Happy St. Patties Day – A Daring Cook’s Challenge

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No, I’m not having any holiday confusion.  I know it’s St. Valentine’s Day but it is also The Daring Cooks challenge for this month…patties!  Get it…Saint Valentine’s Day, Patties…heart shaped patty?  The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

This month our challengers gave us many options, I choose to do the Salisbury Steak plus an extra special patty.  I grew up my whole life eating mashed potato patties, they would almost always make their appearance in the morning instead of the typical hash browns we would have.  The beauty about these patties is that they don’t require a recipe.  It’s simple, take leftover mashed potatoes, form patties and fry them up.

How can you mess up something that simple, right?  You can, once I moved out on my own I tried doing my own and they just didn’t turn out right, that is until I spoke with my mom.  There are two cardinal rules: 1. the potatoes must be cold (like leftovers…hence their appearance at breakfast) and 2. fry them in butter so they get a nice brown and crisp outside.  That’s it!  I love them for breakfast, especially with a poached egg on top, but they also make a great side to any main you’re serving.

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In case you are wondering, that’s spinach in my mashers (I adore sneaking in veg with mashers).  On our Daring Cooks challenge, the Salisbury Steak recipe they provided was a French Onion Salisbury Steak on cheesy toast.  I loved the idea of the French Onion Salisbury Steak, especially piled high on top of cheesy toast, but I’m trying to be more health conscientious (small sob).

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I made several healthy changes and still kept the spirit of the dish.  I started by swapping out the ground chuck for ground venison.  Fresh ground venison.  I wanted a coarse grind because I wasn’t adding any fat.  The coarse grind help keep the lean ‘burger’ part from turning into a hockey puck. I was careful not to ‘pack’ the patty, rather I just barely gathered it together.  I crossed my fingers and hoped it would keep it’s nice patty shape, I wasn’t disappointed.

(please excuse my kitchen wall, we’re in the process of giving the kitchen a face lift).

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I omitted the red wine and consequently the sugar and halved the oil.  One trick that I’ve learned is that you can sauté using items other than fats.  In this case, I sautéed my onions and mushrooms in the beef broth.  In order to do this, make sure you use a non-stick pan, add a splash of broth and stir frequently.  If the broth evaporates before the onions are tender, add another splash of the broth.  It works like a charm!

As you can see I also added some mushrooms to make it heartier, plus the mushrooms gave off some moisture while cooking which also helped in the sautéing of the onions.  The other thing I did differently was to cook the ‘soup’ and meat uncovered.  I wanted the ‘soup’ to thicken and act more like a gravy since I wasn’t serving it over a nice slab of cheesy bread that would soak up all the juice.

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Every time I think of Salisbury Steak I think of the show ‘Mad About You.  In one episode, Helen Hunt’s character, cook’s Paul a Salisbury Steak.  Paul asked what it was and Helen replied “Salisbury Steak”, and Paul says “it looks like an oval hamburger patty”, Helen assured him that it wasn’t, “it’s Salisbury Steak, it only looks like an oval hamburger patty”.  I suppose Paul was technically right, I guess Salisbury Steak just make us feel like we’re eating fancier than a giant oval hamburger patty Winking smile Bonus, all the changes I made cut the fat and calories by more than a third!

If you’d like to check out more patty recipes please visit The Daring Kitchen, you’ll see things like Swiss chard, chicken and fish patties just to name a few.


Happy St. Patties Day – A Daring Cook’s Challenge
Serves 4
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 1 1/4 lb coarse ground venison
  2. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  3. 2 tablespoons scallion (spring onions), minced
  4. 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used two)
  5. 1 ½ teaspoon seasoned salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
  7. 1 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 2 cups onions, sliced (about 2 medium onions)
  9. 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  10. 1 head garlic, roasted and minced
  11. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  12. 2 ½ cups beef broth
  13. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  14. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  15. 4 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
  1. Combine venison, parsley, scallion, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into 3/4"-1" thick oval patties. Place 2 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve 1 teaspoon flour.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
  3. Add onions and mushrooms to pan; sauté 5 minutes, if necessary add some beef broth to help saute. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown. Sprinkle onion mixture with reserved flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, and then add the salt and thyme.
  4. Return meat to pan and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered 20 minutes, turning the patties once.
  5. To serve, place the patties on a plate or platter and ladel the onion soup and mushroom soup over the steaks. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
  1. Use a large non-stick frying pan so you can saute with broth. Ground chuck or any other ground meat can easily be substituted for the venison.
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/

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18 Responses to Happy St. Patties Day – A Daring Cook’s Challenge

  1. Veronica February 14, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Hey, thanks for the comment today, fellow award-winner! 🙂 As for this recipe, I’m more excited about your potato patties than the steak-lol! I love the idea of having them for breakfast with a fried egg on top. However, kudos to you for healthifying the recipe-I too am trying to be healthier and this is a version I could do. It looks so good too!

    • Giggles February 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      I honestly love the mashed potato patties, they are a regular around here and I just never thought about posting about them before.

  2. Jenn February 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    This looks amazing!

    • Giggles February 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm #


  3. Susie Bee on Maui February 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Who could resist potato patties??? Great job subbing venison for steak. Excellent work in this month’s challenge.

    • Giggles February 15, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      Thanks Susie, we love venison.

  4. Audax Artifex February 15, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    I love your version of the “oval shaped hamburger” LOL LOL. Your small tweaks ready add a lot of healthiness to the recipe well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    • Giggles February 15, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Thanks for hosting this month’s challenge, it was a great challenge with lots of diversity.

  5. Colleen Bierstine February 15, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I was so confused by the title of this post before I read it! Makes much more sense now 🙂 My mom used to make me potato patties all the time with leftover potatoes. Not quite as fancy as yours though!

  6. Lacy @ NYCityEats February 15, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Mmm both of your patties sound excellent! I love the mashed potato patties, so good & great idea to throw some spinach in it. I’ve never tried a salisbury steak but I love the idea of sauteeing in beef broth!

    • Giggles February 15, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Thanks Lacy, I often put spinach in my mashed potatoes, carrots too! Any way I can up my veggie intake!

  7. Lea Ann February 16, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Fried rice also needs to be cold before stirring it up. I wish I new more about the chemistry of starch. But one thing I do know is that I like anything starchy. This meal looks wonderful Rhonda. I’ve never made Salisbury Steak and your photo has put it on the short list. Looks absolutely delicious!

    • Giggles February 16, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      So true about the fried rice, I’ve totally made that mistake before!

  8. Jo February 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    I am going to steal the spinach in masked potatoes idea. Your venison patties sound so good, love the swaps you made to make a healthier!

  9. Lisa @ Fat Loss Tips February 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Looks really good! Can’t wait to give it a go! We have venison several times throughout the year due to hubby being a hunter. So this will be a great new recipe to add to my others 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  10. Eliot February 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I would love a poached egg on top of a heart-shaped mashed potato pattie! 🙂 I think you lived up to challenge!

  11. Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) February 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Lovely potato patties and salisbury steak…great minds think alike! I made mashed potato pancake for this month’s challenge too…so comforting!!

  12. Karen February 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I never could get the potato patties to stick together. Don’t know what I was doing wrong, but I just don’t make them anymore. Ha! That venison burger looks YUMMY!