Thursday 27 August 2020

Hamburger Gravy

Hamburger Gravy. This might not be the most attractive dish to look at. Most brown food isn't, but what it lacks for in looks, it more than makes up for in taste.  

This classic old fashioned entree was a very common simple supper dish that was served up in many homes when I was growing up. Not only was it incredibly economical, but it was also and IS also very quick and easy to make!

Hamburger Gravy is a supper dish which has been pleasing families and their budgets for many years and still does to this day.  

This week I decided to small batch my old recipe to am amount more fitting with the smaller family, and with great results. 

If you are wanting to feed a larger family, you can certainly double up on everything! We are not talking rocket science here. Just multiply everything by two!

 This  is  a very simple recipe, which is very quick to make and requires very simple, and humble ingredients. 


There is nothing really complicated here. 

  • ground beef 
  • flour
  • milk
  • stock
  • seasoning
  • dry onion soup mix, just a TBS (my secret ingredient)

I like to use extra lean ground beef, and in fact, more often than not, I use ground steak. When you are using a regular fatty type of ground beef, bear in mind that you are going to be pouring almost half of its weight down the drain. 

You are actually paying for something which you won't be able to eat. All of that extra fat melted = waste. Nobody wants to eat grease and so, it simply gets drained off.  You are then left with less than what you paid for!  

Its quite simple really!

This is a supper option that goes together very quickly. That makes it perfect for those days when you are rushed off your feet.

We all want to feed our families delicious food, but sometimes we are so tired at the end of the day we just don't have the energy needed to put together something spectacular! 

Those are the times when we need recipes just like this one! You can have it sitting on the table in front of your family within a very short period of time.

Hamburger Gravy

I am a person who loves to make a great use of convenience whenever I can.  I make it a habit to have several ingredients in my freezer at all times which help to make things move more quickly in the kitchen. 

I always keep bags of frozen mashed potatoes in the freezer. Not only are these very convenient and quick to use, but with a few added bits, you can't really tell the difference between them and old fashioned created from scratch mashed potatoes.

I usually will add a bit of seasoning and some sour cream or extra milk to add flavour and creaminess. You can also add cheese, or a mix of herbs and seasonings. 

I like to keep bags of frozen chopped onions in the freezer.  Not having to stop, peel and chop an onion makes things even more quicker, and in a dish like this, using frozen chopped onion really won't make much of a difference to the texture or the flavour.

I confess that when I was a child I was not overly fond of Hamburger Gravy.   I have no warm, nostalgic, or fuzzy wuzzy feelings about it.  

I think that is because my mother always used really cheap ground beef which was high in fat and gristle.  I know she was trying to save money, but again, you end up draining half it it away.

 Out of our five family members, I was always the one who got the gristle or  . . . shudder  . . .  the odd piece of bone. I have a really strong gag reflex and this just totally turned me off.  Tell me I am not alone here!

Lets just say, it was not my cup of tea.  I do enjoy it very much now however.  Using ground steak makes all the difference in the world.

 You can actually (in  most cases) get the butcher to grind it right in front of you. Did you know that when you are buying a package of ground beef at the grocery store, that package of meat may have come from more than just a few animals? 

Its true. It all gets ground up en masse and then broken down into smaller packages.  I would much rather know that what I am eating only came from one, very traceable animal.  

I also try to get organic, grass fed if I can, but that is a personal preference.  We don't eat red meat very often. and when we do, I want to know that its good and the best I can buy.

The gravy for this dish is  really flavourful . . .  thick and rich  . . .  and delicious.  We enjoy it spooned over fluffy mashed potatoes. 

But back home in Canada,  it is also enjoyed served over hot chips with peas and cheese. They call it Hot Hamburger Poutine, or All Dressed Poutine. 

Hot thick, crisp hand cut fries, with the hot beef and gravy ladled over top. Cheese gets scattered over top of that so that it melts, becoming all gooey and oozy.  Sometimes there will be a scattering of peas on top as well.

I have never made it this way for Todd, but I am sure he would really love it! Who wouldn't???  Maybe next time I will. 

In a way, this is somewhat like a deconstructed type of Cottage pie. It has many of the same elements, but put together in a simpler and different way.  Equally as delicious I think, maybe even more so.

This is also a  very adaptable.  This version I am showing you today is at its very simplest.  You can also add sliced mushrooms when you are browning the meat, which would sort of make it a kind of a Beef Burger Stroganoff.  

A dollop of dairy sour cream can be added for an extra special rich touch to the dish.  I have also added a dollop of cream cheese in the past. Very yummy indeed!

I suppose what I am really trying to say is that it truly is the extra simple things in life which bring us the most pleasure.  

Things like doggie cuddles, golden sunsets, love of family, good friends, and  . . . yes . . .   Hamburger Gravy.

Hamburger Gravy

Hamburger Gravy
Yield: 3
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 30 M
I small batched one of our favourite meals. You can easily double the ingredients to feed more people.  This might not be very attractive but it is delicious.  We enjoy it spooned over mashed potatoes with a vegetable on the side.


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 TBS plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) beef broth
  • 1 TBS dry onion soup mix or a beef boullion cube
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet and brown the ground beef in it along with the onion until no more pink remains. Do not drain. If there is no fat in the bottom of the pan you may need to add a tablespoon of butter or oil. (I would always go with the butter.)
  2. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the flour and cook for several minutes to cook out the flour taste.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring everything together well. Cook over moderate heat until thickened and bubbly.  If you think it is too thick you can more boullion or some water.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Serve hot, spooned over mashed potatoes.
  5. This freezes well if you want to double it and freeze the extras.
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  1. I tried the same recipe on my own... the output was extraordinary thank you so much

    1. Thanks Veenas. Well done! Pleased it was enjoyed!

  2. Good morning, Marie. My mom made this for us when we were kids. We called it "cement" and had it over mashed potatoes or noodles. I don't beleive she added beef bouillion or worstershire sauce so it remained a pale imitation of yours. She made it in the electric frying pan (remember those - sort of a forerunner of slow cookers). We loved it and the great grandchildren still call it "cement", lol. Now I'm hungry so off to have breakfast. Hugs and love, Elaine

    1. LOL Cement, I love it! Admittedly it is not the prettiest thing to look at. Going by looks alone most people would turn up their noses! I still have an Electric Frying Pan! I wouldn't be without it! Love and hugs, xoxo

    2. Looks good to me

  3. Grins. My mother's version of this wasn't as fancy as yours--no Worcestershire and no bouillon, but it was well received. I like your updated version. Sounds delicious.

  4. Well, apparently I am in a small minority of people who didn't grow up eating this LOL....but it looks like good comfort food to me. Going to give it a try when we get some cooler days. ~Robin~

    1. That sounds like a plan Robin! I hope you enjoy it! xoxo

  5. A firm favourite here in Ulster - minced steak with everything you added plus carrots - and a blob of HP sauce. The fuel for many childhood days. Lovely to share such a great staple thank you. (Great pics always!)

    1. What a lovely memory Etta! I love HP sauce myself! Thank you! xo

  6. Debrapanton@gmail.com26 June 2024 at 15:57

    Hi! So glad to find a small batch recipe for this dish. Thank you. I'll be making it again tonight 😋

    1. I am so pleased you enjoy it! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback. It is very much appreciated! xo


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