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Down home and comforting, these ground beef “steaks” are covered with a flavorful mushroom sauce.

Salisbury Steak on Taste and Tell

Photo and Recipe Updated February 2014

**NOTE – This recipe was remade and updated February 2014. It’s actually a delicious recipe if you use the correct ingredients!!**

I come from a family of good cooks. When we get together, it’s usually all about the food, and that is what I grew up around. My mom cooked daily – in fact, I don’t ever remember going out for fast food when I was young. So needless to say, I’m fairly confident in the kitchen. Now, don’t let confidence be confused with any sort of expertise – I definitely don’t claim to be a chef of any kind, and I just think of myself as a true, down-home cook.

I have even posted about disasters in my kitchen before. I think it’s important for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that I am human, and not everything that comes out of my kitchen is good. I think that some people that don’t cook would be intimidated reading through all of the food blogs out there where people make it look so effortless. Well, we all have bad days in the kitchen. No one can turn out one perfect meal after another. The other reason I like to post my disasters is that I cook a lot from cookbooks or online recipes, and if I make a mistake or find a recipe that is no good, I can share that with others so that they don’t make the same mistake or try the same recipe.

This one is one of my disasters. It’s not the recipe that is bad, but a total mistake that I made, that I’m almost embarrassed about. I bought this cookbook – America’s Best-Loved Community Recipes – back when I first moved away from home. I think I’ve only actually made one recipe from it, and it has been in the last year. So I picked it off the shelf one night, and discovered that I had bookmarks all over in the book. This isn’t out of the ordinary – many of my cookbooks have the recipes I want to try marked – but these bookmarks had probably been there for 8+ years. So I decided to just open up to one of them, and that is what would go onto the menu. I ended up on this recipe for Salisbury Steak. I even had a grocery list on the paper that was marking it’s spot. I guess one day, many years ago, I had planned to make this but never got around to it. Among the things on the list was “chili sauce?” just like that – with the question mark and all. I figured I didn’t know what chili sauce was back then, not thinking much about it.

Well, the night came around to make the meal, and I started preparing it. I made the steaks, had them in cooking, and everything was going along well. Then I went to make the sauce. I pulled out the ingredients, but stopped for a second when I read “1/3 cup chili sauce.” I had pulled out what I thought was the proper ingredient – a bottle of Sriracha that I had in the fridge – but had to wonder if adding 1/3 cup of this was going to make it too hot. I continued on with the recipe.

Chili Sauce

And yeah, it made the sauce completely inedible. I had one bite of that salisbury steak with the sauce on top, and I don’t think I felt my mouth for an hour afterwards. I do like things hot, but this was completely over the top. And keeping it completely real, at that point, I still didn’t know what I did wrong. It called for chili sauce, and I used chili sauce! We scraped off as much of the sauce as we could get off and at the steaks with ketchup – in true American style.

The next day, as I was blog surfing, I realized the error of my ways. I just happened to come upon a post with a recipe that used chili sauce. In the ingredients, she says ” 1 jar Heinz chili sauce (or any chili sauce that has nothing to do with real chiles)”. I had no idea this ingredient even existed until I read that recipe for turkey meatloaf!

So needless to say, this was a true lesson learned for me. And also a mistake I will never make again!

So if you are looking for a true, comforting, American meal, you should try out this recipe – but make sure you use the correct chili sauce!!

Salisbury Steak
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Down home and comforting, these ground beef "steaks" are covered with a flavorful mushroom sauce.
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • ½ green bell pepper, finely minced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • ⅔ cup chili sauce (such as Heinz chili sauce)
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of bottled hot pepper sauce
To make the patties:
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Place the beef in a large bowl. Add in the onion, bell pepper, celery, parsley, garlic, dry mustard, marjoram, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Lightly mix all of the ingredients together, being careful to not overwork the meat.
  3. Shape the mixture into 8 patties about ¾ inch thick. Place the patties under the broiler and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, or until done, turning halfway through.
To make the sauce:
  1. While the steaks cook, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle with the flour; stir. Add the chili sauce, beef broth, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Cook and stir until the mixture is bubbly. Cook for 1 minute more. Serve the sauce over the patties.
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34 Responses to Salisbury Steak

  1. Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet says:

    I love when folks blog about the good the bad and the ugly. Not only does it humanize all of us (move aside martha!) but they can be great learning moments too!

  2. Brilynn says:

    I cringed as soon as I read 1/3 cup Sriracha… I made a similar mistake before. I enjoy spicy too but there’s a difference between spicy and “I can’t feel my mouth”…

  3. glamah16 says:

    Ha! I think the authors should have named the Brand as to not confuse. Most people reading that would assume a Chili type sauce such as what you used.Cute story. I would have needed a night to recover from that that. My head is sweating reading about it.

  4. Mary Coleman says:

    Love your blog. This is my first time here and you do wonderful things. Those chocolate tipped cookies, and the week of Rachael Ray. Good stuff!
    I’ll be back.

  5. Tartelette says:

    Oh man! That had to hurt!! Had the same issue when I moved here and picked up a CL mag. I remember calling my roomate who was cooking that night for her boyfriend! I did have some not so funny similar incidents trying to get my bearings about different ingredients over here. If it is any consolation, the dish “looks” good!

  6. Elle says:

    Ouch, that stuff is H-O-T! It can get confusing, with all the chili/chile things available these days, can’t it? Makes my head spin sometimes. Salisbury steak is one of those good comfort meals that are so nice to come home to. I’ll keep this recipe to try!

  7. kimberleyblue says:

    That story is pretty funny – thank you for sharing!

    One tablespoon of that stuff heats up a dish – I can only imagine what 1/3 cup would’ve done.

  8. Grace says:

    the only salisbury steak i’ve ever eaten was served in my high school cafeteria. i hope that’s not what all salisbury steak tastes like, because 1/3 c hot sauce would’ve actually improved it. 🙂

  9. Patsyk says:

    I always appreciate hearing about the successes and the “uh-oh’s” when reading blogs… that’s why I like to include them as well.

  10. Cookie baker Lynn says:

    Oh my goodness, you must have had flames coming out of your mouth!

  11. Astra Libris says:

    I LOVE that you posted about an “ooops” moment – thank you!! It’s so true that they happen to us all – thank you for sharing and making us/me feel better! 🙂 Kudos to you, too, for turning the “ooops” into a positively scrumptious looking supper!

  12. Emiline says:

    Omigosh, that’s funny. I bet that was really spicy! Sriracha is crazy hot.
    I thought that was the only chili sauce. I’ve never heard of the Heinz kind.
    There’s also sweet chili sauce for Asian cooking, too.

  13. noble pig says:

    Your human? I thought you were a robot!

    That is hilarious, I was starting to think you were perfect.

  14. Katie B. says:

    O no! Your poor mouth! I can’t imagine a 1/3 cup – how atomic! (Should you get any more notes from your 8-years-ago-self – listen! :))

  15. Kevin says:

    I had no idea there was a different kind of chili sauce. I would have grabbed my sambal oelek, though I don’t think I have ever used 1/3 cup of it before. The recipe sounds pretty tasty otherwise.

  16. PheMom says:

    Oh seriously. I would have done the exact same thing! In fact, now I’m confused too, because there is a recipe for firecracker shrimp on Jaden’s blog that I am planning on making and I just bought a different kind of chili sauce (I think) than that Heinz one. Jaden says what kind she uses, but you know I didn’t find that at the store here (ugh!). Yipes! Now, I’m confused. Oh well. We’ll see what happens!

  17. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Oh no! As soon as I read Sriracha, I knew. That stuff is HOT! I’ve certainly done things like that before.

    BTW, you are my Top Chef Giveaway winner this week! I posted my recap really late today because I had an emergency and I couldn’t get to it. Email me your address to stickygooeycreamychewy AT gmail DOT comand I’ll send it right out to you.


  18. Jenny says:

    I’ve never had that hot stuff, but have heard all about it! Apparently it’s pretty hot! Your dish looks terrific!

  19. KJ says:

    I like reading about disasters. It’s always nice to know that I am not alone.

    I would have done exactly the same thing – live and learn 🙂

  20. tigerfish says:

    I wonder if the Heinz chili sauce is similar to Maggie chili sauce or even LKK chili sauce (those Asian brands).

  21. Lore says:

    Make that a lesson learned for me too. Thanks for posting this.
    Your Salisbury steak still looks great!

  22. BC says:

    Ouch! That hurts, but I can understand how it happened.

  23. Tart Reform says:

    Wow…that would explain a lot! I once posted about a shrimp recipe with chili sauce and used a really spicy canned Mexican one, but now I wonder if that too was wrong since it was not edible… very interesting food for thought!

  24. Bellini Valli says:

    This does sound exceptional Deb. I guess they call it chili sauce because they add it to chile:D

  25. Veron says:

    I’ve had those days plenty! Yep…my mouth was burning as I read that 1/3 cup siracha…I love that stuff but you need to use it wisely! I think it is important that we post about our lessons learned… makes cooking more fun and you have a good story to tell afterwards ;).

  26. Melanie C. says:

    You have a great blog! I am sorry about the inedible sauce! I hate it when I work hard on a dish and it doesn’t turn out! I remember my first attempt at beef and broccoli that we had to scrape into the garbage and have cold cereal instead! It looks like your successes FAR outweigh your disasters though!! I am excited to find your blog and try your recipes!

  27. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Oh, poor you!
    Deb, I think it’s important to share both sides of story – we’ve all have our bad moments in the kitchen, right?

  28. fluffernutter says:

    I followed Mary Coleman here ~ spooky music ~ I edit community cookbooks, and I was relieved that the recipe was okay, and the difficulty lay in, er, operator error. A lot of community groups don’t want to test the recipes, and believe me, it shows up in the kitchen.
    I’ve said for years ages that Heinz ought to change the name of that product. Thanks for telling this funny story.

  29. Mary says:

    I really appreciate that you post when something doesn’t go right. Julia Child used to show her mistakes and that’s what makes her such a great chef, because she’s not perfect.
    I make my own chili sauce and I’m not sure I wouldn’t have made the same mistake!

  30. Tracy says:

    Oh, I had to laugh when I read about the sauce. I hate it when I don’t follow my instincts. I am glad you posted it — I know it makes me glad I’m not the only one with kitchen disasters.

    I know the Heinz chili sauce from one recipe: you mix it with grape jelly to make a meatball sauce. Really. I thought everyone made it.

  31. katiez says:

    That’s hilarious!
    I remember that chili sauce well. Back in the beginning of time there was a sauce for ‘cocktail meatballs’ making the rounds that was equal amounts chili sauce and grape jelly.
    I know, I know, but it really is good….

  32. Sonya says:

    Oh my goodness, I made this the other night and we went crazy over it! fantastic recipe. The sauce is so delicious. It was my first time cooking with red wine. Im not a fan of wine at all but cooking with it is totally different! Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe!

  33. This looks so good and comforting, this is certainly a down home meal, a delicious looking one I might add! 🙂

  34. Regina fisher says:

    This sounds so delicious my mouth is watering right now…this will be on my list for dinner tonight

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