Enduring Classic Recipe #3
Salisbury Steak, Scallop Potatoes & Corn
When I was growing up as a teenager after our parents bought their first home our dinner most of the time was from TV dinners like the one pictured below was my favorite. I haven't bought this in over a year because it just wasn't enough. The picture above is my sister's plate but she only began with 1/2 of a steak with just the mushrooms and onions. After one taste she came back for more gravy.
I agree with the last customer review about the patties being small and lacking sufficient gravy. Below is the latest review.
The other reason for no longer buying the banquet dinners is because I can make it much better at home with more flavor and never run out of the gravy. This is a five star meal that will satisfy your taste buds and have you going back for second portions. Where did this meal get its name?
History of Salisbury Steak (Story from Smithsonian.com)
The phrase “Salisbury steak” from a TV dinner no longer sets off my salivary glands opposite—but it’s a lot more appetizing than how Dr. James Henry Salisbury described the dish before it was named after him: “muscle pulp of beef.”
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.
As for the ill soldiers, the problem was an “starchy , army biscuit diet,” with not enough variety or nutrients.
The first step is to wash out the sour stomach and bowels , and to change the food. The food selected should be such as is least liable to ferment with alcohol and acid yeasts. This is muscle pulp of beef, prepared as heretofore described, when it affords the maximum of nourishment with the minimum of effort to the digestive organs. Nothing else but this food, except an occasional change to broiled mutton.
In the preface of his book, Salisbury described the research that led him to his conclusion:
In 1854 the idea came to me, in one of my solitary hours, to try the effects of living exclusively upon one food at a time. This experiment I began upon myself alone at first…. I opened this line of experiments with baked beans. I had not lived upon this food over three days before light began to break. I became very flatulent and constipated, head dizzy, ears ringing, limbs prickly, and was wholly unfitted for mental work. The microscopic examination of passages showed that the bean food did not digest.
In 1858 he enlisted six other schlemiels to come live with him and eat nothing but baked beans. He did not mention whether he had a wife who had to put up with seven flatulent, dizzy mopes in her home; my guess is no. Later he and four other guys subsisted solely on oatmeal porridge for 30 days. Other single-food experiments followed, leading him to the conclusion that lean beef, minced to break down any connective tissue and fully cooked, was the best and most easily digested food. By the time the Civil War started, in 1861, he was ready to test his theories on suffering soldiers.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/salisbury-steak-civil-war-health-food-18584973/#5j8B2gIE8PRHc5a1.99
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Dr. Jordan Smith and his wife Joyce share some of their family recipes in the first cook book covering six decades of family dishes.