Tomato gravy is a classic in the south. It is eaten a lot of different ways and I suppose everyone has their own version of it. Basically though, it is very simple. If you have fresh tomatoes, you can certainly use them. I just tend to make this when I get canned diced on sale and have a whole bunch in my pantry that are begging to be used. I really love tomato gravy. I love it on biscuits. I love it on noodles and I love it over hamburger steaks and meatloaf. My acid reflux doesn’t love it but it is worth it – ha!
This is what we would call “Poor Man’s Steaks.” Seasoned hamburger patties with some sort of gravy (either brown or tomato gravy) drizzled on top. It’s a recipe that I could eat weekly if my husband loved it as much as I did!
For the hamburger steaks:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the tomato gravy:
3 tbsp butter (or bacon grease or use leftover grease from hamburger steaks)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1(14 1/2 ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes (seasoned with basil & oregano)
Hamburger Steaks with Tomato Gravy
- For the hamburger steaks:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- For the tomato gravy:
- 3 tbsp butter (or bacon grease or use leftover grease from hamburger steaks)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes (seasoned with basil & oregano)
- For the hamburger steaks:
- In a bowl, combine ground beef with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder; mix by hand until seasoning is evenly distributed taking care not to over-work the meat. Shape ground beef into four hamburger steaks (about ½ inch thick).
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is good and hot, cook steaks on each side for 4-5 minutes or until nicely seared. Remove steaks to a plate and set aside (do not worry if they are cooked through, they will finish cooking in the gravy). Pour off pan drippings into a cup or bowl.
- For the gravy:
- Reduce frying pan temperature to medium then add 3 tablespoons butter OR measure three tablespoons of the hamburger steak drippings and add back to the pan (whatever fat you use - just make sure it comes to a total of 3 tbsp).
- Add flour to pan and whisk to incorporate. Continue cooking and whisking for about 3-4 minutes or until roux is medium brown.
Add water (or chicken stock if using) and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes or until gravy starts to thicken a little (gravy will be thin). Whisk in sugar, salt and pepper to taste. This is really important. I like a good bit of pepper and it's important you taste it to get it right.
- Pour in diced tomatoes (with juices). Turn heat up until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Whisking occasionally. This will help thicken the gravy.
- Next, add hamburger steaks to gravy, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until meat juices run clear and gravy has reduced and thickened.