Oh So Simple Burgers

Do you have 1 pound of ground beef and an onion? Ok, you’ll need burger buns and salt and pepper and trimmings too. This recipe makes two generous burgers or three more moderate ones.

  • 1 pound ground beef (not too lean)
  • 1/2 onion
  • salt and pepper
  • buns and whatever trimmings you like
You’re going to want a large baking pan with roasting racks for this one. (I’m not even sure I’m using the right words here, but heck, a rectangular cake pan with some wire racks is all you need)

Turn on the broiler in your oven, and place the rack so that your patties will be about 3-4 inches from the burner. You need to take into account the height of whatever you are using to broil them in. Then pan and racks I use are about 2 inches tall, so I set mine as close to 5 inches from the coil as I can.

Mince half an onion as fine as you can. Place your beef in a bowl and drop the onion on top of it. Sprinkle on a respectable amount of salt and pepper, according to your personal tastes. Gently mix everything together. Your goal here is not to make goo of the meat, just to get everything kind of introduced. If you have some onion left over, that’s fine. Gently form the meat into patties and place them on the racks in your roasting pan.  Be careful not to over-work the meat.  If you have left-over onion, simply sprinkle it on top of your patties.

Place the hamburger-cooking-apparatus in the oven and broil for about 4 minutes, then flip the burgers and cook for another 4 minutes. If you like your burgers slightly better done than pink-in-the-middle, cook for 5 minutes on each side.

If you’re looking for a cheeseburger, I would add the cheese less than a minute from when you want to pull it out, since the broiler will melt it VERY fast.

I know this recipe seems extremely simple, but I promise that it is quite tasty, and it is a jumping-off point for more complex flavors, if you like, such as adding Ranch flavoring, or even something so simple as adding Worcestershire sauce to the mix.

Thanks, “How to Cook Everything!” (my go-to cookbook)


Beef Stroganoff

So this is another favorite at our house. I know it’s not the *prettiest* of dishes, but it is so so tasty!

  • 1 pound stew meat (or other cheap meat cut into small chunks — you can buy the cheapest meat you can find and cut it yourself to save money)
  • olive oil
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • water
  • cooking sherry
  • sour cream
  • egg noodles
Heat some olive oil (just enough to coat bottom of pan) over medium heat. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a quart Ziploc, then add meat, seal and shake. When meat is well coated, brown it in the oil.

Add the can of soup, the onion soup mix, and enough water and cooking sherry to thin it out. Probably 1 cup water, and about half that in cooking sherry, but everyone likes it a different consistency, so just add and stir, add and stir. 😉

Cover and simmer. Go take a nap. The longer you simmer, the more tender the meat, so if you’re using a cheap meat, you’re going to want to simmer for a long time. But 30 minutes is ok too, if you’re in a hurry or have a more tender cut of meat.

Start your egg noodles. Uncover your meat and stir in about 3/4 cup or 1 cup sour cream. Drain noodles. Cover noodles with stroganoff on your plate. Enjoy!

Oh, for the picture I sprinkled parsley and a little paprika on top, just to make it a little prettier. My husband said it was tasty that way.

Thanks, Mom, for this recipe!

Flatiron Steak With Potatoes

So this is a pretty easy, affordable steak dish, with spinach cream sauce and accompanied by butter-fried red potatoes. Yum!

  • 1 pound flatiron steak (if your shopping choices are Kroger or Walmart, in this case I would go with Kroger — their flatirons are much better quality, with less gristle and fat)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cumin
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 7 or 8 red potatoes
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour (I use whole wheat, but you can use white if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 handful chopped fresh chopped spinach

Marinate your steak in the Worcestershire, cumin, cilantro, and garlic salt. Go easy on the cumin and cilantro — it doesn’t take much to get the point across. As always, the longer you can marinate, the better, but even a half hour will be fine.

Wash and quarter your red potatoes, then halve the quarters. Melt the 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat, then add the potatoes and mix them well in the butter. Sprinkle on the Mrs. Dash and stir again really well, then turn down to just below medium heat, cover, and cook for around 20-25 minutes.

This gives you plenty of time to do everything else you need to do! Chop your spinach, measure out your milk and cream (I just measured them into the same Pyrex measuring cup for ease), and set up your frying pan and sauce pan.

Your steak and sauce will take less than 10 minutes. I start them at the same time.

Place steak in pan and turn it on to just above medium heat.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in sauce pan. Add 2 Tbsp flour and whisk until it’s smooth and bubbly. Pour in the milk and cream, and as you’re whisking that into the flour/butter mixture, sprinkle in the chopped spinach. Whisk until everything is good and mixed.

Flip your steaks.

Bring your sauce to a boil for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, then simmer and whisk until your steaks are done. I like mine rare or medium rare, so it doesn’t usually take long.

Now, if you bought your steak at Kroger, you likely just cooked ONE piece of meat that will feed both of you. What I usually do when I have a Kroger steak is cut it into thin strips after I’ve cooked it, and then cover them with the sauce.

However, if you bought the steak at Walmart, it’s probably 4 smaller pieces. Just arrange them on your plate and cover with cream sauce.

I found that the potatoes and the sauce went well together — the potatoes made a good “mopping up” food, since I didn’t serve any bread with this. I figured that the potatoes were enough starch.

Economics and substitutions:

You can usually get enough flatiron steak to feed two people for $5 or under — I got mine for tonight on manager’s special and it was less than $4. If you don’t feel like spending extra money on the cream for the sauce, then use 1 cup milk instead of half milk and half cream, and simmer a little longer. If you don’t have cumin and cilantro for the marinade, then just use Worcestershire and salt, or, if you don’t have Worcestershire either, just salt. I’ve done it all 3 ways, and they’re all good.