Monday, August 8, 2016

Amish Country Poor Man's Hamburger Steaks

Today's recipe is an oldie but goodie that's big on taste and easy on the budget - Amish Country Poor Man's Hamburger Steaks! 

An old fashioned hamburger steak recipe. The "steak" patties are made with cracker crumbs, milk and seasonings, baked in a delicious mushroom gravy. Down home comfort food the whole family will love, including the kids. Simple to make, so good. Wonderful served with mashed potatoes, favorite veggies and salad.   

I made this for my daughter's back to school dinner. It was a huge hit with the family and received rave reviews!

Today's share was adapted from two recipes - Ohio's Amish Country's Poor Man's Steaks and Allrecipe's Poor Man's Hamburger Steaks. Both recipes are similar and easy to adapt to your taste. Be sure to check them out. Also take a couple of minutes and read the comment section on Allrecipes - I always find great tips.

The version I came up with for my family was absolutely delicious and will be made again in the near future. 

Amish Country Poor Man's Hamburger Steaks 

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Hamburger Steak Patties
  • 2 1/2  pounds ground beef (*I used lean 7% fat - see tip section) High fat ground beef can make the steaks and gravy greasy - if using high fat ground beef, be sure to fry the meat a bit first and discard the excess fat
  • 2 cups saltine cracker crumbs (approximately 1 1/2 sleeves of crackers - crushed)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  • flour to dredge 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Gravy: In a medium size bowl add the 3 cans of soup, milk, water, parsley and mix well - set aside.  

Hamburger Steak Patties: In a large bowl, using your hands, mix ground beef, cracker crumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper until well blended. Gently form 8 to 10 large patties (don't press too hard), making them all equal size. 

Next, lightly dredge (coat) in flour and fry in a skillet with high sides on medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides - inside will still be uncooked.  

Place patties in baking dish. If making more than 6 patties, layer them - see photo above. Pour gravy evenly over patties, bake covered with foil on middle rack of oven for 1 hour or until the steak patties are well done, reaching a safe internal minimum tempertaure of 160 degrees f.

*If you are making more than 6 patties and need to layer them, turn the top layer of patties over one time, half way through baking - this was recommended by Lee Ann Miller's recipe for Ohio's Amish Recipes, Poor Man's Steaksto insure even cooking. Her recipe does not call for covering while baking. I opted to cover to prevent mess from splattering.

Serve steaks with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, rice, egg noodles, favorite veggies, salad. Be sure to spoon the gravy over potatoes, rice and/or noodles. Enjoy! 

  • *A few comments left on allrecipes stated that their steaks/gravy were a little greasy, that's why I opted for a leaner ground beef and to lightly pan fry them first, which is what Lee Ann's recipe calls for, plus it adds more flavor. If using high fat ground beef, pan fry them a little longer and discard the excess fat
  • This recipe makes a good amount. Unless you are feeding six people, you will most likely have leftovers - but don't worry, the leftovers are great! If you want to make less, you can easily cut this recipe in half.  
  • The two recipes I adapted this from, one called for covering, the other did not. I opted to cover.  
  •  Lee Ann Miller's recipe for Ohio's Amish Recipes, Poor Man's Steaks calls for 1 small chopped onion or 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion, along with 1/2 cup chopped green onion. I did not add this to my steaks, my kids are not big fans of onions.
  • If you love mushrooms, try adding a small can of sliced mushrooms (or use fresh) for even more mushroom flavor.   
  • Love watching cooking video tutorials, head over and check out Lee Ann's video for her recipe.  
Sharing this recipe at Weekend Potluck.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Natalie @ NorthShore Days said...

Mary these sound amazing and bonus, I can get all the ingredients here in NZ!
Also - LOVE the new blog header too xx Nat

Really Patricia said...

Oh dear, my family & I are lactose intolerant. Any idea's without the milk?

Marsha Baker said...

My oh my! Those do look so tasty. So glad you shared!

Anonymous said...

Made these this weekend. WOW!!! We loved them! Excellent recipe. I'll be making this one often I can tell! For a variation, I'm also going to use golden mushroom soup for the gravy instead of the cream of mushroom soup. I did add the onion (both the sweet and the green) - sooo delish. Thanks for sharing!

Marsha Baker said...

Congrats on your feature at Weekend Potluck. Well deserved for sure...these look totally scrumptious and I can't wait to make them. I'm also making your baked beans recipe this weekend for a family reunion. So glad I can come here and know I can trust your awesome recipes. So glad you shared. XO

Sylvia Mashaw said...

Good Morning Mary. Hope this finds you all doing well. I am use to cooking for a lot of people (my 3 sons and their friends) but I now live by myself and I want to be able to still cook the normal size meals but for just me it would be too much. With this recipe is there anything special you would have to do to freeze it? Thank you. Sylvia (Beulaville, NC)

Mary N said...

Hi Sylvia - I found this for you, it should be helpful in adapting this recipe for freeze. Copy and paste this link:

If you are not able to get the link, email me and I will send it to you. My email address is -

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

I think I might light to add mushrooms to the gravy just because we love mushrooms.

Anonymous said...

Try using non dairy creamer either liquid original or powdered original mixed with water. If you use powdered just mix it in the measuring (soup) can with water until it looks like milk or mix in a little more for a creamier flavor/texture. I've never made this recipe but I use creamer a lot when making chowder or in gravies if I run out of milk or change my mind at the last minute to cream gravy. Hope that helps and it turns out OK.

Unknown said...

Mine came out watery and very greasy, nothing like the pictures. Not very good at all.

Mary N said...

Unknown - In my tips section I talked about how some people left comments on allrecipes stating their steaks and gravy turned out greasy and that is why I opted to use a leaner ground beef. In the future if you are using high fat ground beef, be sure to pan fry it a bit first and drain the excess grease. Other people like to "fry" the steaks in the oven a bit in the baking dish, drain the grease before adding the gravy. Sorry yours turned out greasy. I just updated the recipe and placed my tip along with the ingredients so people don't miss it if they don't happen to read my tips section.

Saundra McKenzie said...

My husband is allergic to mushrooms. Would any other kind of soup work?

Anonymous said...

I also like to put stove top between the meat and gravy layer

Anonymous said...

I also like to put stove top dressing between the meat and gravy layer. That is make the stovetop by tge box directions

Martia Mencer said...

I would probably use lactose-free milk, or find another type, i.e. Soy milk, almond milk, that doesn't have lactose in it.

Anonymous said...

Allergic to ingredients in Saltines. Can you tell me why they are used so I can figure out a possible alternative? Salt? Thickener? Any ideas on a substitute? Thanks!

Kdean116 said...

Saundra M: try using Campbell's Cream of Celery. Flavor won't be the same, but should be good. Test the seasonings while cooking.

Anonymous said...

Alternative is bread crumbs. Has to act as a binder

Anonymous said...

Try oatmeal as the binder

Trudie said...

Perhaps sauté minced mushrooms in margarine or a lactose free butter. Then make a white sauce with that, salt, pepper. I'm sure there are recipes for a lactose free cream of mushroom ��

sheryl clevenger said...

if you pan fry meat first do you still have to cook for 1 hour

Anonymous said...

I make this often in my crock pot. If the gravy isn't thick enough, just remove the meat with a slotted spoon and turn crockpot on high and thicken with cornstarch/water mixture. Then pour over meat. I've also used cream of celery instead of mushroom soup as sometimes you have to make do with what you have. It still tastes good. Instead of saltines, you could use Stovetop stuffing mix for the binder. It's worked for me, plus they're seasoned.

Anonymous said...

Very very good loved the gravy

Anonymous said...

Great idea with the stove top. I do that with my meat loaf.

Anonymous said...

Instead of mushroom soup can I use cream of chicken soup? I don't like mushrooms

Lora Layne said...

I was just thinking the golden mushroom soup would be delicious. I use it in my pot roast recipe.

Anonymous said...

My saltines were stale so used Italian bread crumbs.Should have added some dried onions.

carol said...

we don't like mushrooms can i use cream of chicken insted