Salisbury Steak in Mushroom Hay Gravy

The other day, I set out some ground venison to defrost for dinner…but as I stared at it, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it. Then, I (for some unknown reason) started thinking of the frozen Salisbury steak entrees I’d sometimes snack on as a kid after school, and I thought, “Well, let’s give it a try but without the preservatives!” So, we grated up an onion and mixed it with our meat to give the characteristic taste of the patty before pairing our meat with a homemade hay gravy and mushrooms to complete the entree. I can tell you, this one was better than the frozen versions!

We served our Salisbury steaks over a side of Home Fries (using Blue Potatoes and Green Beans). However, this would also be great over a more classic pairing like any of our Sneaky Mashed Potatoes Recipes.

Time: 35 Minutes (+ a little more if making your own fresh gravy)

Ingredients (makes 3-4 Servings):

  • 1 Lb Ground Meat. We used Venison, but Beef would work well too.
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
  • Cremini or White Mushrooms
  • Gravy. Either use store bought or make your own (which allows for the inclusion of hay):
    • A good handful of organic hay (optional)
    • 4 Cups of Stock. We used Chicken, but Beef or Veggie would also work.
    • 2-3 Strips of Bacon
    • 1 Tablespoon Butter
    • 1-2 Tablespoons of Corn Starch
    • Black Pepper


  • If making your own hay infused gravy, combine your stock and hay in a saucepan, and simmer (covered) for an hour or so. If not using hay, skip this step.
  • Puree your 1/2 onion in a food processor, and combine it in a large bowl with your ground meat and bread crumbs.
  • Slice your mushrooms, and set them aside.
  • Slice your bacon, and add it to a saucepan with a little butter to cook.
  • When your bacon is cooked, add your corn starch to your saucepan, and whisk it in to combine with your butter and bacon grease. Then, slowly, pour in your stock (hay or non-hay) as you whisk to keep it smooth. Sprinkle in some black pepper, and wait for it to bubble a little and thicken.
  • As your bacon cooks, heat a little oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan (we like cast iron for this). When your oil is hot, form your burger patties, and sear them for about 3-4 minutes. Then, flip, and sear for another 3-4 minutes. Add your mushrooms when you flip.
  • When your gravy has thickened a bit and is bubbling, pour it over your patties in your meat and mushroom pan. Set the heat to low, and allow your meat to braise in the gravy for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Plate your patty, give it a generous gravy avalanche, devour, and enjoy!


    1. It’s funny. When I first floated the idea of cooking with hay to my kid, he was revolted by the idea. Now, if I have hay steeping when he gets home from school, he gets excited! 😃

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