I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun it was re-creating this TV Dinner…writing the blog…not so much…haha! I have decided to devote an entire section of my recipe blog to “That 70’s Food.” See…I grew up in the 70’s…my Mom was (is) an amazing cook…she made sure we had a home cooked meal every night. I’m fairly certain this is the reason I cook for my Husband at least five times a week. Even though I may not prepare the same types of meals as she did back then…I think it’s going to be so much fun creating these meals for today…some will be upgraded and others will be just like my Mom made them. Stay tuned…this is the first in my “TV Dinner” series. It’s funny because as one of five children, we thought tv dinners were a treat…really? Now they can be!
This Salisbury Steak TV Dinner is all homemade…how cute are these trays…cannot even believe I found them on Amazon…what great fun this will be to make with your children. Click here to order the trays! This meal will take a bit longer to prepare than most…but will be totally worth it! If you have not purchased a cast iron pan…you really need one for this recipe…you will be using it a lot! Click here for the one I used.
I had a few things working at the same time and it really cut my overall time. See my HINT below if you are uncomfortable having so many pans in the fire..so to speak…at one time!
Let’s get started…Place the ground meat in a big bowl and allow to come to room temperature. In a small bowl, add the heavy cream and begin tearing off tiny pieces of the bread. Place in bowl with cream and allow to soak.
Heat a cast iron pan to medium. Add in the butter and diced white onions. Allow to cook down for a few minutes. You are just looking to soften the onions…not necessarily brown them. Remove from pan…reserve…and allow to cool.
In the same pan, add in the tablespoon of butter for the gravy recipe and the sliced shallots. Allow the shallots to soften just a few minutes…reserve in separate bowl. Wipe the inside of the cast iron pan to remove any oil. Turn heat to medium-high…add in the sliced mushrooms. The mushrooms will cook relatively fast…avoid over cooking…you want a bit of substance. Remove from pan and reserve in the same bowl as the sliced shallots.
Peel and cut your potatoes and place in a pot of cool water with a few touches of kosher salt. Cook on medium-high until the potatoes fall apart with a fork…do NOT overcook or you may end up with “mushy” potatoes.
While the potatoes are cooking away, grab the same cast iron pan you used for the onions and mushrooms. Make sure you clean it well…I have found that sprinkling a bit of kosher salt and oil and rubbing with a cloth/paper towel will do just fine. Peel and slice your apples. Melt the two tablespoons of butter in the cast iron pan. Add in the apples and the juice of 1/2 lemon…cook until tender, but not mushy or falling apart.
Once the apples have reached the proper consistency, make a slurry with the cornstarch and water…pour on top of the apples. Allow to coat the apples…you will notice a thickness. Sprinkle in the nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir and allow the sauce to come together. The sauce will become thicker and cararmelize slightly. Reserve pan fried apples and sauce in a bowl. Clean pan…you will be using one more time!!!
The potatoes should be finished cooking at this point. Drain…do NOT rinse. Place potatoes back in same pot and set back on burner for just about 30 seconds to cook off any remaining water. I am old school and love to mash my potatoes with a hand mixer. I think this is the best method, so as to ensure they are not over mixed, which can cause the potatoes to become “gummy.” Remove pot from stove. Add three-quarters of the stick of butter, the cream and the sour cream to the potatoes. Mix until they are nice and fluffy…if you notice the potatoes are a little dry…add just a touch more cream and/or sour cream. Top with the remaining butter, place lid and reserve.
We are almost there…turn your attention back to the ground meat. Without mixing yet, add in the creamed soaked bread, cooled onions, kosher salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, egg and fresh parsley. Mix just enough to incorporate all of the ingredients…over mixing will cause a toughness to the patties.
Heat up the cast iron pan to medium. Form patties with the meat mixture…you do not want them to be as thick as a burger, nor as round…kind of like meatball-sized, flattened down. Once the pan is ready, fry the patties on both sides…cook through and try to get them as brown as you can without burning. You will have to do this in batches…try not to overcrowd the pan. Reserve cooked patties on a plate.
Once all of the patties are browned and removed from pan. Remove all, but about a few tablespoons of the fat. Try not to remove the browned bits. Coat the grease with the flour and powder from the beef onion soup (I use a strainer to catch the onion bits and discarded them). Cook for a few minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Whisk in two cups of the beef stock. Turn the heat up just a bit. As you are whisking, you will notice the sauce will start to form a gravy. If the gravy is too thick, add in more of the remaining stock, a little at a time. Add a touch of black pepper and taste for need salt. You can even throw in a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce if you would like…just a few though. Once the gravy is perfect, add in your reserved mushroom and shallots.
Place the patties in the pan and coat with the luscious gravy mixture. Serve along side the homemade mashed potatoes and apples or do what I did and create your very own TV dinner. I added two patties covered in the mushroom/shallot gravy…piped the mashed potatoes…added a few of the pan fried and white shoepeg corn, to complete my TV Dinner. ENJOY a blast from the past!
HINT: There are a lot of moving parts to this recipe…I cook a lot, so I kind of know the timing on everything. If you feel uncomfortable having so many things going on at the same time, by all means prepare the apples and mashed potatoes ahead of time.