He is the guy who invented the Salisbury steak!
Long before Salisbury steak was served up in those packaged dinners, he was promoting his invention as “health food.” Yup, you read that right. Health food.
According to the almighty internet and more specifically our friends at foodtimeline.org, James was a very, very, very smart upstate New Yorker and also a doctor in the civil war. He invented this “meat pattie” to cure the ailments of the soldiers. He prescribed them daily with black coffee. He also insisted that the meat be procured from disease-free cattle. He was ahead of his time. A food pioneer indeed.
A few years back when I had the “Salisbury steak epiphany” I started researching recipes. The only one I knew came from a “hungry man.” Among the many Google entries I found a recipe titled “The Very Best Salisbury Steak” and tracked down the can of elusive Campbells French Onion Soup to make it. It was delicious and I think the “very best.”
However I don’t always have the time and energy to search the East coast for a can of that very special soup; so sometimes, like the other night, I just wing it.
I made mine with lean ground beef, diced green bell pepper from my garden, minced garlic, dried celery seed, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and an egg to hold it altogether. I pan-fried my rather thick oval-shaped patties but broiling it would have been more traditional. By the way – they have to be oval. That is what makes them different from hamburgers- that and the fact they are served on a plate and not on a bun.
I whipped up a quick gravy using sautéed mushrooms and onions with a “A-1 and Ketchup de-glazing liquid.” I served it with steamed cauliflower.
Now that is health food!!