Salisbury Steak

28 Feb

NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.

Growing up with the Standard American Diet (otherwise known as SAD), I became accustomed to certain tastes. One of my favorite random meals was Salisbury steak TV dinners – something about that squishy meat and savory broth really hit the spot for me. So I decided to re-create this dish, but instead of squishy, breadcrumb-filled beef, I used some of the best ground beef I’ve ever tasted – US Wellness Meats’ 75% lean ground beef (by the way, their 25lb. bulk pack is on sale until 10PM CST on Saturday, March 3rd!). It tasted just as good as it looks.

Interestingly enough, Salisbury steak was first developed in the late 19th century by Dr. J H Salisbury as a low-carb, weight-loss dish. Similar dishes are popular worldwide, especially in Japan (hanbāgu steak) and Russian (котлета).

You’ll Need:
1 lb US Wellness Meats 75% lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp each salt, ground mustard, and onion powder
5oz (1/2 package) sliced white mushrooms
2 cups beef broth/stock
1 tbsp heavy cream (coconut milk okay)
2 tsp potato or arrowroot starch

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the ground beef, egg, almond meal, salt, half of the pepper, mustard, and onion powder in a mixing bowl. Mix everything together with your hands until everything is nice and blended, being careful not to over-mix.

Form the meat into three large steak-shaped patties, like you see above, and place on a baking sheet. These steaks are so naturally (and awesomely) fatty that you don’t need to worry about greasing the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.

While the steaks are cooking, add the broth, mushrooms, and the other half of the pepper to a small pot. Bring to a simmer on medium heat.

Once simmering, reduce the heat and med/low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms shrink a bit.

Add 1 tbsp heavy cream, allowing the broth to return to a simmer. Add a little water to the potato starch, and mix it together. Stir this mixture into the broth, and continue stirring until it thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.

After the steaks have baked for 25 minutes, broil them for an additional 2 minutes to give them a nice crusty look. Take them out of the oven, and scrape off the gunk on top. It’s okay, they’re supposed to look a little gross at this point.

Plate the steaks and pour the gravy on top of them, and serve immediately. This dish goes especially well with mashed potatoes.

95 Responses to “Salisbury Steak”

  1. Alex February 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Those mushrooms look divine! There’s just something about a rich gravy that just begs for mashed potatoes.
    I need to replenish my beef stock soon! I haven’t been able to find affordable beef bones around here though–my grocery store crazily charges an arm and a leg for them!

    • Russ Crandall February 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks Alex! Beef bones are like gold – hard to find but worth the search!

    • Suzanne March 4, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Don’t you have a Mennonite or Amish farmer near by that you can go to? Even if it’s a ride, you should be able to do that once or twice a month. I get beef bones every couple of weeks when I get my raw milk. I have almost stopped shopping in supermarkets and buy pretty much all of my food from farm markets all year round. Or if you don’t know any check with your local Weston A Price chapter ( and ask the leader in the group to help you find one — maybe her group has a farm share.

      • Russ Crandall March 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

        Suzzane, I definitely buy my meat/bones from local farmers when available, since PA is only 45 minutes from where we live. Alex might have more trouble since she’s up in Toronto :)

    • Janine August 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Find a butcher in a small town

  2. Jenna Friesen February 29, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    This looks amazing!!!!!!!! I definitely want to make it – thanks for the pictures and the easy-to-follow recipe.

  3. Ira February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    I just made this recipe for lunch in my new Mario Batali cast iron cookware – very happy with the perfomance of the pot and the end result. I will definitely do it again!
    I also tried your smoked/roasted chicken with lemon and dill – it was just divine. I dont think i will go back to cooking it any other way!
    Thank you again and keep up the good work – it’s highly appreciated!


  4. Janel March 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Making this tonight with mashed cauliflower!

    • Russ Crandall March 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      Great, good luck! If you get a chance, please take a picture and put it up on my FB wall, I’d love to see it! :)

    • Colin Peverley September 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Do you have the recipe for Mashed Cauliflower,sounds great.
      Colin Peverley

  5. The Style Dancer March 2, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    Looks delicious – thanks for sharing.

  6. vooloovoo March 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Do you have a suggestion/substitution for the potato starch, don’t have it on hand for the moment. Thanks!

    • Russ Crandall March 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      You could use arrowroot starch, or corn starch if you don’t restrict corn. You could also use a little gelatin, although the consistency might be a little weird. Otherwise, you could make a roux using potato flour or rice flour, like in this post:

      Hope that helps! I would definitely suggest picking up some potato starch the next time you’re at the market, it’s a great thickener (although it loses its thickening properties after the dish cools).

  7. Morghan Phoenix March 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I’ve never been able to get over the trauma of school cafeteria Salisbury Steak. Decades later and I’m still unable to bring myself to try one that isn’t cardboard and sludge.

  8. Chuck Ritchie April 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Very Tasty… I did a couple of modifications… I sauteed half of a thinly sliced onion until it was good and carmalized, then started the gravy with that. You just can’t have Salisbury steak without the onions! Then I added the patties to the gray for about the last 5 minutes of simmering, along with all the yummy gunk I scraped off the baking sheet :) I’ll have to say, my wife and I are new to the paleo thing- I can’t believe what a great binder the almond flour is for ground meat dishes, it really holds together and it really seems to trap moisture in! We made some Lamb curry meatballs the other day using Almond flour, and OMG!!! They were to die for!

    • reneepeyton December 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Chuck, try fried okra with almond flour. Better than the original.

  9. Eric May 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I was going to make a pound of the hamburger mixture up and then cook one burger at a time as I need them (I generally have a bunless burger nearly everyday for lunch….yeah, I’m REALLY tired of it). I usually cook the burger on the stovetop. Would that be fine for this recipie or does some sort of magic happen in the oven? :-)


    • Russ Crandall ( May 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

      Eric, stovetop is fine! No magic involved, I just like using the oven because I can then focus my attention on making the gravy at the same time :)

      • Eric May 11, 2012 at 11:26 am #

        Thanks Russ. One last question. Can we substitue a TB of butter in place of the heavy cream? I don’t usually have much cream around and don’t want to buy a whole thing if I’m just using 1 TB.

        • Russ Crandall ( May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

          Eric, the cream isn’t wholly necessary, it just adds a touch of creaminess to the gravy. It also makes it look a lot tastier too! :) You could probably add a little butter, maybe a little less than a tbsp, and get a similar effect.

  10. roadchickie (Mary) December 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Russ, can I use Tapioca starch in place of the potato starch? I ask because I have a whole bag of the Tapioca Starch already.

    Thank you! – Mary

    • Russ Crandall ( December 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      Mary, you can use it (you’ll probably need less tapioca starch than potato starch), but I’ve read that tapioca starch can sometimes give a slimy texture to gravies, so use at your own risk! :)

  11. Lan December 16, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    I’m surely going to try this! Looks easy and delicious! However, what would you suggest subbing the potato starch with? I rarely come across recipes with this ingredient and I’d prefer not to buy a whole package, use 2 tbsp and leave the rest there until forever :D. Thanks so much!!

    • Russ Crandall ( December 16, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      Lan, depending on your dietary restrictions you could use any starch – arrowroot, tapioca, corn, etc. Hopefully you have one of those lying around the house – if not, I would go for tapioca starch, there are a ton of awesome recipes you can make with it, including the grain-free pizza recipe that I posted on Thursday :)

  12. Candi December 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Seriously yum.

  13. whitney December 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Made this tonight, it was super yum!! You need to have printable versions of the recipes, I wanna keep this one around for awhile :-p

    • Russ Crandall ( December 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      Hey Whitney, glad you liked it. I started making printable versions of my recipes earlier this year, but it was after I published this one. I keep meaning to go back and make PDFs for all my recipes, I’ll get to it, promise!

  14. Jenny R January 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Very good – thank you!

  15. Cindy January 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    I made this tonight, and it turned out great! Thanks! :)

    • Cindy January 8, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      Unfortunately, with it being the first week in January, my store was all out of almond flour, so I put a few almonds in my processor. I thought it was ground well enough, but it ended up being pretty chunky in the steak. Definitely tracking down some almond FLOUR before making again. Haha. :)

      • Russ Crandall ( January 9, 2013 at 7:04 am #

        Cindy, I’m glad you liked it. If you can find it, I prefer almond meal over flour (some manufacturers label it as the same thing, but almond meal is less finely ground than almond meal) because it helps the steak be a little spongier. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have some of the best almond meal for your $$.

  16. Jen B. January 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    This was a huge hit tonight, thank you! We used arrowroot and sautéed the mushrooms with garlic, then added the stock and simmered. Another go to for ground beef :-)

  17. Mykel May 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Can the potato starch be subbed out for anything else? Gf all purpose flour?

    • Russ Crandall May 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      This gravy method would need a starch, so arrowroot or tapioca starch would work. If you’re using flour, it’s a different method, where you’d want to melt butter and make a roux, and then add the liquid until you get your desired consistency.

      • Mykel May 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

        Would corn starch work? And I can handle a roux. Born in raised in southwest Louisiana. I believe I was born knowing how to make a roux. I’ve just never made it with a gf flour.

        • Russ Crandall May 24, 2013 at 7:58 am #

          Corn starch would work. GF rouxs work a little differently than flour rouxs in that they don’t fare very well when you add the roux to liquid, they generally clump and get gritty. So you always have to start with the roux and add the liquid in after, which is inconvenient since you have to get the right amount of flour down from the get-go. Working in restaurants we used to add the roux to liquid so we could get the right thickness every time.

  18. reader0981 June 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Russ, I didn’t see a printer friendly version. Did I miss it? I print out the recipes that I have tried and that are my faves!

    • Russ Crandall June 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Hi, this is an older post, written before I started adding PDFs. I will get to it soon, promise! :)

  19. Ashley June 29, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    My family LOVE’s this recipe! After doing the whole 30 we were dying for some healthy “comfort food” and stuck in boring baked chicken w/ 2 sides mode. Thankfully, I came across your website! We have this along side of your mashed cauliflower (which is the simplest and best recipe I’ve found). It’s def become a staple on our menu. I add a little garlic powder to the meat and it turns out great! Thanks Russ.

  20. Janine August 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    I used arrowroot starch but was unable to get it to thicken. What do you think I did wrong? I tried twice. :(

    • Janine August 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      I stirred about 30mins at each attempt.

    • Russ Crandall August 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Janine, that’s a strange one. You mixed the arrowroot with cold water before adding? Did the liquid come to a simmer?

  21. Leana September 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I can’t seem to find a ‘recipe’ version of this recipe to print out. Am i missing something?

    • Russ Crandall September 19, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Leana, this is an older recipe, from before I made convenient printer-friendly versions. I plan on going back and fixing all my old posts someday! :)

  22. Audrey September 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    This recipe was the best ever!! It was pure comfort food and so healthy!! I used all organic foods along with grass fed beef… I followed the directions exactly which were quite clear, pictures did help… my family loved it! Thanks so much…. We enjoyed it immensely!

  23. Michelle M September 20, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Made this last night and it was a big hit with the family! I got a little confused in the instructions as I thought I was supposed to add half of each of the pepper, onion powder, and mustard in to the meat. Then when I saw there was no where to add the rest of the onion powder and mustard I realized that only the pepper was to be half and the others the full amount. But the meat was still absolutely delicious! I did not have mushrooms but followed one commenter’s advice about using onions. My gravy was lacking in flavor so I did add some various spices and a bit of worcestershire, threw in the cooked beef patties and let it reduce a bit. That helped. Oh! And I did not have any heavy cream so I subbed some sour cream which seemed to work well. Delish and not difficult. This will definitely become a regular at our house! Thanks!

  24. Tamara Nankivel September 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    This tastes great! We increased the recipe to 6 lbs beef(80%) and 3 lbs ground pork to feed the 6 boys in our house, a definite crowd pleaser :)

    • Russ Crandall September 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Tamara, awesome! Always great to hear that my recipes are crowd pleasers! :)

  25. Jess November 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Do you think you’d adjust the cooking time on the beef patties with a leaner cut of meat? If so, what might you recommend?

  26. January 13, 2014 at 1:34 am #

    Hi. would this be good with ground turkey instead of beef?

    • Russ Crandall January 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Sandra, I haven’t made it with turkey, but it might be pretty good. Be sure to check it often so as to not overcook it, as ground turkey can dry out quickly.

  27. monique February 13, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    made this last nite and i just want to say… thank you!!! best paleo gravy i’ve made so far… and it’s a keeper!!! thank you thank you thank you :)

  28. camila March 3, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi Russ! Can I use tapioca flour instead of arrowroot?

    • Russ Crandall March 4, 2014 at 8:31 am #

      Hi Camila, you can use tapioca but bear in mind that it’ll create a stretchy, gummy texture compared to the other starches (potato or arrowroot) so I would use it sparingly in gravy.

  29. Jamie March 25, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    I made this last night and doubled the recipe so I could have leftovers for lunch. I paired it with mashed cauliflower. MMMMMM!! My husband ate three of the steaks they were so good! I’m new to Paleo, so I’m not familiar with cooking with some of these ingredients, I could not get my gravy to thicken. I used coconut milk (I can’t do the heavy cream due to a dairy allergy) and potato starch, but it still didn’t thicken. Regardless, it was delish and I will be enjoying leftovers today for lunch 

  30. Jessica April 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Amazing. I made this for dinner a week ago and it is a keeper in our home. Tonight I am making it for a patient and his wife and I hope they like it as much as we did.

  31. KE April 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Russ, do you think this could work without the egg? Thanks!

    • Russ Crandall April 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      It should work fine without the egg – although it may fall apart more readily. Let me know how it goes!

  32. Melissa T. May 21, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Russ – I have a brief story to tell you…. I cook on a daily basis for my parents. So, with their dietary restrictions and my husband and I being strict paleo, my daily menus are challenging to say the least. Growing up, my mom used to make Salisbury steak, and everyone loved it, except for me. I never liked it. I came across your recipe and decided to give it a try. It was a HUGE hit for all of us. Thank you so much for a delicious recipe. I’ve made it twice so far. (I eliminate the cream). The only other addition on the second go round, was halving the amount of almond flour, and adding the same quantity of ground flax. The steaks are super tender and delicious. Excellent.

  33. Christina Kalix July 3, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I’m always confused when I find salisbury steak recipes minus green peppers in with the mushroom gravy. People, green peppers make the gravy!! That is the classic salisbury steak gravy taste you miss from childhood – the green pepper is essential. I won’t make this as my own is one step less(cook steak patties in a large skillet on the stove top not in the oven, which is about 5 minutes per side on med high, then add your broth, mushrooms, peppers and onions and cover. Reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove patties then add your thickener, being sure to stir as you add your thickener. If you have enough room in your skillet you can double the gravy ingredients because you will want to put this gravy on everything.)

    • Naomi March 20, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

      I made this tonight for the family with a few alterations. 5 stars!!! Because my husband can’t use onion powder I added very finely chopped onions to the meat. I also cooked the steaks in my cast iron skillet (love my cast iron skillet!) then used the same skillet for the gravy. I am dairy free so I used coconut milk instead of cream and nobody missed the cream. I served with mashed cauliflower too. It was delicious! Everyone LOVED it. A keeper for sure. I knew I was going to love this when the steaks began cooking. It smelled as good as it tasted. I look forward to checking out your other recipes! Thank you!!

  34. sciskiendy August 27, 2014 at 5:46 am #

    I’ve never had Salisbury Steak before, but figured I’d give this recipe a try. While the steaks were baking, they smelled pretty bad, like they were rancid. Did I just have a bad batch of mince or is it meant to smell odd while cooking? My husband assumed it was the fat that was making the smell, but we decided not to risk eating it just in case. On the positive side, the gravy turned out delicious and I also tried your mashed potato recipe which was a hit.

    • sciski August 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      I just realised that I could fry the patties instead, so will give that a go!

    • Russ Crandall August 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      Wow, that’s really weird. I would think it’s a bad batch of ground beef, I’ve never heard of a rancid smell with this recipe. Either way, sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out!

      • sciskiendy August 28, 2014 at 7:52 am #

        I tried it again with the pan-fried patties. Delicious! Even the toddler scarfed it down. Thanks for the recipe. :)

        • Russ Crandall August 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm #


          • Corey O'Day September 14, 2014 at 8:29 am #

            I’m allergic to tree nuts so can I use tapioca starch as the binder instead of the almond meal?

          • Russ Crandall September 14, 2014 at 9:06 am #

            Corey, a combination of equal parts tapioca starch and coconut flour would probably work best as a substitute, but straight tapioca starch wouldn’t be bad, either.

  35. October 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this web page is genuinely

  36. yoli2k October 21, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Hello, didn’t anyone else find this too spicy hot? Wow, I couldn’t eat it because it was too hot with pepper. I did use 1 tsp of pepper and half for the meat and half for the gravy. No dinner for me tonight.

  37. reneepeyton December 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Russ, I made this last night with bison, and it was delicious. I featured it on my blog site, with kudos to you and your taking your health into your own hands.

  38. Lynette January 2, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi! I just found your blog and tried this recipe today with the ground bison that we had on hand. Very nice, indeed.

    • Russ Crandall January 3, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Lynette, glad you liked the recipe! It’s a family favorite.

  39. Laura January 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    WOW. I made this a few weeks ago and it was so good! Super easy and my kids liked it! Thank you

  40. writingmartha February 1, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    I’m absolutely in love with your recipes. They are the perfect blend of culinary adventure and comfort food. I made this Salisbury Steak today, but instead of almond meal (which I never have in the house) I used a grated apple. The result was moist and tasty.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Russ Crandall February 2, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Glad you liked the recipe, it’s a favorite of ours! :)

  41. Tiffany February 9, 2015 at 2:31 am #

    Defrosted a pound of ground beef and didn’t know what to do with it… Tried your recipe and I absolutely loved it! Thank you!

  42. Diana March 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know that I just copied and pasted the first picture and then the directions. It wasn’t that hard to do.


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