From Cook's Country
It's hard to imagine that chopped steak could be considered health food, but that's what Dr. James Henry Salisbury had in mind when he invented the dish of “Salisbury Steak" as a "meat cure" for wounded and ill Civil War soldiers. Today, most of us only know Salisbury steak from the cafeteria lunch line or the frozen food section. We wanted our Salisbury Steak recipe to be worthy of its storied past. We started by browning the patties on both sides and letting them finish cooking in the sauce, which kept the beef tender. Mixing dehydrated potato flakes and milk into the raw meat made the patties even moister and also helped them stay together. For our recipe’s extra-rich sauce, we added tomato paste and port to our sautéed mushrooms and onions.
When shaping the patties in step 1, be sure to wet your hands to prevent sticking. Tawny port or dry sherry can be substituted for the ruby port. Do not use potato granules, which add an off-flavor.
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