Friday, May 5, 2017

Hamburger Steaks in Mushroom Gravy {AIP, Paleo, Whole 30}

Did you grow up on this southern classic?

This is one of those dishes that I had almost forgotten. But, walking through the grocery store last weekend, my husband (notice how I just casually toss that word in) mentioned how much he likes mushrooms and this dish popped into my head. I made it last week as a trial and he asked for the leftovers for lunch the next day, so I knew I had a keeper on my hands and made it again this week to share with you. 

Very rarely do I make the same thing twice in one week, so you know it must be good. This will easily be on my regular rotation. It's a simple weeknight dinner that's nice enough for guests and it makes good leftovers. Next I think I'll double the recipe and freeze some. 

This dish reminds me of eating with my grandparents at the local cafeteria. As I kid (and even more recently) I thought those places were so cool. True the food is mass-produced. True there is very little on the menu that can be considered healthy. True the vegetables are often canned and over-cooked. But, there was something fun about choosing foods from behind the glass and 'creating' your own dish with something from here and something from there and 'oh, can I have a piece of strawberry pie?' Plus, it's always a great place to visit for Sunday lunch in small southern towns to see which church let out earliest and which church has the best dressed members. Makes me miss the days when Sunday go to meeting clothes actually meant something. 

These hamburger steaks are cafeteria food... but healthy and homemade and full of flavor. 

Plus, you don't have to try to navigate the crowded dining area while balancing a tray with random bowls and plates. My advice is to serve this up for a family dinner and start sharing stories of your childhood that are brought to memory with this dish.... eating with your grandparents, favorite childhood foods, dropping a tray of food in the school cafeteria and more. Your kids will laugh and you'll get a kick out of the memories.

Hamburger Steaks in Mushroom Gravy
Serves: 3-4
Time: 45 minutes

2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
2 T olive oil or lard (divided)
1 large red onion
1 container of mushrooms - about 2 cups sliced
1/2 T garlic powder
2 t dried thyme
1 t dried lavender (optional)
1 t salt
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T cassava flour
2+ cups of water

- form ground beef into 6 patties and flatten with your hands
- heat about 1T fat (olive oil or lard) in a large skillet over medium heat
- once oil is hot, place patties in the pan and cook over medium for 3 minutes on each side and remove to a plate
- while patties are cooking, thinly slice your onion and mushrooms
- add 1 more T oil/ lard to the pan and add onions and mushrooms
- saute until veggies are tender and brown over low/ medium heat (10- 15 minutes)
- add seasonings - thyme, garlic, lavender and salt and stir well
- add balsamic vinegar to 'de-glaze' the pan (pick up all the yummy bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan)
- add 1 cup of water and lower heat to low
- in a small bowl or cup stir together 1 1/2 T cassava flour and 1/2 cup water - then pour into the pan and stir in well. The sauce should start thickening immediately.
- add 1 more cup water and stir well
- place the patties back into the pan and simmer until sauce is thickened and patties are cooked through (about 10-15 minutes)

Serving Suggestions:
- roasted zucchini and parsnip noodles
- roasted sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries and salad
- celeriac mash and roasted carrots
- anything that will soak up the flavors, because you don't want to waste a drop of this gravy. :)