The Cut Of Meat Bobby Flay Uses When Making Salisbury Steak

When it comes to getting the most flavor out of meat, Bobby Flay is the king of great tips. Since the beginning of his career as a professional TV chef, Flay has focused on giving home cooks solid advice for cooking proteins, such as the only two ingredients he uses to season burgers and avoiding buying pre-packaged steaks at the grocery store. However, his most underrated advice perhaps comes in his recipe for Salisbury steak, a classic dinnertime meal that pairs beef patties with a mushroom gravy. Rather than opting for the traditional ground beef often used to prepare the patties, Flay instead prefers to use ground chuck for its flavor and fat content.

Typically speaking, most ground beef is made from various parts of a cow. Since cheaper, leftover pieces are oftentimes included in the mix, this means that it typically contains an excess amount of fat that makes it more likely to crumble as it cooks. Meanwhile, the meat in ground chuck comes exclusively from the neck, upper arm, and shoulder region, which produces a quality cut that's oftentimes used for tenderly cooked braises. Therefore, using this particular beef product results in a better, more flavorful Salisbury steak patty that holds its shape more effectively. 

The mix-ins Flay adds to ground chuck for tasty Salisbury steak

While you shouldn't have to worry too much that your ground chuck Salisbury steaks will fall apart, given the higher-quality cut, it always helps to err on the side of caution and have an extra safety net as you cook your patties. To combat this common issue, many add in breadcrumbs and eggs to stabilize the mixture as it cooks over heat. These two ingredients act as binding agents that help the steaks stay together as you flip or handle them. As it is, breadcrumbs and eggs are already present in most most recipes for the dish, including Bobby Flay's, so they are considered essential mix-ins that may help avert disaster.

Outside of those two crucial items, Flay seasons his ground chuck rather modestly — just a generous sprinkle of crushed garlic paste, salt, and pepper. This brings flavor to the patties, without overpowering them, making a perfect pair for the delicious mushroom sauce that will cover the Salisbury steak. If you want to deviate from Flay's original recipe and bring in extra flavors, play with other spices in your pantry, like onion powder or even paprika.

How Bobby Flay shapes the meat and prepares the gravy

After mixing the ground chuck with seasonings and binding ingredients, Bobby Flay likes to pat his Salisbury steaks into an oblong shape, almost like a football. Most recipes for this dish follow a similar oval look, but you can also form your patties into round pucks if you prefer. Regardless of what shape you choose, here's another tip: Keep the remaining rendered fat when you finish cooking the ground chuck. The leftover juices from the meat can actually be used to fortify the taste of the gravy and sauté the mushrooms. 

When it comes to choice of fungi, Flay suggests going with whatever variety draws your eye — his recipe calls for the classic cremini, but oyster or even shiitake are valid substitutes. As for the gravy, the celebrity chef opts for a mixture of beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, a splash of half-and-half, and tomato paste. The latter is crucial to the recipe, as it not only gives the rich sauce some brightness but helps it thicken as well.

Once you have them ready, Salisbury steaks pair excellently with a wide variety of sides. While most people typically associate this dish with creamy mashed potatoes, while items like roasted vegetables, egg noodles, and even rice are equally delectable options as well.