Crew’s Mess: Hearty meal for heavy seas

Jun 11, 2018 by Capt. John Wampler

Crew’s Mess: by Capt. John Wampler

The great thing about crock pot cooking is that, no matter how “sporty” the weather is out at sea, you can still cook a hearty meal in the sink. I have a delivery coming up to the Galapagos and this will be one of the go-to meals that I will prepare for the crew.

Simple Salisbury Steak 

Simple Salisbury steak


2 pounds lean ground beef

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk

1/4  cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Two 10.75-ounce cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 packet dry au jus mix

3/4 cup water


In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and milk using your hands. A stand mixer makes this simple. Shape meat mixture into 8 patties.

Heat the oil in a large (cast iron) skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the patties through the flour just to coat and quickly brown on both sides in the hot skillet. Place browned patties into the slow cooker stacking alternately like a fan.

For the gravy, in a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, au jus mix and water. Pour over the meat. Cook on the low setting for 4  hours, ladling the gravy over the meat occasionally until patties are well-done.

Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy.

Capt. John Wampler ( has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.