The 3 Ingredients That Elevate Bobby Flay's Salisbury Steak

Bobby Flay smiling
Bobby Flay smiling - Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The iconic Salisbury steak has a long history in the U.S. culinary canon that begins as far back as the Civil War when, thanks to Dr. James Henry Salisbury, it functioned as a quick protein delivery system for soldiers in need of strength. Since then, this "steak" has become a staple frozen dinner and convenience food. Since it has more in common with a hamburger than a filet mignon, you're less likely to find it on a fine dining table, but that may be because quality versions made with care are hard to come by.

Still, this dish has so much to love. It is fast and easy to prepare, incorporating seasoned ground beef and served with a creamy mushroom gravy, and has the potential to be so delicious in the right hands. If you ask Bobby Flay, three common ingredients will revolutionize your Salisbury steak and revive your interest in this classic: cremini mushrooms, half and half, and tomato paste.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

The Importance Of Bobby Flay's Salisbury Steak Ingredients

Salisbury steak with sides
Salisbury steak with sides

While the traditional versions call for button mushrooms, Bobby Flay recommends creminis, but the distinction between the two is really just about the age difference between baby button, cremini, and portobello mushrooms. Flay's pick is actually the same as white mushrooms, just a little farther along in the maturation process, which means they have a more developed flavor. Cooking them in the fat left behind in the pan from your steaks allows their natural earthiness to permeate the gravy.

Once your mushrooms and onions are sautéed and it's time to make the sauce, in addition to a chicken or beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, Flay suggests adding half and half for creaminess, as well as tomato paste. In addition to that slightly tart and umami quality, this latter ingredient adds body to the gravy and excludes the need to thicken it with flour or cornstarch. Omitting flour isn't just a handy trick for serving gluten-intolerant guests; it also allows the ingredients in your gravy to shine without being muted by the grain.

Serving Your Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steak with veg
Salisbury steak with veg - norikko/Shutterstock

Once you have these three ingredients to boost this dish, you can think about ways to customize your recipe, and a version like the one-skillet Salisbury steak is a great starting point. Garlic is ubiquitous, but other seasonings would also work with this flavor profile. Both tomato paste and cremini mushrooms pair well with herbs like thyme and parsley. You can introduce a kick with cayenne, chili powder, or pepper flakes, which the splash of half and half will help to temper. Different kinds of tomato paste will also contribute nuanced flavors, as the canned, jarred, and tube iterations are each preserved in slightly different ways.

Serve your Salisbury with creamy mashed potatoes, with peas and carrots on the side to keep it traditional, or opt for a light and fresh classic Italian salad for a bright and crunchy contrast. You can also take some inspiration from this dish's beefy cousin and make a riff on meatloaf sliders but with Salisbury steak instead. With this three-ingredient upgrade, your recipe revival will make Bobby Flay proud.

Read the original article on Daily Meal