Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Poor Man's Steak & Gravy

Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy
Dorcas Annette Walker

For Father’s Day I am going to repeat a favorite recipe that all the guy chefs have responded to the most and something that my fellows love as well. All the men in the Walker clan have enormous appetites when it comes to food. Something I quickly discovered when a couple of weeks after getting married part of the family arrived and spent most of the summer with us. Thankfully, although I was only seventeen years old, I had grown up cooking and enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. Even so I wasn’t prepared for the Walker appetites. I’ll never forget the first meal. Wanting to make a good impression on my in-laws, I got out my largest cooking pots, and went to work carefully setting the table with my best dishes. With the meal prepared and dessert finished I summoned everyone to the table. My confident smile disappeared when the food barely made it around the table. I felt guilty that I couldn’t offer seconds, but breathed a sigh of relief that I had made a cake for dessert. To my amazement the entire cake (which in our family lasted for over a week) disappeared just as fast. The couple pieces left from the initial round were fought over and eaten. With loud praises for my cooking ringing in my ears, I sat in stunned silence at the deserted table staring at all the empty plates. Doubling my recipes was useless against the Walker clan’s huge appetites. I decided on the spot to triple or quad-triple them.

It was my mother, who gave me the original recipe for Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy. The only problem was that sometimes in my tight schedule of traveling with my husband and getting company soon after arriving back home I would plan to make Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy only to forget to prepare it the night before. One day as I was frantically racking my brains for something else to fix, I browsed through my freezer and I spotted a box of frozen hamburgers. Presto! A light bulb went off in my head. Why couldn’t I use frozen hamburgers instead? No one seemed to notice the difference. It was a quick and easy version of the original Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy recipe and became an all-time favorite. I discovered that frozen hamburgers stick together better than the original version of raw hamburger mixed with crackers when cooked. You can also fix this recipe in a crock pot. Just brown the hamburgers and pour the liquid ingredients over the meat. Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy always brings a smile to my fellow’s faces every time I serve it even though I’ve made it endless times. Preparation time for the Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy takes around an hour and this recipe serves four.

Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy

4 frozen hamburger patties
½ c self-rising flour
3 tb shortening
salt & pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
1 can milk

Melt shortening in a large iron skillet. Roll hamburgers in flour and brown. Shake on salt and pepper. Mix together soup, water, and milk. Pour over browned meat and simmer for thirty minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes, stove-top dressing, and a vegetable!

Weekly tip: Always freeze meat after buying it at the store unless you plan on using it up the next day. Not only will this prevent the meat from spoiling, but you can buy larger packs on sale as well!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:


Anonymous said...

Do you have a cookbook for sale?
My mother loves your articles and cuts them out of the newspaper.
I would love to buy her a cookbook if you have one available.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Yikes! I need to get busy and get a cookbook together. The biggest part is finding a publisher.