nice and softened.

2. Combine the meat with the minced onion, garlic powder, seasoned salt, thyme, and pepper. Form the meat into two oblong oval-shaped patties, flattening as much as possible.

3. In the same saute pan, add another good pat of butter of medium heat. Saute the mushrooms until they are softened and beginning to brown. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

4. Place the meat patties into the pan, and cook for approximately four to five minutes per side, until completely cooked through. Remove from the pan, setting aside and tenting with foil to keep warm.

5. Add the beef stock to the hot pan, and bring to a boil. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate. Reduce the heat, and slowly whisk in the sour cream. Add the mushrooms back into the pan. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens.

6. Serve the sauce over the steaks.

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Cubanelle Peppers stuffed with Bison and Bacon

Cubanelle Peppers stuffed with Bison and Bacon

Inspiration: Stuffed peppers are one of my new favorite Mexican-inspired dishes to make. I love them because they’re so versatile! In the past, I’ve made these, these, and these, and we’ve loved them all. We weren’t sure what to have for dinner one night this week, so we decided to make up another stuffed peppers recipe. We’ve been meaning to buy bison meat and give it a shot, too, so B came up with the idea of using diced bison pieces with chihuahua cheese as the main part of the filling. It was a great idea, and I have him to thank for this awesome new meal!

What we Loved: B and I both really loved these peppers. The stuffing mixture tasted incredible! You really can’t go wrong combining bison (or beef) with bacon, onions, garlic, and cheese. The result was a hearty, smoky, cheesy filling that really complimented the mild peppers. We really enjoyed the rich, clean taste of the bison, and I’d definitely recommend giving this healthy meat a try if you have access to it. And even though it provided for a very green plate in this case, I love serving fresh avocado slices topped with salt and cilantro when I have stuffed peppers. I feel like the cool flavors are such a great contrast.

Helpful Hints: We originally wanted to make stuffed poblano peppers, but the poblano selection at the grocery store left a lot to be desired. So we used cubanelle peppers instead. This was our first time eating these kind of peppers, and we found them to be very mild and not too spicy at all. For this dish, you could use any kind of peppers that you’d like. Cubanelle, poblano, Hungarian or Anaheim hot peppers, or any color of bell pepper. We also used chihuahua cheese because it’s a great melting cheese, but this can be hard to find. Monteray jack or pepper jack would be great substitutions.

Cubanelle Peppers stuffed with Bison and Bacon
Source: Original recipe to serve 2

4 medium-sized Cubanelle peppers (or other pepper of your choosing)
1/2 lb bison steak (or beef, any cut that you’d like) diced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or cut into small pieces
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 cup shredded chihuahua cheese, to your preference

1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the bison or beef cubes, and cook until the fat renders out and the pieces are starting to brown. Add the onion, and cook until softened. When everything is cooked, add the garlic, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. Add the crumbled bacon to the pan, and stir to incorporate.

2. Cut a lengthwise slit in each pepper, making sure to only cut through one side of the pepper. Cut a small horizontal slit into the top of the pepper, making the shape of a T. Open the pepper, and use a knife to remove the seeds. Rinse the inside of the pepper with water to make sure that all of the seeds are removed.

3. Place the peppers in a baking dish. Fill each pepper to the top with the bison/beef mixture and cheese. I alternated my filling, adding some of the bison mixture, then some of the cheese, etc. in order for the cheese to be incorporated throughout the filling.

4. Bake the peppers at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until the peppers are softened.