Salisbury Steak is a recipe term which dates back to the civil war. The dish is actually a chopped beef patty with some added seasonings. Contemporary versions may add chopped onion and parsley. Salisbury steak was the invention of Dr. James Henry Salisbury as a cure for "camp diarrhea" experienced by soldiers during the Civil War. Read more about the history of the Salisbury steak on the Food Timeline website.
Swanson's TV Dinners, which first arrived on the scene in 1954 introduced a Salisbury Steak entree which consisted of a seasoned ground beef patty topped with brown gravy.
Budget Dining - Salisbury Steak used to typically be the least expensive meat entree on a restaurant's menu. The recipe was always just some glorified version of a ground beef patty with gravy and sometimes mushrooms.
This recipe dates back to1950, Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, Ruth Berolzheimer editor
4 strips bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (chuck or round)
1 tablespoon ground pork
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced green pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Chop bacon and mix lightly with meat, onion, green pepper, parsley and seasonings. Shape into cakes and place them 3 inches under broiler heat. Broil 12 minutes, turning once. Serves 6.