So my point is, that folks around here are generally welcoming, generous, and still practice many of the traditions of the past. Lots of crawfish farms, rice ponds, sugar cane fields, soybeans, shrimp, okra, satsumas, deer hunters, fresh crabs, oysters, blackberries, fig trees, alligators, swamps, and fields of cattle can be found here. Of course there are the continued traditions of Cajun Music and, my favorite, Zydeco. And the famous Tony Chachere's seasoning and Tobasco Pepper Sauce both originated and are still produced here. We have lots of clients that live in the surrounding towns, such as Breaux Bridge, Erath, Abbeville and Maurice. It is not uncommon for my husband to visit with them to review their accounts and after sitting, talking, drinking coffee and doing business, for him to be sent home with some of their homegrown goods. Maybe a bag of Satsumas, Fig Preserves, Shrimp, Deer Sausage, Okra, Blackberry Jam, or fresh beef from a cow they just brought to slaughter. These folks generally know where the majority of their food comes from and how it was grown and what it was fed.
Recently we were very lucky to have been gifted with a couple of pounds of fresh ground beef, amongst other things, recently from our friends/clients in Erath, LA. It was my husband's turn to prepare dinner. Voila! Hamburger Steak and Gravy was the end result. It's a classic of his and will melt in your mouth. We just so happened to serve this with Alexia Organic Crinkled Oven Baked Fries and a side salad. If you really want to do it right, serve it with a side of fluffy rice and top the rice with gravy and smothered onions. I couldn't resist Ketchup laced with Tobasco Hot Sauce to dip mine in. It's even great when the gravy runs into it for dunking the fries. The gravy is unreal. Moo, Moo, Mooooo! I know that last comment was uncalled for.
What's For Dinner Wednesday? Mark's Hamburger Steak, Smothered Onions, and Gravy
Nest Essentials: Just a large bowl for mixing the beef and a Large Skillet (we use a heavy cast iron skillet)
Nifty Gadgets: A splatter screen to place over the skillet while cooking.
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Tblsp Mustard
1 Tblsp Ketchup
2 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Tony Chachere's Seasoning (we call it "Tony's". Any other seasoning salt will do, but Tony's is the best)
2 Tblsp Olive Oil
1 Onion (Peeled, Cut in half lengthwise and cut horizontally in 1/4 inch half moon slices)
Water or alter with Beef broth/Water combination (as needed, about 5 cups or so)
1) Using hands, mix together in a bowl the Ground Beef, Mustard, Ketchup, Tony Chachere Seasoning Salt (or other if Tony's isn't available), Egg and Worcestershire Sauce. Form 3 or 4 patties.
2) Heat the 2 Tblsp Olive Oil in Large Skillet (Cast iron preferred)
3) Add the Onions and Saute over medium, stirring frequently, until they become translucent and begin breaking down about 15 minutes.
5) Pour in enough water, or beef broth/water combo, to cover patties halfway. Allow to cook down over medium heat. A good splatter screen will come in handy for this part (see Nifty Gadgets in the Best for the Nest Community Store).
6) Check frequently and continue adding water or water/broth combo once it cooks down, as needed, to get a really nice brown gravy going.
7) Cook for about 45 minutes or so, adding the water or water/broth combo as needed throughout. The longer they cook, the better the Hamburger Steaks and Gravy will be. Check the salt level and add if necessary.
8) Serve alongside Oven Baked Fries and Green Salad with Red Wine Vinagrette, or even better, replace Fries with Rice for Rice'n Gravy.
Two Handfuls of any type of lettuce, I used Mache (rinsed and set aside)
A Handful of Cherry Tomatoes (rinsed and halved)
A few slices of Purple Onion, very, very thin
3 Tblsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Honey (I used Buckwheat Honey here, but regular will do just fine)
1/8 Cup Water
1/8 tsp Salt and ground Black pepper
1/8 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1) In a Medium Sized Serving Bowl, Layer the Mache, Cherry Tomatoes and Purple Onion slices.
2) In a small bowl, wisk together the Red Wine Vinegar, White Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, Water, Salt and Black Pepper. Emulsify by whisking in the Olive oil. This will not thicken much, it is very light. Feel free to add extra Olive Oil if you want it nice and thick.
3) Pour the dressing over and toss to combine.
The Super Duper Hamburger Steak recipe is thanks to my husband. He is the King of Quick and Balanced meals due to being a single Super-Dad of two kids. His children are grown now but he hasn't lost those skills to this day. Everyone (except vegetarians, unless this changes their minds) will gobble this up. This is a real treat.