3tablespoonbutter(or bacon grease or use leftover grease from hamburger steaks)
2cupschicken stock,or vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper,to taste
114.5 ozcan Italian diced tomatoes (seasoned with basil, garlic & 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 tablespoon).
Add flour to pan and whisk to incorporate. Continue cooking and whisking for about 3-4 minutes or until roux is medium brown.
Add chicken stock 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. Again, taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper (careful - it's hot!)
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.