Ah, Salisbury steak! For ages I thought the only way it existed was as a bland frozen blob in a box and only recently discovered that there was such a thing as homemade Salisbury steak. Who knew? But sadly, many of the recipes one finds on the internet are built around highly processed and very unnatural ingredients and definitely not Paleo, much less meeting the requirements of a nutrient dense healing diet like the autoimmune protocol (AIP) or the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD).
So of course… I saw a need for a healing version of standard Salisbury steak and set out to fill it!
What is Salisbury steak?
While I thought Salisbury steak was an invention of the TV dinner industry, it actually dates back to 1897 and is named after an American physician. I was also surprised to discover that the USDA actually has specifications for what can be labeled “Salisbury steak” (a minimum of 65% meat, of which up to 25% can be pork, and the rest can be extenders and binders, including isolated soy protein – YUCK!).
Notes for ingredients
- I recently wrote about my love for tigernut flour and put it to use in this recipe to help the ground meat hold together and give it the right texture. If you can’t get tigernut flour, I think almond flour would work just as well. This is the brand of tigernut flour I use (Hint: If you happen to have a Wegman’s supermarket near you, buy it there as that is the cheapest I have found anywhere.).
- For optimal nutrient density and flavor, use a high quality bone broth made from beef and/or pork bones, preferably homemade (see my recipe here) or purchased from one of the sources I reviewed in this post.
- After a little bit of testing, I determined that a combination of ground pork and ground beef was the tastiest and had the best texture. If you don’t eat pork, feel free to make this with all beef or try a combination of beef and turkey or chicken.
Notes for healing diets
- The recipe as written is 100% compliant with the elimination phase of the Paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP).
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): Use almond flour instead of tigernut flour and omit the optional arrowroot starch.
- Low-FODMAP: Omit the onion powder from the patties and the mushrooms and onion from the sauce. Obviously, you will have a less flavorful sauce, but the patties will still be yummy!
AIP Salisbury Steak Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons tigernut flour (use almond flour for SCD)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (omit for SCD)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or lard
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or lard
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups beef broth
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch (omit for SCD)
- 2 teaspoons cold water (not needed if not including the arrowroot starch)
- Use your hands to combine the ground beef, ground pork, tigernut flour, thyme, onion powder, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Form into 4 oval shaped patties, each of them about ¾ inch thick.
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil or lard in a large skillet over medium heat.
- When hot, add the patties to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook on other side for another 5 minutes, so that both sides have a nicely browned crust. Don't worry if they are still slightly rare in the middle as they will have a chance to finish cooking later. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate and keep warm.
- Do not wash skillet. Add another 1 tablespoon coconut oil or lard to skillet, still over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is a light caramel brown color (about 8-10 minutes).
- Add sliced mushrooms to pan with onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and salt, increase heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- If using arrowroot starch, mix it with cold water in a small bowl to form a slurry, then whisk the slurry into the sauce a little bit at a time, until it has reached your desired thickness.
- Return steaks to the pan and spoon sauce over them. Allow them to heat through (about 3-5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and serve.
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