Tag Archives: meat

Simple but satisfying. (Hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes)

Sometimes I put off writing a blog post, thinking I need to have something off-the-charts good or crazy original.  Maybe I need to just get some of my recipes (if they can be called that) out there to the blogosphere, for posterity’s sake.  A record of my cooking life, if you will.  Some of you NT foodies need not poke around too much (because I get a lot of my recipes from you!), but I have to believe that there are readers at every stage of learning and cooking skills that may benefit from my small repertoire or get inspired to learn more about the different aspects of Traditional Nutrition that I throw out there from time to time.

Most of what I cook is just good old-fashioned stick-to-your-ribs kind of food. Take tonight, for example.  My family came for dinner (parents, brother & his family), and we had mashed potatoes with hamburger gravy.  Carrots in the gravy too.  Oh, and fresh homemade bread. (My mom brought a yummy dessert.  Thanks, Mom!)  Sounds like a pretty sparse meal, as in “where’s the meat?” but the gravy was really full of the hamburger, and I had needed to come up with a meal that was yummy yet easy on the pocketbook, you know?It is truly this type of meal that I get the most compliments on!  Very comforting (as in comfort food) and nourishing. Here’s how I did it.

The mashed potatoes were pretty straightforward.  Five pounds of russet potatoes, peeled, chopped, boiled until tender.  Meanwhile, I put 2 (yes, 2) sticks of butter and a little (1/2 cup?) of whole milk in a pan to melt/get hot. When the potatoes were done cooking, I drained them and transferred them to my mixing bowl, threw in the butter/milk mixture, and whipped them into submission (or smooth).  BTW, I usually just use a hand mixer for smaller amounts of mashed potatoes, but since I had close to a ton to mash, I used my KitchenAid!  Added some salt and pepper, and let Little Boy lick the beater, which saved the day for a cranky toddler!

The hamburger gravy went like this:  Earlier in the day, I had chopped some carrots, and before I even started on the potatoes, I cooked them in some bone broth (a combination of chicken & lamb/beef–ha ha, nobody even noticed the unrecognizable broth flavor!).  After the potatoes were put on to cook, I threw in some hamburger and diced onions in a skillet to brown.  Then I transferred those carrots to the meat mixture and set the skillet aside.  The pot with the leftover bone broth in it (you didn’t think I would drain them into the sink, did you?! Ha!) I added even more broth and got it up to a boil.  I then took a mug of cornstarch &  COLD water (stirred until smooth), and whisked it into the boiling broth, adding as much of the cornstarch water as needed to thicken into a gravy.  Then I added the meat/carrot mix to the gravy.  Left it on low heat while I whipped those potatoes!

That’s it, folks!  The bread was already baked several hours previously, so I just sliced up a loaf and set out some soft butter.  They devoured that bread, by the way–only one piece was left over, and I think that was only because it was sort of hiding under the towel I had draped over it.  Best part of the dinner–hanging out with family.  And don’t get me started on Mom’s dessert; it was off-the-charts good.

This was a part of the Fight Back Friday carnival. For more Real Food Revolution ideas, visit http://www.foodrenegade.com/fight-back-friday-march-12th/

Cabin Fever (Crockpot Swiss Steak)

We’ve been cooped up in the house for several days while the weather does its thang!  I need a diversion!  We were going to have company over today, but driving conditions were so poor that nobody could come.  This is what we would have had (and may still have it tomorrow if the roads are any better).

Crockpot Swiss Steak

This is a good way to use an inexpensive cut of meat, and yet it gives you that old-time homey comfort food feeling!

Put in crockpot:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2-3 lbs. (grass-fed) beef (7 bone steak, top sirloin, london broil, really anything would work!)
  • 1 c. bone broth (I use chicken and it’s fine)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (home-frozen garden tomatoes would be even better–just add some diced bell peppers too)
  • Splash of vinegar

Let cook all day on low til tender.  Sea salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with mashed potatoes, well buttered!

Be sure to save any bones for future bone broth!  Store them in the freezer in a zip-bag til you have enough to use.

This post is a part of Fight Back Friday!