Friday, May 6, 2011

Hamburger Steak and Semi-Homemade Comfort Food

In case you haven't noticed, I've been in a food rut for weeks now. Not only have I not blogged about food, I've barely cooked. I find myself home alone several nights a week, and I end up doing what I call "scrounging"--eating anything I can "scrounge" up without doing any major cooking--sandwiches, cheese and crackers, soup, even (yes!) milk and cookies. But I'm running out of "scrounging" ideas, and I know I need to eat better. So one night this week when my son came home early and unexpectedly, I decided to make us a simple, semi-homemade dinner of pure comfort food. Hamburger steak is one of his favorites, and I'm a rice-and-gravy gal from way back (waaaaay back--even as a kid I loved rice and gravy, any time, any place.)

First up was the hamburger steak. I'm blessed to have home-grown, farm raised beef in my freezer from my mom and dad's cows, so I started with a pound of extremely lean beef. This stuff is so lean that when you cook it "loose", you usually don't even have to drain the grease off of it. That's lean.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef

  • dried onion flakes (about a tablespoon)

  • 2 or 3 splashes of Worchestershire sauce

  • Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, or your all-purpose seasoning blend of choice

Sorry I don't have exact proportions, it all depends on your family's taste. I want mine to be pretty well seasoned. Mix everything in well, so that the seasoning is blended throughout the meat. The best way to do this is with your hands! Divide the meat up into however many portions you want to make. At this point, I always form the meat into a ball and pat it back and forth in my hands and kind of pack it so that it will hold together well. I do this when I'm making hamburgers, hamburger steaks, meatballs, or whatever. Then I squish it start forming it into the shape I want. For some reason, when I do hamburger steak, I make the patties big and sort of oval. I smooth the edges and re-pat so that little pieces of meat won't break off while it's cooking. Once you're done and have your hands clean, put a straight sided frying pan on the burner to heat, starting off on medium-to-medium-high heat. Since I was cooking with such lean meat, I added a little bit of cooking oil to my frying pan to keep it from sticking--if I was using bought ground meat, it usually has enough fat in it to skip the oil. Once the pan is hot, I add the meat. After a few minutes, check to see if the bottom is lightly browned, and turn so that the other side can brown.

While I was waiting for the meat to brown, I got the rice started, 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then cover and turn to simmer. It takes about 15-20 minutes for the water to absorb. You can salt the water if you want, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Check the meat, and once both sides are browned a little, cover and turn the heat down to low-medium.

Meanwhile, I measured water and started it boiling to make my gravy. Yes, I used a brown gravy packet--that's what makes this semi-homemade! Not just any brown gravy, but Southeastern Mills. They make the best gravy mix--I like their brown gravy and their beef gravy, which is harder to find.

Once I got the gravy made, I poured it over the meat in the frying pan, covered it, and turned the heat to about 3 (out of 10) on my knob--low medium, I'd say. I wanted the gravy to simmer, the meat to continue to cook, but nothing to scortch.

And then on the the next semi-homemade part of my meal--frozen steam-in-the-bag-in-the-microwave veggies. My son and I both love this particular one--Bird's Eye Steamfresh Vegtables--the one with aspargus, white and yellow corn, and baby carrots. Love, love, love this one. All I did was cook according to package directions, pour into a serving dish, add a sprinkle of salt and couple of dabs of butter, then stir.

And there we had it--a plate of comfort food, semi-homemade, done in about about 30-40 minutes, start to finish.

I felt like I'd made a gourmet meal!

My hubby will be home next week, so I'm gearing up to get back into my cooking mode.

Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!

This post is linked to:

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Recipe Swap at the Grocery Cart Challenge

Recipe Linky at MomTrends

(Disclosure--I haven't been paid or compensated in any way by Bird's Eye or Southeastern Mills. These are just two products that I've tried on my own and like.)

1 comment:

  1. Who doesn't love a little comfort food. Thanks so much for sharing on Momtrends.