Salisbury Steak with Mushroom and Onion Reduction Sauce

Am I the only one who really wanted to be on the meal plan at school growing up? I mean, seriously, if I couldn't take lunchables for lunch I could at least be on the meal plan.  Come on, a girl's gotta fit in somehow, right? 

Wrong.  Thank goodness, my mother didn't ever give in and put us on a meal plan.  We might have gotten to eat school food every now and then as a "treat," but never regularly.  In hindsight, I'm so glad we didn't since most school cafeteria plates look like this (or at least used to look like this):

photo from here

As always, my mother was right and I am so thankful she didn't let me eat that stuff!  I'm also thankful for websites like so I can find grown up, actually healthy, versions of the school cafeteria food I wasn't allowed to eat.  Somehow eating this salisbury steak as an adult satisfies my innter third grader who was dying to eat cafeteria food.

By healthy, I mean the real thing.  Nothing processed, pre-packaged, or frozen about it.  This won't cut it:

photo from here

No, this recipe is real.  And delish.  Grass fed beef.  Fresh mushrooms.  Thyme.  Try it.  I'm positive you'll like it.
(And as an aside, avoid all Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, etc, like the plague!).


For the salisbury steak:

1 lb. ground grass-fed beef
2 shallots, very finely minced
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

For the mushroom and onion reduction sauce:

2 cups homemade (or organic store bought) beef stock
2 cups dry red wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup butter, divided
3/4 lb mushrooms (white button, oysters, shiitakes), chopped coarsely

I used white button but a more exotic variety would be fun

1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly

Combine ground beef and minced shallots together in a bowl and stir to mix together. Fold in beaten egg, salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the mixture is thoroughly combined.  Form the seasoned meat into four patties and set aside while you prepare the mushroom and onion reduction sauce.

Bring beef stock, red wine and fresh thyme to boil over a medium high heat. Continue simmering until reduced by half to three-quarters. 

Melt two tablespoons (or less) of butter in a skillet over a medium heat. When the butter is frothy, but not yet browned:

toss in onions and fry until they release their fragrance and their edges begin to caramelize. Remove the onions from the pan, and add the mushrooms. Continue sautéeing the mushrooms until fragrant and brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Melt two more tablespoons (or less) of butter in the skillet and add the beef patties to the hot pan, searing on both sides until nice and brown on the outside but still pink in the center. Smother with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

Pardon the steam in this picture. 
You can imagine how good your house will smell!

Once the wine and beef stock are reduced by half to three-quarters, remove and discard the sprigs of thyme. Whisk in two tablespoons butter and continue simmering for one to two minutes.  (You can use less butter here if you want to)

Pour the reduction sauce over the Salisbury steaks, mushrooms and onions. Continue to simmer over medium heat until the steaks are cooked through.

Serve hot, with sauce.

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