Chef John’s Salisbury Steak



4 servings


For the Steaks

  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce 
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste 
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs

For the Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 12 large white button mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 cup diced onion 
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3 cups high-quality, low-sodium beef broth 
  • salt to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter


  1. Combine beef, black pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, egg, cayenne, and bread crumbs in a mixing bowl. Use a fork or your hands to stir the ingredients until very evenly distributed.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to overnight.
  3. While the meat is resting, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick pan over high heat; add mushrooms, onions, and a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until very nicely browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add flour. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth; increase heat to high. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens slightly and reduces, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Transfer to a glass measuring cup, scraping the pan clean with a spatula, and reserve.
  5. Remove meat from the refrigerator and divide into 4 equal portions. Moisten hands and form into oval patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides of the patties lightly with salt.
  6. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the previously used nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Pour in gravy and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until gravy is piping hot, and the meat is just cooked through and springs back lightly when touched, about 5 minutes.

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 494 calories; protein 32.8g; carbohydrates 25.6g; fat 29g; cholesterol 156.1mg; sodium 729.7mg.


  • Serve with buttered mashed potatoes and a vegetable side. 
  • You can use the meat mixture immediately rather than wrapping and refrigerating.
  • You can make the meatballs round or in any shape.