Salisbury Steaks with Ancho Gravy

Salisbury steak is a simple dish, with seasoned ground beef formed into thick patties that are seared, then simmered and smothered in a rich and flavorful brown gravy. It’s a satisfying meal and was a staple dish for my family growing up. Once you learn how to make it from scratch, you’ll love it even more.

Salisbury Steaks smothered with ancho gravy, ready to serve

Salisbury Steak is often made with mushrooms, but this version of the recipe gives the dish a new spin with zesty ancho powder. Ancho peppers are hugely popular in Mexican cuisine, and one of my very favorite ingredients. They aren’t hot and spicy, but huge on flavor and make this classic dish completely new.

What is Salisbury Steak?

Salisbury steak is a classic recipe of ground beef mixed with seasonings and breadcrumbs. The meat is formed into patties that are somewhat steak shaped, then seared up in a hot pan. They are then smothered in brown gravy to complete the dish.

If meatloaf and a simple hamburger had a love child, Salisbury steak would be it, doused with thick, wonderful gravy.

There are many variations of the recipe, using different mixtures of ground meats and seasonings, though the two primary components come down to the ground meat steak patties and the gravy.

I hope you like my version.

Collage of 2 images showing how to form the Salisbury steak patties by hand and sauteeing them in a cast iron skillet.

How to Make Salisbury Steak

  1. First, add the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, ketchup or sriracha, ancho powder, garlic, onion powder, and crumbled bouillon cube to a large bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to your personal tastes. I often like to include some extra ancho powder at this stage. I just love the flavor.
  2. Hand mix the ingredients, but do not overmix or the steaks can become mealy. They are better when they have a bit of texture to them.
  3. Form the meat into 4 equal sized patties for roughly 4 ounce serving sizes. You can make only 2 patties, but be sure to adjust the cooking time. It’s fun to form them into the shapes of steaks for fuller effect.
  4. Dust the steak patties with flour on all sides.
  5. Next, heat the olive oil in a large pan and sear the steak patties for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned on each side. They won’t be cooked all the way through, depending on the thickness of your patties.
  6. Remove the steak patties and set them aside on a plate for now while you make the gravy. Keep the pan hot.

a collage of 2 images showing how to make ancho gravy

MAKE THE ANCHO GRAVY

  1. Add the sliced onions to the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes soften them up.
  2. Stir in the flour and ancho powder, then stir in the beef stock a bit at a time. Be sure to scrape along the bottom of the pan to get all those flavorful extra bits.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer a couple minutes, stirring, until the gravy thickens up slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Return the Salisbury steaks to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked through to your liking. You may need to simmer them longer if you’ve made thick steaks.
  5. Serve the steaks smothered in gravy. Delicious!

Hamburger Steaks simmering in a pan with lots of gravy

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Ground Beef. Salisbury steaks are made with ground beef, but can also be made with other grounds meats. I often enjoy them with a mixture of ground beef, pork, and chicken.
  • Spice It Up. As mentioned, ancho peppers and powder do not contain much heat at all, as the focus is on the flavor. However, if you’re looking to introduce some heat factor, incorporate spicy chili flakes or diced hot peppers into the meat mixture. I also like to use sriracha in place of the ketchup, or a bit of spicy hot sauce. I love using my Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce for this recipe, or this Ranchero Sauce recipe, which has lots of ancho.
  • Serving Suggestions. My favorite way to enjoy Salisbury steak is over Creamy Mashed Potatoes or Cheesy Mashed Potatoes. The potatoes soak up the rich brown gravy, making every bite a perfect bite. To make it a complete meal, serve with this Olive Garden Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Scalloped Corn Casserole.

Salisbury Steaks simmering in a pan

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy the recipe. Take care — Mike H.

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Salisbury Steak Ancho Gravy

Salisbury Steak with Ancho Gravy

This recipe for Salisbury steaks gives the dish a new spin with rich and earthy ancho, an easy weeknight meal with lots of flavor.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 421kcal

Ingredients
  

FOR THE SALISBURY STEAKS

  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20 is best
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs unseasoned
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup or tomato sauce - use sriracha for a spicier version
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder or more, as desired
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder or use 3 cloves fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 beef bouillon cube crumbled into powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

FOR THE GRAVY

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

FOR THE SALISBURY STEAKS

  • To a large bowl, add the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, ketchup, ancho powder, garlic, onion powder, and crumbled bouillon cube. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Hand mix the ingredients, but do not overmix or the meat can become mealy. Form the meat into 4 equal sized patties. Make them steak shaped if you’d like.
  • Dust the steak patties with flour on all sides.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and brown the steak patties for 2-3 minutes per side. They won’t be cooked all the way through, depending on the thickness.
  • Remove the steak patties and set them aside on a plate for now.

FOR THE ANCHO GRAVY

  • Add the sliced onions to the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes soften them up.
  • Stir in the flour and ancho powder, then stir in the beef stock a bit at a time.
  • Reduce heat and simmer a couple minutes, stirring, until the gravy thickens up slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return the Salisbury steaks to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked through to your liking.
  • Serve the steaks smothered in gravy.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 28gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 720mgPotassium: 739mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1265IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 4mg
Keyword gravy, ground beef

Mike Hultquist

Mike Hultquist is a spicy food lover and creator of the food blog Chili Pepper Madness, with a focus on bold, zesty but approachable recipes, run with his wife, Patty. He is the author of “The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook” and “The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook”. Outside of cooking and chili pepper gardening, Mike is a produced screenwriter and can be found either banging away at his keyboard, traveling somewhere fun, or enjoying a beer!

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