Whiskied Salisbury Steak


I was just talking about this in a Wine Talk thread about being a foodie vs. a wino. This weekend I made a Whiskied Salisbury steak I wanted to share with everyone.

Take these 4 ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 T worcestershire
Smoked salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

and mix them together and formed them into large thick patties, size depending on your preference. Fry these over medium-high heat in large deep saucepans with no oil, letting the heat draw out the natural fat of the meat. Transfer these to a toaster oven tray and put them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes if you like a firm salisbury steak. If you like a softer textured one, just put them aside on a plate and braise them instead in the gravy you’ll make below.

Into the pan drippings (which also include the fat rendered from the meat), add:

1/2 large sliced vidalia onion
1/2 dozen sliced cremini mushrooms

Fry these up until nice and soft. As an added bonus, they will absorb all the nice brown bits and flavor still in the pan. Now deglaze with:

1 generous cup of whisky

Then add:

1 - 3 tsp cornstarch mixed with water ( depending on how thick you like your gravy)

If you baked the steaks, you can just pour the finished gravy over them and serve. If not, you can finish the steaks off by braising them in the gravy. I actually ended up doing BOTH on mine. Serve the steaks on individual plates and spoon the whisky gravy on top with the fried onions and mushrooms.

Notice some things that I do somewhat different from a standard Salisbury steak recipe:

  • I don’t use either dry or condensed liquid onion soup mix, preferring instead to draw the flavor of real onions plus some fresh mushrooms out into the pan drippings themselves which all then follow into the whisky once I deglaze

  • No use of garlic at all due to my choice to use whisky, as I believe the garlic is too strong and will kill off the whisky flavor as opposed to complimenting it like the onion and mushrooms did

  • I also prefer not to use egg in the meat, feeling bread crumbs are all I need to bind the patties together

You actually don’t have to follow my recipe at all. As I wrote to Bill Klapp, basically you just take your own favorite Salisbury Steak recipe and deglaze the pan with whisky instead of water or broth. You’ll be amazed at how much flavor the whisky adds to what is otherwise a simple and inexpensive comfort food dish and really elevates it to high class food. Try it and enjoy.

Don’t have one.
Swanson’s ruined “Salisbury steak” for me.

Reading the recipe, I realize it’s just hamburger steak in gravy - a staple of my college days.
Sounds good.

Swanson’s does not count as Salisbury Steak for me. Oddly, I actually kinda liked their fried chicken dinner once in a while.

Which whisky? I prefer mine to be very peaty - would be concerned about that in this dish…I think (other than the $$ per cup… :slight_smile: )

@Chris: In this case, I actually just used a reasonably priced bottle of blended whisky. No peat involved. Next time I’m going to try one of my Portwood finished whiskies in it.

+1 to all that.


I recall tossing an egg in the mix with the bread crumbs, burger & spices. Regarding the spices, I’d add some chopped onion or garlic/garlic powder as well.

You have crossed the meatloaf line with the huevos.