Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak is popular for a reason. It’s full of flavor and served either plain or smothered with onion gravy. This tasty southern hamburger steak and gravy is sure to be a favorite family meal.
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Smothered Hamburger Steak
Smothered hamburger patties have been a favorite Southern dinner for generations. And why not? This is one meal that is easy to make and oh, so delicious. You can feed a whole family for less than ten bucks, and no one will complain.
Don’t confuse hamburger steaks for Salisbury steak. While Salisbury steak can taste a little like meatloaf, these hamburger steaks have a much meatier flavor and better texture. If you have never tried hamburger steaks before, you don’t know what you are missing!
What Makes This Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak Recipe So Good
This dish is the classic smothered hamburger steak Cracker Barrel Old Country Store customers have been ordering for decades. It’s one of Uncle Herschel’s favorite items on the menu. Prepare this recipe as written, or try jazzing it up to suit your preferences.
Plus you’ll get a taste of true southern tradition with this hearty and budget-friendly meal.
Ingredients You Will Need
To make the hamburger steak Cracker Barrel customers love, you’ll need:
Ground black pepper
The best store-bought beef for this recipe is ground chuck. Select a blend that is 80 percent fat to 20 fat. This mix will keep the hamburger steaks tender and moist while allowing you to cook them to a safe temperature.
If you have a meat grounder at home and the budget, 80 percent lean sirloin and 20 percent fatty pork shoulder also make an excellent blend. Use the coarsest grinding disk you have for better texture.
Be sure to use beef broth, not beef stock, to make the gravy. Beef broth gives the onion gravy the correct level of seasoning, while a beef stock may leave it tasting a bit flat. If you want, you can use a mushroom broth instead for an even more flavorful gravy.
Some people like to add shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce, or hot sauce to the meat mixture.
How to Make Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak
To make Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak:
Peel and cut onions into thin slices. Set aside.
Combine the ground beef and seasonings into a bowl. Use the tips of your fingers to work the seasonings into the meat.
Form four patties about half an inch thick. Traditionally, hamburger steaks for this recipe are oval, but you can make them in any shape you prefer.
Heat a large heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Use a cast-iron pan if you have one for the best sear.
Once the pan is hot, cook the hamburger steaks for about 4 minutes on the first side and three minutes on the second side.
Remove the hamburger steaks and blot them dry with a paper towel. Cover them to keep them warm or place them in the oven on the lowest heat setting.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onions. Let the onions caramelize, stirring occasionally. The slower you cook the onions, the sweeter and more flavorful they will become.
Remove the caramelized onions from the pan.
Check the pan to ensure there is enough grease. If there isn’t a good coating on the bottom of the pan, add some butter.
Sprinkle the flour into the grease in the pan and stir. Cook the flour until it turns tan, and then add the beef stock.
Stir up the bits on the bottom of the pan, and continue to stir until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened.
You can add the onions to the gravy or keep them separate.
Use a spatula to transfer the heated hamburger steaks to the serving plates.
Put the onions and gravy over each hamburger steak and serve