This hamburger steak is pan fried on the stove and smothered in thick brown gravy with onions. Learn the simple chef-inspired secret behind making ultra-juicy, restaurant quality steak patties!
Be sure to serve this over some creamy mashed potatoes!
This is the perfect easy dinner when you want something fancier than a burger, but more casual than a steak. I used to struggle with what I could make for dinner with ground beef that the whole family would love. This does the trick every time!
I’ve even learned a chef-inspired secret for extra-juicy patties, (no one likes brick meat!). I approached it differently than I would if I were to make meatloaf, cube steak, or salisbury steak, because I wanted this to be true to its name: “Hamburger” Steak. Read on!
Hamburger Steak vs. Salisbury Steak
Hamburger Steak is made with simple ingredients that resemble how you would make a hamburger. In this case, it’s served with gravy over mashed potatoes. It could be served with a bun if preferred.
Salisbury Steak often includes an egg that’s used as a binder, along with breadcrumbs, milk, and other ingredients. Basically an individually-sized meatloaf. (Try Salisbury Steak or Cube Steak recipes next!)
Using Shredded Butter in Burger Meat
Incorporating butter into the beef is a chef secret to keep the patties nice and juicy. When meat cooks, the proteins tighten and contract and in doing so, moisture escapes. This can result in tough bricks of meat. The butter in the patties steam as they cook which helps maintain the moisture of the protein.
It’s important that the butter is about the same temperature and shape as the ground beef pieces are. The best way to achieve this is to shred frozen butter. This way, even a very well-done burger can still be juicy!
How to Make It
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Combine the hamburger steak ingredients and form into oval steaks. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Heat in olive oil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes/side. Remove and set aside.
Add 2 Tablespoons butter to the pot and soften onions. Add brown gravy ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Whisk in cornstarch + cold water.
Add the patties back to the pan and spoon onion gravy over the top. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until cooked through, the internal temperature should be 160°.
Swirl in the remaining 1 TBS cold butter at the end. This is a chef-inspired finishing technique that adds a velvety finish to the gravy.
Serve over mashed potatoes!
- Don’t overwork the meat, mix ingredients until just combined for a juicy consistency.
- Carefully form tight patties to help them stay together. Refrigerating for 10 minutes also helps with this. Form them flatter than you might think, as they do expand as they cook.
- Mince the onions very fine for a nice smooth texture.
- The longer you cook the onions, the better. The more they caramelize, the more flavorful the gravy will be.
- Use high-quality butter such as Cabot for best results.
What To Serve with Hamburger Steak
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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Hamburger Steak (with Onion Gravy!)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs. ground beef, 85% lean
- 4 Tablespoons frozen butter
- ½ cup yellow onion, very finely minced
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 yellow onions, sliced into ¾ inch strings
- 3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, separated
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup cold water + 3 tablespoons corn starch
Prepare the Steaks
- Shred the frozen butter.
- Gently combine the minced onions, butter, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and the meat. Don’t overwork the meat or it will make the steaks tough.
- Form into evenly sides oval steaks. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove from fridge and season each side with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Cast iron will sear the meat the best.)
- Add the hamburger steaks and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Make the Gravy
- Decrease heat to medium-low. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter to the pan and add the onions. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the onions soften and begin to caramelize.
- Add the chicken broth, beef broth, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Run a silicone spatula along the bottom of the pan to lift up any remnants of meat, this will give the gravy extra flavor.
- Mix in the cornstarch and cold water until combined.
- Bring the gravy to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
- Continue to whisk and decrease heat to medium.
Finish the Meal
- Add the steaks back to the pan and cover for 10 minutes, until cooked through. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees.
- Swirl in the remaining 1 TBS cold butter at the end. This is a chef-inspired finishing technique that adds a velvety finish to the gravy.
- Cooked and crumbled bacon is wonderful to work into the meat.
- Top the steaks with Swiss cheese and let it melt before serving.
- Add mushrooms to the gravy if desired.
- For creamier gravy, or to increase the quantity of gravy, mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup at the end with an optional dab of room temperature sour cream!