Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 4, 2014

Mock Steak

In retro days of yore, beef was the thing to cook when grilling out in the summer time. (Even Elsie and Elmer got in on the action, which is kinda cute until you start to wonder exactly where does a cow family get a big pile of hamburgers?) Slapping a giant steak down on the barbecue was iconic, and August is prime grilling time pretty much everywhere — but steak ain’t cheap. If your spouse didn’t make steak money, what was the solution?


No, silly, “get a job” isn’t an option, this is the 50’s. You make fake steak, of course!

MOCK STEAK (Serves 8): Mix 2 lbs. ground round, 1/2 lb. lean pork, 1 env. dry onion soup mix, 2 Tbs. Lea & Perrins, 2 cups stuffing mix, 1 1/2 cups tomato juice. Form into steak shape 1 inch thick. Wrap 2 strips thick bacon at outer edge to resemble fat. During broiling brush with mixture of 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 Tbs. Lea & Perrins, 3 Tbs. catsup. Broil 10 min. each side. Use carrot strip to make bone.

There’s just so much to love (and fear) about this recipe. I didn’t tell Buzz what I was doing in the kitchen (which is rare, usually he helps both choose and cook); I just said we’d be having steak and he should go away for a while until it was done.


Right now, this looks like meatloaf.


Maybe we’re making meatloaf.


And here’s where we went completely off the rails.


Not only is this shaped like a steak, but it’s got ketchupy Worcestershire sauce dribbled all over it.


I guess that weird glisten sort of resembles a raw steak, if you’re half-drunk on cooking sherry and just don’t care.


I took it out after the first broil and nearly died. The bacon was completely burnt and curling away from the sides, so the resemblance to fat strips was completely destroyed. Buzz called downstairs to ask if the smoke alarm and my laughter were correlated. (Yes, significantly.)


With a carrot strip bone and some mashed potatoes, we’re ready to eat!

This is a passable meatloaf in a very clever presentation. Unfortunately, it’s so freaking big that it’s difficult to cook and serve. And here’s the thing that bugs me about the name: nobody is going to be fooled by this heap of meat for more than a few seconds. Real steaks don’t look like this unless you’ve done something horribly wrong when cooking.

But it’s a decent meatloaf and you get a hilarious story from the cooking process.

Found on the LiveJournal Vintage Ads group.


  1. Seems more like Steak Mockery. I’ll consider using stuffing mix in my next meat loaf though- might do a good job of absorbing the juices.

  2. At the risk of sounding critical, I think you made a mistake (misteak?) somewhere along the line, because that sure does look like a real, genu-wine steak in that ad.

  3. I love the naive optimism of this recipe. It reminds me of the hot-dog-based “crown roast” recipes. I’m not sure what they used for the “bone” in the ad picture, though. It doesn’t look like carrot. I thought it might be potato before I read the recipe.

  4. *laughing too hard to comment*

  5. Looks like a pretty good steak, considering it’s a meatloaf!

  6. […] by Click here to view full […]

  7. “to resemble fat.” No recipe should ever include that direction.

  8. I’ve seen so many recipes for “mock steak” (always T-bone) in old recipe books! I always wondered about it, mostly because I don’t much like actual steak. This sounds pretty good to me, on that account. 😉

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