Old fashioned hamburger gravy is a Midwest American staple that is very satisfying and can go from the kitchen to the dinner table in less than half an hour. It is the perfect comfort food to make after a long day.
If you’re craving comfort food, this old-fashioned hamburger gravy is deliciously creamy, rich and satisfying. It is made with basic ingredients you most probably have in your fridge and pantry. It is easy to make and quick.
What to Serve with Hamburger Gravy
Hamburger gravy makes for a hearty and crowd-pleasing meal when served with mashed potatoes, biscuits, or noodles.
Old-fashioned hamburger gravy adds the perfect richness to any starchy side dish, such as mashed potatoes, rice, and wide egg noodle pasta. For a well-balanced entree, add any vegetable of your choice. Here are some other options:
- Healthy Broccoli Mashed Potatoes
- Crispy Garlic Roasted Potatoes
- Cauliflower Fried Rice (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
- Buttery Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
- Cheesy Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- Copycat Popeyes Biscuits
- Jasmine Rice
One of the best parts about this hamburger gravy recipe is that most of the ingredients can be found in any pantry.
- Ground beef: Use a minimum of 90 percent lean beef for just enough fat to add flavor.
- Onion: Yellow or white work equally well, but the Vidalia variety adds a hint of sweetness.
- Worcestershire sauce: This ingredient adds a welcome umami layer to the dish.
- Black pepper
- Bay leaf: It adds a pleasant lightness to the dish.
- All-purpose flour: This is an essential gravy thickener.
- Beef broth: For a healthier dish, use low-sodium beef broth to cut the overall salt content.
- Beef bouillon: Cubes or paste work well, but use paste sparingly to avoid overloading on salt.
- Half and half: For an especially rich gravy, replace the half-and-half with heavy cream.
- Dried thyme
How to Make Hamburger Gravy
This hamburger gravy recipe is as easy as 1-2-3, making it the perfect addition to a midweek dinner.
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Halfway through, add the onion and garlic and simmer for four to five minutes until soft.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and flour to the skillet, then stir and cook for two minutes. The smell of the flour should disappear.
- Slowly add the beef broth, beef bouillon, and half and half until the mixture boils. Lower the heat and simmer for five to ten minutes until the gravy thickens. The mixture should bubble slightly as it becomes more concentrated. Adjust seasonings and add-ins to taste and preference.
Here are some optional add-ins for added complexity:
- Mushrooms: White button mushrooms turn hamburger gravy into a fun take on beef stroganoff. Mushrooms retain water and quickly lose flavor and texture, so cook them separately and mix them into the skillet once the gravy is almost cooked through.
- Frozen mixed vegetables: Add frozen vegetables after adding the beef broth so that they cook as the gravy thickens.
- Sour cream: Sour cream is a thoughtful thickener that adds extra tang.
- Creole seasoning: Add a teaspoon or two of creole seasoning for elevated flavor without too much spice.
- Cream of mushroom soup: This makes the recipe extra creamy and rich. Reduce the half and half to ¼ cup, then add ¼ cup cream of mushroom as the gravy reduces. To make this hamburger gravy recipe with a can of cream of mushroom soup, add an extra ½ pound of ground beef.
- Garlic powder and onion powder: These aromatic spices create a flavorful base for the gravy.
- Sherry: This cooking wine adds brightness to hamburger gravy.
Yes! Swap all-purpose flour for cornstarch when the gravy is almost fully cooked, then simmer the mixture until it has thickened to the desired consistency. Serve over any gluten-free pasta or side of your choice.
SOS, or “stuff on a shingle,” is a military mess hall standby that is as mocked as it is adored. Like hamburger gravy, it is intended to stretch a pound of beef to serve as many people as possible. The “stuff” refers to any meat cooked in a milk-based sauce, whereas the “shingle” refers to the toast or biscuits that serve as a vehicle for the dish.
Other Recipe Variations
Hamburger gravy is highly versatile, and the recipe can easily be adjusted to dietary needs and taste preferences.
For dairy-free hamburger gravy, replace the half-and-half with beef broth. Add a tablespoon or two of flour to achieve the desired consistency.
Although hamburger gravy is traditionally made with ground beef, different meats can add character to this savory American classic.
- Bacon, for example, acts as a crowd-pleasing flavor enhancer when added to the mix.
- Hamburger gravy also pairs well with a lean cut of steak.
- To make sausage gravy, swap ground beef for ground pork, or use half the amount of ground beef with half a pound of Italian sausage.
Storage and Reheating
Hamburger gravy keeps well enough for a few servings, opening the door to numerous meal options. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to four days.
Dairy is prone to separating when frozen, so it is not recommended to freeze dairy-based gravy. Frozen hamburger gravy made without dairy keeps in the freezer for up to three months. Before freezing leftovers, be sure to let them cool down.
Reheating can be done using a microwave or stovetop set to low heat. Add milk or broth as needed to thin out the gravy.
- To make hearty turnovers, place a spoonful or two in the middle of refrigerated biscuit dough, then fold and bake according to the instructions on the packaging.
- To make a shepherd’s pie, layer leftover hamburger gravy at the bottom of a casserole dish and top it with mashed potatoes.
Other Beef Recipes to Try!!
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