I recently finished reading Christopher Ransom's Beneath The Lake (click through to read my review), a book that I found to be very strange and rather disturbing. What starts off as a family reunion at a lake to put some old demons to rest turns into a bizarre paranormal horror story that leaves everyone fighting to survive. It wasn't at all what I expected, but it did have a few mentions of classic American meals that I thought it would be fun to recreate.
The first one was a dish that I'd never heard of :
p65 He finds Megan seated at the counter in the diner area, watching an older woman, sixty and smoothly stout under her mustard-yellow waitress top and the white tablecloth smock, blending up a vanilla milkshake. The smell of Salisbury steak hangs in the air, the curtains, the fibers of the trampled carpeting.
I headed online to google Salisbury steak and discovered that it is a meat dish made with minced beef, shaped to resemble steak. It is served with a creamy mushroom gravy and appears to be classic diner food.
Most recipes mention adding finely chopped onion, worcester sauce, herbs and spices and/or BBQ sauce to the meat mixture, so I decided to use a pouch of American Smokehouse homemade burger mix that was in the cupboard. I also found a pack of beef gravy with cracked black pepper, which I used as the base of the sauce.
650g minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pack homemade burger seasoning
a squeeze of BBQ sauce
salt, pepper, garlic granules
1/2 pack cheese crackers (for example Ritz crackers), crushed into crumbs
for the sauce :
knob of butter
20cl crème fraîche
Put the minced beef in a large bowl and stir through the cracker crumbs and the onion.
Add the seasonings and sauces and give it all a good stir to combine. Crack in one egg and stir it through to help hold it all together.
Get your hands in there and shape into 6 or 8 balls. Set aside.
Chop the mushrooms into quarters. Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the mushrooms.
Add the cream. Now, if you're thinking my cream looks very strange, you'd be right - it had touched the back of the fridge and frozen solid ! It came back ok but did separate slightly which is why the sauce looks a bit strange and "curdled".
Make up the gravy granules with boiling water - add less than the recommended amount as you'll be adding it to the cream. Add to the pan and heat through until it's all combined. This can be made at this point and reheated just before serving or made at the last minute if you're not juggling the kids' homework at the same time !
Prepare the veggies - we went for carrots and broccoli, as well as some leftover hasselback roast potatoes from Sunday dinner. It would be lovely with mash too.
For an authentic grilled look, I used the Optigrill but you could just flatten them and cook them in a frying pan.
Grill until the juices run clear and they are browned on the outside.
It's basically just homemade beefburgers but it's very tasty.
Serve smothered in the creamy mushroom gravy.
Linking up to the #readcookeat linky at Chez Maximka.
Also adding to the #KitchenClearout linky because it used up a sachet of gravy granules that was lurking in the cupboard, and also rescued some accidentally frozen crème fraîche !
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