I hope that all of you are as concerned about the outbreaks of positive COVID-19 cases at meat-packing plants as I am.
Although I understand that there are studies that say that COVID-19 can’t be transmitted by eating food, I am very concerned about the workers in these plants, and would invite you to consider listening to The Daily podcast from Monday, May 4th which interviews a plant shift worker from Sioux Falls, SD. For our President to require that the meat and poultry plants be opened because meat is “essential” not only puts these workers in jeopardy but also fundamentally misunderstands the issue of whether meat made from animals is truly essential in our diets.
I have been saying for many years that all of us can get the protein, taste, sensation, and mouth feel of eating meat by eating plant-based protein.
Here’s my latest example.
My husband and I both remember our moms making Salisbury Steak when we were kids. My mother-in-law said that she actually used “round steak”, but my mom didn’t.
I could never figure out why it was called “Steak” when it just looked like a ground beef patty to me! I think my mom fried some onions and used Campbell’s Condensed Mushroom to make a sauce. My husband and I both remember eating Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes and either mushy peas or green beans.
I hope this is a time when even the most ardent carnivore may want to give plant-based meat a try.
Start with a package of plant-based ground meat. My two favorite brands are Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Plant Based Ground . . .
I decided to choose the Awesome Grounds simply because I had three packages in my freezer vs. one package of Beyond Beef!
If frozen, make sure your grounds are fully thawed. (You can still see a few spots of frost on mine!)
BTW, Awesome Grounds has my vote on the most realistic looking of the plant-based meat grounds!
What makes Salisbury Steak different than just a plain old burger patty is the fact that you are adding other ingredients before you form your patties. I first made a paste of panko breadcrumbs and milk, and then added vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, minced shallots and parsley, onion powder, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Since I’m still recuperating from my wrist surgery, my handy husband did the mixing and formed the patties. . .
. . . which I then sautéed in olive oil in a large skillet (about 3 minutes per side). I turned one over at three minutes so you can see about how much they should cook at this stage. Remember, you are not cooking them completely at this step. They will finish cooking in the sauce.
In the same skillet in which you partially cooked your patties before you removed them to a plate, you’ll make your sauce. Even though the plant based grounds don’t have the same structure as meat, they actually still leave some fond in the pan that will lend more flavor to the sauce that will grace your Salisbury Steaks. I made mine from shallots, garlic, minced mushrooms, red wine, tomato paste, Better than Bouillon No Beef Base, hot water, cornstarch, and parsley.
Although mashed potatoes are probably traditional with Salisbury Steak, we wanted a more colorful plate, so we cooked peeled and cubed sweet potatoes with about 1/2 cup of water in our Instant Pot on high (about 12 minutes). After draining off some of the cooking water, we mashed them with some So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt, which imparted just a hint of sweetness.
Here’s my recipe. I hope if your local grocery store’s meat counter is on empty that you will give this a try!
- Salisbury Steak Ingredients:
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
- ¼ cup milk
- 8-12 drops vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt or onion salt
- 1-2 minced shallots, depending on size
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Several springs parsley, minced
- 1 12-ounce package Awesome Grounds (Note: Beyond Beef comes in a 16-ounce package, so you may need to adjust the amounts of the previously listed ingredients slightly to account for the larger amount of plant-based grounds in the package)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 5-6 large mushrooms, minced
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in about ½ cup of cold water, vegetarian stock, or broth
- ½-1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon No-Beef Base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
- 8-12 drops vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Mix all of the Salisbury Steak ingredients in a bowl. Scoop into patties using a ½ cup measure and set aside on a clean plate. Sauté the patties in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, turning after about 3- 4 minutes on each side and put on a plate lined with paper towels. (Note: The patties will not be fully cooked at this point. You will finish cooking them in the sauce that you will make next.)
- In the same skillet, sauté the shallots, followed by the garlic, and then the mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the red wine and tomato paste to the skillet and mix in well.
- \Mix the cornstarch in the cold water, stock or broth to make a slurry and then mix the Better than Bouillon No-Beef Base into the boiling water.
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet first, followed by the beefy hot water mixture. Add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and parsley and let the sauce cook down for a few minutes until thickened. (Taste before you add any salt if you have used the larger amount of Better than Bouillon No Beef Base because it already has a lot of sodium.)
- Put the partially cooked patties (which have now been transformed into "steaks") back in the skillet after the sauce has cooked for a few minutes to reheat and fully cook on both sides (about 2 minutes each).
- Serve with mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes mashed with vegan coconut yogurt) and sugar snap peas or another healthy green veggie.
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