Mock-Steak Joubey is one of the more entertaining recipes in The Smart Shopper’s Cookbook. To some degree it captures the essence of the cookbook – making elegant meals with ground meat or inexpensive cuts – but very few of the recipes take that charge quite so literally. Mock-Steak Joubey actually fashions a ground meat patty to look like a steak – bone, fat cap, and all. That’s not the norm for The Smart Shopper’s Cookbook, but it’s too much fun not to show you here. I will admit that I haven’t got the faintest idea what a joubey is and Google isn’t any help. It’s delicious either way, a rose by any other name and all that.
Preparation is easy enough for a weeknight meal, thanks in large part to prepackaged seasonings and very little chopping. Beef and pork are mixed with the mid-70s dynamic duo of onion soup mix and pre-packaged stuffing, moistened with a little bit of Worcestershire and tomato sauce. Fashion it to look like a T-bone steak, add a couple of carrot sticks for “bones”, wrap it with bacon and slather it in a buttery steak sauce. From there you can bake the steak in the oven or, if you’re feeling adventuresome like I was, fire up the grill and get a nice char on it. No one’s going to be fooled but that’s not the point. This is a hearty and elegant dinner that no one’s going to complain about. I fed my family for under $20 and everyone walked away full and happy.
Getting the “steak” to stay pretty during the cook is pretty tricky. Of the six mock-steaks I made for my family only three made it through without losing their carrot-bones. Even if you can’t be bothered with the fancy art direction there’s still a great meatloaf recipe underneath. Instead of handforming steaks, make a meatloaf, top it with bacon, and slather it with the steak sauce while it’s baking.
Serve Mock-Steak Joubey with the same sides you’d serve with steak or meatloaf. Potatoes are a must, but this can take whatever form seems appropriate for your family and the weather. I cooked this for my family on a cool but sunny spring day and paired it with mashed potatoes (no gravy) and a simple green salad. In the winter it would have been mashed potatoes with gravy and probably some cooked carrots. Maybe mix it up with a potato salad in the summer. But you can’t really go wrong. This is a budget stretcher and a belly buster and not for the faint of heart. Enjoy!
For the mock-steaks:
- 2 lbs ground beef (80/20 is best)
- ½ lb ground pork
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 packet onion soup mix (such as Lipton brand)
- 2 cups stuffing mix (such as StoveTop brand)
- 8 carrot sticks
- 6 slices thick cut bacon
For the sauce:
- Prepare a medium hot grill or preheat the broiler in your oven.
To fashion the mock-steaks:
- Combine meat, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soup mix, and stuffing mix, Mix by hand until well-combined.
- Divide meat into roughly six equal portions and shape like T-bone steaks (or kind of like the African continent). Wrap steaks with bacon and secure with wooden toothpicks. Add carrot sticks for decoration where the bones in a T-bone steak would normally be.
To make the steak sauce:
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until onion starts to sweat, then stir in remaining ingredients.
- Baste the top side with the steak sauce and place on the grill sauced-side down. Baste the backside of the steak with the sauce, then close or cover the grill. After 5-6 minutes flip the mock-steak carefully with a spatula. If you use tongs you'll lose your carrots. Cook another 6-10 minutes, covered, or until internal temperature reaches 165º F.
- Baste both sides of the steak with the steak sauce. Broil in the oven about 3 inches from the heat until top is nicely browned, then flip and broil the other side three minutes more. Reduce oven heat to 375º F and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165º F.
- Serve with remaining steak sauce.