Hot and tired.

Two things I really hate to be – and two things that I have been a LOT lately!

Hot because it has been in the high 90’s with heat indices of well over 100 degrees! In Louisiana, it’s never just hot. It’s also drippingly humid. The air is hot and thick. Seriously, going outside feels like walking through chicken soup!

It’s just gross.

Tired because teachers returned to school here yesterday. If you’re a teacher – or you know one – you know that this actually means that most teachers have been working in their classrooms for weeks. Mainly because, during a week of “teacher work days,” there will be almost NO time scheduled for the teachers to work in their classrooms. This week will be full of meetings and professional development and new curriculum and open houses. So teachers have to actually start working on their classrooms well before “teacher work days.”

AND I was moved to a new classroom. Again. I have been at this school for twenty-one years and this is my NINTH classroom. It’s all good. I’m just tired, so I enjoy complaining. I’m all moved in now and everything is good. Change is good – really. But sometimes, I still pull my complaining around me like a warm blanket and just wallow.

We all do that sometimes, right?

I was so glad that I had a few minutes this morning to fill one of my slow cookers with the ingredients for this delicious meal! After a long day, there are a couple of things in which most women find tremendous pleasure. 1. Taking off her bra, and 2. Walking in and smelling a meal that has cooked all day and only needs a few finishing touches.

I walked in, made a pot of mashed potatoes, stirred in a little slurry to thicken this gravy, and that was it! In just a few minutes, I had made a plate and was sitting in my recliner eating dinner!

No comments, please. Mama is tired. My recliner is my friend. If she doesn’t mind me eating there, just let it be!

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

Ingredients:

  • 8 pre-made hamburger patties – NOT frozen
  • 1 envelope of dry onion soup mix
  • 1 pound of sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)
  • 1 large (softball-sized) yellow onion, sliced into crescents
  • 18-oz. jar of Heinz HomeStyle Savory Beef Gravy
  • 2 cups of low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of tap water
  • Mashed potatoes for serving

Directions:

  • Cut patties in half, creating 16 half circles (optional)
  • Layer half the patties into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Sprinkle with about half of the dry onion soup mix.
  • Layer the rest of the patties on top and sprinkle with the remainder of the soup mix.
  • Pour mushrooms and onion pieces over the meat.
  • Pour on the whole jar of gravy and the beef broth and the salt.
  • Cook on low for 7 hours – or all day.
  • Switch the slow cooker to high and mix cornstarch and water together. Pour slurry into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Make mashed potatoes – HOWEVER you choose to make them!
  • Stir your gravy to see if you approve of its thickness and taste it to see if you need to add salt.
  • Spoon mashed potatoes onto a plate or into a bowl.
  • Ladle over meat pieces and gravy.

Well Duh #1: Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t ACTUALLY Salisbury steak. I suppose I could have just called it “hamburger steak,” but the surrounding components actually do make this taste like Salisbury steak. Besides, I’m tired, people! Give me a break!

Well Duh #2: Of course, you can form your own patties, but I find that the pre-made ones I buy in the meat section tend to stay together better. You’d think that frozen ones would be even better. They’re not. In fact, they may fall completely apart as they thaw and cook. If that’s your jam, go ahead!

Well Duh #3: I didn’t have a softball-sized onion, so I used two medium ones. And you don’t HAVE to slice them into crescents, if you’re not feeling it. You can just chop them. It will be fine. I promise!

Well Duh #4: If your “gravy” is already thick enough for your taste, leave out the cornstarch slurry. You do you.

Well Duh #5: Spray the bottom of your slow cooker before layering in the patties! I used a slow cooker liner and sprayed it once I put it in. Makes cleanup SUPER easy.

Well Duh #6: I was tired – as previously stated – so I just “made” instant mashed potatoes. I rarely do this because “real” mashed potatoes are kind of my spirit animal. Yes, I know they aren’t an animal – but I make some seriously good mashed potatoes! If you choose to follow my lead and make instant ones, be sure you add enough milk to make them creamy – but NOT watery and thin. This will probably mean adding a little more than directed. OR add a big dollop of sour cream instead of extra milk. Then taste them and salt them, if necessary. Make sure your potatoes – however you make them – taste good all by themselves before pouring something over them! And make sure you make more mashed potatoes than you think you need. If you don’t use them with this meal, refrigerate the rest and use them later. I’ve even been known to freeze them! That would have made this meal even easier. I could have just put the frozen potatoes in the fridge this morning to thaw all day and then popped them into the microwave to heat them through when I get home!

This was a really good meal! One of those “ahhhhh!” kind of meals. Just yummy and homey and soothing – and exactly what we all needed at the end of a really long day! Like a warm hug from an old friend.

Our students will return to school on Monday – and I plan to use my slow cooker a lot in the coming days! Not only does it help to keep from heating up the kitchen on these sweltering summer days, but it is also a great end to long, tiring days when you really don’t feel like cooking! Stay tuned for more super-easy, delicious recipes!

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