French Onion Salisbury Steaks

March 2nd, 2015

French Onion Salisbury Steak 1

This is a quick meal that brings back memories of an earlier time.  And a more simple time.  Most people equate salisbury steak with the TV dinners that were popular in the ’50’s and ’60’s.  We have come a long way since that time.  Even though that time was known for TV dinners, it was also the era of simple meals of meat and potatoes.  My Mother was known for her pork chops, meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  We never had such exotic food from other countries like pizza pie.  Technology and Julia Child changed all of that.  With the advent of cooking programs on television, many people were introduced to food from other nations.  Now with the internet, we can even cook the same food that is currently being prepared in home kitchens all over the world.  Social media has introduced us to quinoa, chia seeds and hemp hearts among other things.  I have been adding hemp hearts to my morning oatmeal.  Who would have thought?

French Onion Salisbury Steak 2V

But sometimes, an old-fashioned meal like this “updated” salisbury steak with French onion gravy is most welcomed.  Instead of potatoes it is served with  toasted slices of sourdough bread with Swiss cheese.  The gravy is a riff on French onion soup with beef broth, lots of onions, a little wine and a touch of tomato paste.  I enjoyed this combination.

French Onion Salisbury Steak 3 close

Hope you enjoy this blast from the past.  To be honest, I am glad that we now have so many options, but still love the classics.

FRENCH ONION SALISBURY STEAK  (Adapted from Cuisine at Home )   

1 1/4 ground chuck
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
2 Tablespoons scallions, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups onions, sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 teaspoons minced fresh parsley for garnish
4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
Cheese Toasts – Recipe follows

Combine chuck, parsley, scallion, salt, and pepper.  Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into 3/4-inch-1-inch thick oval patties.  Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour.  Reserve 1 teaspoon flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add patties and saute 3 minutes on each side, or until browned.  Remove from pan.  Add onions and sugar to pan; saute 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and tomato paste; saute 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown.  Sprinkle onions with reserved flour; cook 1 minute.  Stir in broth and wine, then add the salt and thyme.

Return meat to pan and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.  Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion soup ladled over.  Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.


4 slices French bread or Sourdough baguette, cut diagonally (1/2-inch thick)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
Pinch of paprika
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place bread on a baking sheet.  Combine butter garlic, and paprika, and spread on one side of each slice of bread.  Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter.  Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, 10-15


24 responses to “French Onion Salisbury Steaks”

  1. Pondside says:

    You’re right – sometimes the ‘classics’ are just the ticket – especially on a cold night when you just want to snuggle in. The gravy in this recipe looks delicious! I know a Great Dane who would love to find this waiting at the table!

  2. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    We never had TV dinners growing up, but we did have Swanson’s frozen and heated chicken pot pies! This steak sounds really good Penny!

    • Penny says:

      My Mom only embraced them for a short time. She was too good a cook to rely on them. All of my memories of home include Mom in the kitchen. Guess that is why I do what I do.

  3. We never had TV dinners when I was growing up, but none the less we all long for the classics now and then. I don’t recall ever eating Salisbury steak, but it looks delicious and comforting. Sometimes I really crave comfort food.

    • Penny says:

      Like I told Penny, Mom only bought them a few times. She loved to cook too much to serve mediocre food. She was a classic cook of her time.

  4. Barbee says:

    I’m going to show my ignorance here: noted the second ingredient is “1/4 cup fresh minced”, but I don’t know fresh minced what. It all looks delicious, but I don’t want to leave out anything important to the recipe. Oh, this looks so good! Thank you!

    • Penny says:

      Barbee, Thank you for pointing out the omission. It is parsley. I corrected it in the recipe. You are the best! Hope you enjoy this. In my defense, I have been suffering from a horrible cold this week and everything I do is a huge effort.

  5. Susan says:

    This would definitely be called comfort food at my house. But, will admit that it has been many years since I have eaten this. Like the idea of putting it on the cheese toast. Feel better soon.

  6. Barbara says:

    Hope your cold is better, Penny.
    Love these old classic recipes. And your cheese toasts with it especially. 🙂
    I do remember salisbury steak being a TV dinner. (Is it still? In another version?) My mother never served them, because when I was a child they were rarely found…think they were invented after WWII. My mom was a super cook anyway and doubt she would have allowed one in the house!

    • Penny says:

      Don’t know if the old brand of TV dinners are still around. It is funny that so many of us food bloggers had Mothers who loved to cook. Thanks Barbara.

  7. Monique says:

    We did have chicken pot pies that were bought..I still remember the tin pan..and the sweet taste..Lots of peas..LOL
    This looks like such a comforting dish..
    Hemp♥’s..If it’s a must be adorable!
    Take care of that cold!

  8. Susan says:

    My mother was a good cook but when she had to work full-time to support me we did have an occasionally TV dinner while I was going to school. Pots pies too, as Monique mentioned 🙂 My mother used to make delicious Danish Frikadellars which remind me of Salsbury Steak and she’d serve them with a pan gravy. This sounds like a delicious comfort food and I so agree about the classics! I know another husband who would enjoy these 🙂

    • Penny says:

      Hi Susan. Frikadellars! I blogged about them once and had almost forgotten about them. Will have to try them again. I bet you have a good recipe. Sometimes when you are under the weather, simple food is the only thing you want.

  9. cheri says:

    Hi Penny, there is always a place in my home for a comforting meal like this, my husband would love it!

  10. Larry says:

    This looks very good Penny and I like the use of cheese toast.

  11. Katie Zeller says:

    Hemp hearts? I don’t think they’ve made it to this side of the pond. Salisbury Steaks…. I love the recipe. Perfect steak for us as the beef tends to be tough. As to the onions…. the more the better!

    • Penny says:

      Thanks Katie. My DIL keeps introducing me to new “healthy” food. She puts hemp hearts, chia seeds, quinoa, etc.into so many of the things she makes. She gets a CSA box, cooks lots of vegetarian meals, but has hot dogs and all kinds of meats occasionally. I admire her very much.

  12. Chris says:

    Just how they made it at my elementary school cafeteria! HA! I wish. This looks amazing, Penny. Pinned it and plan to make it soon for the boy. I think he’ll love it and I know I will.

    • Penny says:

      Hope you do Chris. Will miss you at Larry’s this year! Our Son is cooking from your cookbook with his new Green Egg. We’ve had your brisket and Carolina slaw.

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