We made two large Salisbury steaks with ¾ pound of ground elk meat; AKA “poor man steaks”, or “ground steaks”. Don’t be bound by the amounts of ingredients in recipes. Cooking “procedure” can be quite “scientific”, but exact ingredients are just starting points! (Baked goods are different, but this ain’t cake!)
Packing elk meat is difficult, but big game retrieval can even be done alone. There are ways to make it easier, even without expensive equipment, horses or help.
Taste preference is very personal. Use artistic license to make recipes taste like you want them to, not the way someone else says they should. These were great tasting, but we will most likely do something different every time! Let us know in the comments section below how you make Salisbury steaks.
We smoked these ground elk steaks first, and then finished them in the oven.
When we cook, we often use fresh herbs that grow in the window upstairs. We rub them on elk steaks or chicken after soaking them in a little olive oil. Dried herbs are good, too, but you don’t know what you’re missing if you haven’t tried fresh! Fresh herbs are not that hard to grow inside year ‘round. If you’re using dried herbs, add a little and taste. Then add more, if desired. Great cooks don’t always measure. They add and taste!
Here’s a good start for you to make elk, venison, or beef Salisbury steaks with mushroom gravy:
¾ to 1 pound of ground meat
Bread crumbs made from 1 slice of toasted bread (1/3 cup bread or cracker crumbs)
1/4 to 1/3 cup red and/or green bell peppers, diced
Same amount of diced onions, or to preference
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon, or so of black pepper.
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Herbs cut very small:
2 leaves of basil
Fresh rosemary leaves stripped from 3 or 4 stems
Oregano leaves stripped from 5 or 6 stems
We mixed onions in one half the meat and none in the other, due to my wife’s sensitivity to onions. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with your hands into the raw burger. Form into balls of 1/3 pound, or so. Then shape them into patties.
Next, we put the Salisbury “steaks” in the electric smoker over some wood chips, not chunks, at about 250 degrees. After 20 minutes, or so we brought them in and put the patties in the oven at 400 degrees. They were plenty smoky after the smoker period, but they were not thoroughly cooked yet. During oven time the mushroom gravy was prepared as below.
Cook the patties to 155-160 degrees internal. The temperature will rise another 5 degrees.
A small can of mushrooms was sautéed in a tablespoon of butter. A couple of tablespoons of flour were added to that. We had caught some drippings below the smoking patties into a small amount of water. That was poured and scraped into the gravy mix. One tablespoon of beef base was added, along with a cup and a half of water. This was “reduced” while stirring, until the thickness we desired was reached. A half a cup of red wine in place of some of the water would be a subtle advantage to the flavor blend.