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The History of Delicious Salisbury Steak

Most Baby Boomers will remember Salisbury steaks from the frozen TV dinners of the 1970s. You may be interested to know that the “steak” was touted as a medical nutritional breakthrough during the American Civil war.

Dr. Salisbury, like many people before and since, believed that food was the key to health and that certain foods could cure illness, especially of the intestinal variety. He tested his theories during the Civil War, treating chronic diarrhea among Union soldiers with a diet of chopped-up meat and little else. After 30 years of research, he finally published his ideas, setting off one of the earliest American fad diets.

While this may not be healthiest dish, it is simple and a good source of protein.  You can easily make this fully keto by substituting crush pork rinds for the flour.


Salisbury Steak

Relegated to frozen TV dinners in the 1970s, you may be surprised that this dish was created by Dr. Salisbury as a health food for soldiers in the Civil War.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 490kcal


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs keto: sub crushed pork rinds
  • 1 tsp. garlic finely chopped
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 large mushrooms sliced or quartered
  • 1/2 large white onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp. cream
  • 2 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley leaves


  • Mix together the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Shape the ground beef with your hands into 4 oblong patties. Season the patties with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large cast iron pan over high heat. Add the oil and let heat until it begins to shimmer. Sauté until the patties are golden brown and crusty on both sides and cooked to medium to medium rare doneness, about 6 to 8 minutes total.
  • Remove the meat from the pan and transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sliced mushrooms and onions to the pan and stir occasionally until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Simmer for about 3 minutes until the broth is reduced to a sauce consistency. Stir in the half-and-half.
  • Add the patties and any juices from the plate back to the pan and warm for one minute. Spoon the sauce over the patties. Transfer the patties to a large plate and spoon the sauce over the steak. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 542mg | Potassium: 723mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 914IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 4mg
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