20 June 2019

Hamburger Gravy - But Not Like You Had at School

Hamburger Gravy - But Not Like You Had at School / www.delightfulrepast.com

I never dreamed I'd be blogging about Hamburger Gravy. Shoot, I haven't eaten it since my school days and have never made it! But I was feeling a bit queasy the other day and didn't feel like eating anything except mashed potatoes, which reminded me of being home from school sick as a child and only wanting to eat mashed potatoes.

My mother told me I needed to have some protein along with my mashed potatoes, had only ground beef on hand, first thought shepherd's pie/cottage pie, but the oven was otherwise occupied. So she said she'd make some hamburger gravy. Made me shudder because that was one of the regular items on my elementary school's menu, and it was ...

... ghastly. And gluey and grey and greasy and gross. (Hey, the Five G's of Gastronomy!) Never fear, she said, it won't be like that. And it wasn't. She had a real hit on her hands. Even my dad ate some, all the while reminding her of his loathing of ground beef and making rude remarks about what the dish was called in the army!

Anyway … I thought I'd try, all these years later, to replicate her superior version of the horrid elementary school staple. The first "must" is proper browning. You have to give that ground beef and chopped onion a good 20 minutes in the pan, at least. Before you proceed with the recipe, the beef has to be well browned and starting to stick to the bottom of the pan.


I was rather shocked that Mr Delightful liked it (along with a glass of rather decent pinot noir). If something passes muster with both him and my dad, well, it has to be okay. What is your favorite childhood comfort food (nursery food, for my British readers)? And what was the worst thing on your school's lunch menu?


Hamburger Gravy - But Not Like You Had at School / www.delightfulrepast.com


Hamburger Gravy



(Makes 4 servings)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup lower sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water (or milk)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon country Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1
In a large skillet, cook oil, ground beef, chopped onion, salt and pepper, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks and browns. Take your time with the browning, or you'll be sorry! Cook until very well browned and sticking to the bottom of the pan a bit, about 20 minutes. Of course, you don't want to burn it, but that pan bottom should be full of lovely brown bits. 


Note: If you're using a ground beef with enough fat, skip the olive oil. And if there's a lot of fat left after cooking, remove all but two tablespoons of it.

2 Stir in the flour and continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up all those brown bits. Stir in the water, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and marjoram. When it's bubbling and thickening, loosely cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until it is as thick as you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over mashed potatoes (though the rudely-named version my dad mentioned was served over toast). 

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Jean

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

yum! another great recipe I must do. so glad I found you at Miz Helens. I am new-old blogging again, following you too. These recipes is the reason I started back blogging, blogging is just pure fun for me.

Angie's Recipes said...

This is something my husband will love too since he enjoys meat sauce. Thanks, Jean, for sharing another delicious recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jo, thank you so much. I noticed you listed in the sidebar as a new follower and appreciated that so much, was hoping you'd comment!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. I hope he likes it.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Definitely an “eat to live” survival meal. Have not eaten mashed potatoes since I was a kid, and when peas are the best looking thing on my plate, I generally do the sixth “G” – grimace. But I’ll chip in with my own comfort food from childhood: tomato cheese on toast…or tomato soup.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, three of my favorite words: tomato, cheese, toast. Tomato soup, homemade, not Campbell's, always good. Another home-from-school-sick favorite was poached eggs and toast. Not true poached eggs in water, but steamed in little round cups with butter. Washed down with copious amounts of tea, even then.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jean,thank you for your comment on my blog asking about when I blogged before...
I was amongst the bloggers back in the day when The Pioneer Woman, got so many interested in blogging, back when Miz Helen Fill My Plate Thursday, Susan's BTNOP tablescapes, Michael Lee West Foodies Fridays April j Harris Hearth and Home, Rhoda Southern Hospitality, Debbie Debbie Do's, etc. etc. there was so many bloggers back then that went on to actually make money with their blogs, I was blogging just for the fun of it. But Husband was diagnosed with cancer and we traveled from Georgia to Oklahoma Cancer Treatment Centers of America and he is now 6 years cancer free, praise the Lord and CTCA.

Doused in Pink Life & Style said...

Mashed potatoes with hamburger gravy sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

Jill - Doused in Pink

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jo, I'm so glad your husband is well! Dealing with a serious illness in the family is a full-time job for all, so no wonder you had to drop your blog. Glad you can both take time for fun.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jill. Definitely comfort food.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Well I definitely see the point of this dish. There are times when it's exactly the sort of thing to fill you up as it cheers you up. I don't have many good memories of food when I was growing up but one of my favourite meals was exactly the sort of fake poached eggs on toast that you mentioned. (I suppose that they were technically coddled eggs but I didn't know that then). I try to avoid thinking about school food - it was so unbelievably awful - but one day I hope to feel strong enough to talk about it. Most notably the strange, evil things resembling ancient ship's biscuits that were served with every pudding. I think I need a stiff drink now.

Margie said...

My high school didn't serve hamburger gravy, but fries and gravy were a menu staple.

I'm still thinking about your 20-cup (!!!) teapot. Where did you get it from?

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Definitely will be trying this recipe. I have very fond memories of the food our elementary school cafeteria served. Mrs Beasley ran the cafeteria and that lady could cook! I think of her veggie soup with grilled cheese, turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes...well, you get the idea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Too funny! Have that stiff drink, Phil, and then tell me all about your school food! Yes, I call those eggs "coddled" now, except when I'm nostalgic and call them "poached."

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, I've heard of fries and gravy, but it sounds just awful to me! I ordered that huge teapot from a catalog years ago. I'll have to think for a while and let you know.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sugar, I wish Mrs Beasley had worked at MY elementary school! Actually, the food wasn't too bad at my first school. But we moved halfway through fourth grade, and that school had THE worst!

R's Rue said...

Yum.
www.rsrue.blogspot.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, RR. It is a good pairing, isn't it?

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

My mother used to make mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy. My favourite childhood comfort food was pancakes and I still love them!

Cheryl said...

First of all, I hope that you are feeling better!

Secondly, you are making me hungry, Jean! That looks so good!

Thirdly, visiting you this evening reminds me that I have not yet made your cherry clafoutis. (Life's been too crazy.) Gotta get on that!

DeniseinVA said...

Oh yum, that does sound good. You have such delicious recipes on your blog Jean. Thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, so hamburger gravy was a Canadian thing, too? I loved my grandma's pancakes!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, thank you. And, yes, I'm feeling fine now. I hate it when life gets too crazy for making cherry clafoutis! :D Hope things settle down soon so you can do that.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Denise, thank you so much! Sometimes it seems like an odd assortment of things on my blog, but that's how I cook!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Jean - until today, I have never heard of hamburger gravy! It was never served in my elementary school… It does look very comforting, and reminds me of a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe called mummix. It wasn’t really in gravy, but it was served over mashed potatoes and was one of my childhood favorites. Another was creamed chipped beef on toast. That wasn’t served in my elementary cafeteria, but it was served in my college cafeteria every Thursday morning. I absolutely loved it! And my mother made the best… One thing from the cafeteria that I loathed was their chicken chow mein. I had never had Chinese food at that point, and thought I never would basing my opinion on that gelatinous mess. It definitely merited the five G’s of gastronomy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ohmygoodness, David, I can just picture what a "gelatinous mess" school cafeteria chicken chow mein would have been! I'll have to look into "mummix."

TONY said...

You always get me thinking Jean. " ground beef."We call it ,"minced beef."
Looks like a basic English dish from your photograph. Its kind of Bolognaise sauce without red peppers, chilli powder, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans. I see you put marjoram into the mix. My Mum wouldn't have thought of that. She was only into war time subsistence recipes. I am sad to say she wasn't a great cook but hey!! My two brothers and me are alive and well.I am not sure I could bring myself to eat this though Jean. Please do not take it as a criticism. I know it would be great but its the memories!!

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

This is a great post Jean. I haven't had hamburger gravy since my childhood. My mom made it here and there and it was delicious. I'll have to whip some up soon, as I don't think I've ever made it myself. Thanks for the memories. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I understand completely; memories are powerful! I was fortunate in the food department--whatever else we lacked, my father was willing to spend an inordinate amount of the budget on food (in reaction to the privations of his childhood) and my mother was a truly gifted cook.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lean Ann, thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed the memories it stirred up!

Tamago said...

Sounds like your mom made a really tasty hamburger gravy. And your recipe sounds super yummy :-) I loved hamburger as a child!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I never heard of hamburger gravy, Jean, but I know I would like it!! I loved noodles with milk and butter on them when I was a child...oh so comforting!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tamago. Sort of like the sausage gravy in Biscuits and Gravy (I posted that one some years ago).

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

That's odd, Kitty, I would have thought schools all over the country served the same foods. Noodles with milk and butter is one I've never heard of, but any kind of noodle thing is comforting!

April J Harris said...

I love your 5 G's of Gastronomy, Jean! That really made me smile! Your Hamburger Gravy recipe looks really delicious and comforting. This is a new dish to me, the closest I've seen to this is cottage or shepherd's pie. Thank you for sharing your memories, and this delicious recipe, with the Hearth and Soul Link party.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, April! Glad you liked the Five G's! Guess the Canadian schools had different menus.

Cheryl said...

I don't remember any comfort food from when I was young. :-( Maybe I didn't have anything that really made me feel good when I wasn't well. I do love your recipe and plan to try it as soon as I can!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Cheryl. I hope you like it. I think all of my best memories of childhood are food-related! And my earliest memory is a food memory from when I was about two.

Meditations in Motion said...

I can remember having hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes at school when I was younger too. I didn't like it then, but you somehow manage to make it look appealing! :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Laurie, that is so sweet! Thank you.

Miz Helen said...

This is truly a comfort dish and one that we love! Hope you are having a fantastic week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen

ellen b. said...

The only time I ate school cafeteria food was in 6th grade because I was a cafeteria helper and got free lunches. All my other years my mom packed my lunches. I enjoyed all the cafeteria food because it was so different then what our mom cooked. This recipe looks very good and comforting.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen. Comfort food is the best, and there's always lots of it at Full Plate Thursday!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ellen, we didn't have any student cafeteria helpers at my schools. If we had and I was one of them, I probably would've gotten kicked out for trying to run it! :D

Kitchen Riffs said...

I've never had this dish! Obviously I had a deprived childhood. :-) Sounds great, though. And of course a glass of decent pinot noir improves any dish!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John. And I'm glad you noticed the "decent pinot noir!"

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I love Hamburger Gravy! We enjoyed it recently after having some dental procedures and pulled it out of the recipe archive. Your spice combination sounds delicious, and I'll give yours a try!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, BRnLC, I hope you'll like it and let me know how it turned out for you. And I hope you're all well and fully recovered from your dental procedures.

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