It used to be that dinner was on the table most nights somewhere around 5:30. Everybody would show up and eat and then one lucky person would find themselves on KP duty. We'd go around the table talking about our day or quizing each other on some kind of trivia or mental math. If somebody couldn't make it to dinner, so be it, but most of the seats were always filled.
Now that my younger brother and sister are at the height of their teenage years, family dinners look a lot different. Lately, we've been eating sometime around 4 so that we can have the kitchen tidied and be on our way out the door to rehearsals with plenty of time to get there.
The point to all of this is: people need to eat. I believe in fixing full meals and sitting down to enjoy them. Sometimes you chat with people, sometimes you read the newspaper, and sometimes you plunk down in front of the tv. I like food that tastes good, fills you up, and begs you to take your time with it.
Salisbury Steak is a main dish I put on my list of foods to master last year. It's one of my favorites and whenever I make it, I feel so accomplished even though it is super simple. I like to serve it alongside mashed potatoes and green beans heated with one beef bullion cube (my Mom's secret to THE best green beans). This whole meal can be on the table in about 30 minutes.
adapted from allrecipes and Taste of Home
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. Lipton Onion Soup Mix, reserve rest of packet for sauce*
Mix meat with all the ingredients above and form into about 7 patties. Patties should be about 4ish-inches long and oval shaped.
Brown patties on both sides in a skilled over med-high heat. Remove from skillet.
1/2 pkg. mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 TBSP. butter
2 TBSP. flour
2 c. water
Remaining Lipton Onion Soup Mix*
1/4 c. ketchup
1 TBSP. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
Brown mushrooms in about half of the butter over med-low heat in the skillet you used to brown the steaks.
Add the rest of the butter and then sprinkle with the flour, stirring until the flour is absorbed.
Add the water and stir.
Add soup mix, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and ground mustard, stirring to combine. Turn up the heat to get a simmer going. Continue stirring.
Once your mixture begins to look like gravy, turn down the heat, add the steaks, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!
*I have made this without Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Before starting the recipe, I mixed the following spices together in a bowl: 1 1/4 tsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. dried parsley, 1/8 tsp. paprika, 1/8 tsp. pepper.
I used about 1/4 tsp. of this mixture in the steak and then used the rest in the sauce. I added 1 tsp. of Beef "Better Than Boullion" when I added the water to the sauce and found that the ketchup needs to be reduced to about 2 TBSP. with this rendition of the recipe.
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Just in case getting everything on the table at once is not your thing, I've added my tips to the recipe page. The process of preparing this meal and then sharing it with the ones you love is pretty much exactly what I have in mind when it comes to comfort food!
What's your idea of comfort food?
What season are you in when it comes to family dinners?