Mention TV dinners and most people immediately think of Salisbury steak. The majority of folks can’t tell you what it actually is, though, and write it off as mystery meat, which is a shame because done right it’s an American classic. This version of the beef patties braised in a mushroom sauce is a far cry from the frozen meat pucks you’ll find in grocery stores, and restores the dish to its former glory.
1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange the rack in the middle. Combine ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons of the Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Shape into 8 (3-1/2-by-2-1/2-by-1-inch) oval patties and set aside.
2Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. When it foams, add 4 patties and brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer patties to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Brown remaining 4 patties, and transfer to the baking dish. Drain all fat from the pan but leave any browned bits.
3Return the pan to medium heat and melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add mushrooms and shallots and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring rarely, until mushrooms are slightly browned and soft, about 4 minutes.
4Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flour is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add red wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour in broth and stir until smooth. Let mixture come to a boil and cook until sauce is reduced by half, about 13 minutes.
5Add remaining 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Pour sauce over patties in the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until meat is tender and slightly pink in the middle.
Beverage pairing:Hogue Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington state. This meaty dish needs a wine with a little fruit to round it out. The juicy black cherry flavors in this Cabernet fill that function, while its good structure and tannins balance the softness of the dish.