Hamburger and the Amazing and
Tasty Meals You Can Make With It!

Better Times Cookbook | Justpeace | Better Times | BobWaldrop.net |Access to Energy Conservation | On Pilgrimage in Oklahoma City


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This is a lot more than a fast food sandwich.

Hamburger is just about the best food value in the meat market. It can be fixed in a gazillion ways. Buy it in the mega-family packs and freeze any that you won't be using in a day or so. For freezing purposes, small sandwich baggies (generic brand) are convenient. They hold about 1/3 to pound, just the right portion for most of these recipes. Put the individual baggies of hamburger into a larger freezer bag or container before placing in the freezer. Remember that when handling fresh meat you must be scrupulous in your cleanliness. Wash your hands with soap before and after packing meat for the freezer, wash all surfaces and utensils used in hot soapy water. And remember, most of the recipes in this section can also be made with chopped leftover roast or ground turkey.

Easy Hamburger Dish

Hamburger ----- two medium potatoes ----- slices of raw onion ----- one can pork and beans ----- salt and pepper ------- one can of tomato soup

Brown some hamburger, drain grease. Slice two medium potatoes in the bottom of a casserole dish. Place slices of raw onion on this (broken into rings). Pour one can of pork and beans over this. Put hamburger on top. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread 1 can tomato soup over the hamburger. Bake in 350 degree oven for 60 to 90 minutes or until potatoes are done.

Cabbage Casserole

1 small head cabbage ----- lb hamburger ----- 2 cups stewed tomatoes or sauce ----- salt and pepper ----- 1 cup chopped onion ----- 1/4 cup uncooked rice ----- 1 cup hot water

Cut cabbage into ten pieces. Place in bottom of casserole dish. Brown beef with onions and rice and drain. Pour mixture over cabbage and mix together a little. Mix other ingredients and pour over dish. Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until done.

Beef Potato Puff Bake

3 cups mashed potatoes ---- chopped onion and parsley ---- 3 eggs ----- 3 cups cooked hamburger ----- 1 cup milk or gravy ---- salt and pepper

Cook onion and parsley in margarine until onion is limp, mix meat, potatoes, gravy, salt and pepper. Separate the eggs, add the egg yolks, mix well, then add the egg whites, mix well. Pile lightly into a greased baking dish and bake in 350 degree oven for one hour. Serve.

Hamburger and Dumplings

lb hamburger ----- 1 chopped onion ----- 1 can vegetable soup ---- salt and pepper ----- 1 cup cooked beans ----- 2-1/4 cups water ----- 2 sliced potatoes ------ dumplings

Brown meat and onion, drain fat. Add soup, potatoes, water, simmer until potatoes are almost done. Add dumplings, cover, cook until dumplings are done.

Chicken and Dressing Without the Chicken

lb ground beef ---- 1 egg, beaten ----- chopped onion ----- 1 can chicken noodle soup ----- 2 cups dry bread cubes ----- 1 cup milk ---- tsp sage ----- salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Turn into greased casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.

Cabbage Pocket Burgers

lb hamburger ----- 3 cups shredded cabbage ----- salt and pepper ----- 1 cup cooked rice ----- cup chopped onion ----- 2 cup water ------ bread dough

Make your favorite recipe of bread dough (using 6 to 7 cups of flour). After first rising, divide the dough in half, cut each half into nine pieces. Roll each piece out so it makes a small thin circle of dough. Put about 2 tablespoons of the meat/cabbage mixture in the middle of each piece of dough, fold the corners together and pinch the edges to seal. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. To make the meat mixture: brown meat, drain grease, add onion, salt, pepper, cabbage, and 1-1/2 cups water. Simmer for about 20 minutes (until the water is gone). Add cooked rice. Let cool before you put onto dough. Variation: make one large "pocket" instead of individual ones (divide dough in half, roll each into rectangle, one for the bottom, one for the top, after filling, pinch ends together. Use fried potatoes in place of rice. Add a beaten egg to the meat mixture or to the dough. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the cabbage and meat while it is cooking.

Burger Noodle

lb hamburger ----- lb noodles ----- cream of mushroom soup ----- frozen vegetables (1-2 cups) ----- chopped onion ----- 1 cup beef stock ----- 1 cup milk ----- 1/4 lb cheese ----- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced ----- 2 tbsp flour

Fry hamburger, drain grease. Add vegetables, onion, garlic, and cup stock. Simmer about five minutes. Stir in flour. Mix cup stock and 1 cup milk, stir into meat mixture. Add sop and cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted and sauce is thickened. While this is cooking, boil noodles according to package directions and drain. Mix everything together. Optional: finish in 350 degree oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, topped with crumbled crackers mixed with some melted margarine. Variations: add chopped jalapenos. Use copped leftover roast and gravy. Add 1 cup barbecue sauce (if using barbecue sauce, don't add mushroom soup; use cream of tomato in place of mushroom soup.

Meat Pie

lb hamburger ----- 2 cups frozen vegetables ---- cream of tomato soup ---- 2 cups beef stock or water with bouillon ----- onions and garlic ---- pie crust and top

Fry burger, drain grease. Add onions, garlic, vegetables, cup stock. Simmer five minutes. Stir in two tablespoons flour. Add 1-1/2 cup stock or water with beef bouillon dissolved in it, cup milk, cream of mushroom soup. Pour into unbaked pie crust and top with more pie crust dough (like you were making an apple pie). Bake until crus is done, about 20-30 minutes. Variations: pour into pie pan, top with biscuits, bake until biscuits are done. Add cheese. Use leftover roast. And yes, jalapenos are good here too.

Oklahoma Chowder

lb hamburger ---- 1 can tomato sauce ---- noodles ----- cheese (optional) ----- can of peas, drained ----- onion ----- chili powder

Brown beef and onion, drain grease. Cook noodles and drain. Mix together with other ingredients and put cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts.

Cheeseburger Pie

lb hamburger ---- 1-1/2 cups milk----- 1/4 cup chopped onion ------ 2 tbsp margarine ----- 3 eggs ---- cheese ----- sliced tomatoes ---- salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 10 inch pie pan. Cook hamburger with onion, drain grease. Add salt and pepper, spread in pie plate. Melt margarine, mix with flour, milk, and eggs (make sure mixture is smooth). Pour onto hamburger in pie pan. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, top with sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with cheese. Bake another five to eight minutes, until cheese is melted. Cool five minutes before eating. Variations: shred carrot and/or zucchini and add to batter. Eliminate hamburger, use beans instead, or in addition to hamburger.

Oklahoma Swedish Meatballs

2 cups bread crumbs ----- 1/4 cup minced onion ---- lb hamburger ----- 1 cup beef stock ----- 1-1/2 cups milk ----- 1 egg, beaten ---- salt and pepper ---- 1 tbsp flour ----- cream of mushroom soup.

Soak breadcrumbs in cup milk. Add onions, meat, egg, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly (it is easiest to use your hands). Shape into 1 inch balls. Fry in oil until lightly browned on all sides. Remove meatballs, add the flour to the fat and blend. Add beef stock, 1 cup milk, cream of mushroom soup. Cook and stir over medium heat until sauce is smooth and thickened (about 2 minutes). Add meatballs, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve meatballs and sauce over Rice Stuffing.

Hamburger Gravy

1/4 lb hamburger ---- milk ----- flour ----- salt and pepper

Fry hamburger, drain fat, measure back into meat 3 tbsp of hamburger fat, add 4 tbsp. flour, stir, add 2-3 cups of milk. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Serve over rice, toast, or biscuits.

Creamy Beef and Macaroni

lb ground beef ---- 2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz cans ---- 2 cups uncooked macaroni ----- cup mayonnaise.

Cook and drain macaroni. Brown the hamburger, drain grease. S tir in tomato sauce, add spices (as desired), add mayonnaise and cooked macaroni. Heat thoroughly, don't boil, stirring occasionally, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Howdy Neighbor Casserole

lb hamburger ---- 2 cup chopped celery ---- 2 cups thinly sliced potatoes ---- 1 can red kidney beans ----- 1-1/4 cups beef stock or water ----- 1-1/2 cup chopped onion ----- 2 tsp chili powder ----- 1/3 cup uncooked rice ---- 1 can tomato soup

Cook hamburger until it starts changing colors, add celery, chili powder, onion. Cook until mixture is browned, drain grease. Add potatoes, rice, undrained can of kidney beans, tomato soup, water or stock. Bring to a boil. Pour into a 3 quart casserole. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Shepherd's Pie

Mashed potatoes ---- lb hamburger ----- 1 chopped onion ----- frozen vegetables (1-2 cups) ---- creamed corn (optional) ---- cream of mushroom soup (optional) ---- 1 cup beef stock ----- 1/4 lb cheese (3-4 slices) ----- garlic, minced ----- 1 cup milk ----- 2 tbsp flour

Make mashed potatoes. Fry burger and drain grease. Add onion, garlic, vegetables, and cup stock. Simmer five minutes. Stir in two tablespoons of flour. Mix cup stock, 1 cup milk, stir into meat/flour mixture. Add soup, cheese, and creamed corn. Place in a casserole dish (you can also use a cast iron skillet). Put mashed potatoes on top, covering the entire pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Variation: mix one cup cooked rice with mashed potatoes.

Burger Rice

lb hamburger ---- 1 cups uncooked rice ---- 2 cups frozen vegetables ---- onion ---- cream of mushroom soup ---- garlic, minced --- 1 cup beef stock ---- Mexican spices to taste ---- 1 can chilies and tomatoes ---- cream of tomato soup or tomato sauce

Cook rice with bouillon in the water. In separate pan, fry burger, drain grease. Add chopped onion and garlic, vegetables, cup stock and canned chilies and tomatoes Simmer five minutes. Add soup and cheese, cup stock, stir until cheese is melted. Mix meat sauce with rice. Variations: replace rice with any kind of cooked pasta, or serve meat sauce over baked potatoes.

Burger Macaroni

Prepare the same as Turkey Macaroni, but substitute 1/4 to lb fried and drained hamburger for the turkey. An additional variation is to add 1 can chilies and tomatoes and a can of cream of tomato soup in place of the creamed corn and cream of mushroom soup.

Burger Potato

Potatoes ----- lb hamburger ---- creamed corn (optional) --- frozen vegetables (1-2 cups) ----- cream of mushroom soup ---- chopped onion ---- 1/4 lb cheese ---- 1-1/2 cups beef stock

Slice potatoes in half and boil for ten minutes. Fry hamburger, drain grease, add vegetables, onion, cup stock. Simmer five minutes. Stir in two tablespoons flour, add 1 cup milk and 1 cup stock, add soup, corn, and cheese. Slice potatoes and add to mixture in casserole dish. Cook 30 minutes in 375 degree oven. Variations: add chopped jalapenos. Use fried potatoes in place of boiled.

Beefy Rice Casserole

lb hamburger ---- chopped onion ---- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup ---- salt and pepper ---- 1 cup uncooked rice ---- frozen vegetables

Fry meat, drain fat. Add seasonings and onions, cook until onions are clear. Add soup and uncooked rice, plus two cups water or beef stock. Bake in 350 oven until rice is done. Variations: use cream of tomato soup instead of mushroom soup, use chili powder and cumin to season.

Meatball Garden Skillet

lb hamburger ---- 4 tbsp flour --- 1 egg ---- 1/4 cup milk --- 1/4 cup chopped onion ----- 1 cup bread crumbs ---- 1-1/2 cups beef stock ---- 2/3 cup water ---- 3-4 potatoes, cut in chunks ---- 3-4 carrots, sliced ---- 1 tbsp margarine ----- salt, pepper, minced garlic or garlic powder

Combine hamburger, bread crumbs, 2 tbsp flour, salt and pepper, egg, milk, and 1/4 cup chopped onions. Form mixture into meatballs. Brown in 1 tablespoon of margarine in a hot skillet. Take out meatballs. Blend 2 tbsp of flour with margarine in skillet, add beef broth and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add potatoes, carrots, sliced onions, meatballs. Cover skillet, reduce heat, simmer 30 to 35 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Sloppy Joes

1 lb hamburger ---- 1 small onion ---- cup ketchup ---- 1/4 cup water or beef stock ---- 1 tsp chili powder ---- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce --- 1 tbsp mustard ---- salt, pepper, ground red pepper

Fry hamburger and onion and drain grease. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over low heat about one hour.

Hobo Hash

2 tbsp margarine ---- 1 cup diced onion ----- lb hamburger --- cup uncooked rice ---- 2-3 cubed potatoes ---- 1/3 cup diced celery ---- 2 cans red kidney beans (not drained) ---- 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounce) ---- 2 cups water or beef stock ---- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce --- salt and pepper

Pour melted margarine in casserole pan. Add the next six ingredients, one at a time, building up layers. Mix the water (or stock, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper together and pour over meat mixture. Bake for 3 hours at 300 degrees.

Easiest Casserole

Hamburger -- chopped onion --- tomato soup --- green beans (drained) ---- mashed potatoes ---- cheese (optional)

Fry hamburger, drain fat. Put in casserole, and add green beans, cheese, and tomato soup. Mix together. Place mashed potatoes on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Calico Beans

lb hamburger --- 1 medium onion, sliced/diced ---- 1 can lima or great northern beans --- 1 can kidney beans ---- 2 tbsp mustard ---- 1 can pork and beans --- 4 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled ---- 2 tbsp vinegar ----- cup ketchup ---- 1/4 to cup brown sugar.

Drain the beans (you can also use about 4 cups of any cooked beans), save the liquid for use in a casserole later in the week. Brown the meat and onions in a skillet, drain the fat. Mix beans and bacon, add to beef and onion. Combine vinegar, ketchup, mustard and sugar, add to meat mixture, stir until mixed thoroughly. Bake in casserole for one hour at 325 degrees.

Barbecued Beef and Beans

lb hamburger --- 1 can pork and beans --- 1 can chili beans --- chopped celery --- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce --- 1/4 tsp hot chili sauce --- cup sliced onions ---- cup ketchup --- 2 tbsp vinegar ---- grated cheese ---- salt, pepper, paprika ---- 2 tbsp brown sugar

Brown beef and onions, drain fat. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour into 1-1/2 quart casserole, bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on mixture before baking (optional).

Quick and Easy After Work Dinner

lb hamburger --- 1 can vegetable soup ---- 1 cup cooked rice

Brown hamburger, drain fat, add salt and pepper, soup and rice. Stir, heat, and serve.

California Spaghetti

lb hamburger ---- 1 can tomato soup ---- soup can water or beef stock ----- garlic, salt, pepper ---- chopped green pepper ---- 1 can mushroom soup ----- 1 lb spaghetti ---- grated cheese.

Brown hamburger with green pepper, drain fat. Mix together soups, salt and pepper, water, cheese and garlic. Add hamburger and green peppers, stir in cooked and drained spaghetti. Put in 9 by 13 inch pan and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until heated throughout and bubbly.

Enchamalie Pie

lb hamburger ------ 1 cup cooked rice ----- 2 cups cooked beans ---- flour tortillas ----- 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz) ---- 1/3 lb shredded cheese ----- chopped black olives (optional)

German Beefsteak

1 cup crumbled dried bread ---- 1/3 cup milk ---- 1 lb hamburger ---- 1 egg beaten ---- 1 tbsp minced parsley (optional) ---- 1 small onion, minced ---- salt and pepper

Soak bread in milk until soft, add meat, salt, egg, parsley, and onion. Blend with fingers until smooth, form into patties. Fry until browned on both sides. Serve on buns or with a sauce. Note: this is the original hamburger recipe, as invented in Hamburg, Germany.

Your Basic Meatballs

1 lb hamburger -- 2 eggs, beaten --- salt and pepper ---- 3 slices dry bread, crumbled ----- 1/3 cup milk or beef stock.

Soak dried bread in milk for at least 15 minutes. Blend all ingredients well, knead and form with fingers into smooth round balls of desired size. Cook in broth or sauce according to your favorite recipe (usually 20 - 30 minutes). Makes about 70 small meat balls, or about 35 one inch meatballs. When cooking in a sauce, it is usually best to lightly brown the meatballs in oil before adding to the sauce.

Meatball Casserole

1 recipe Your Basic Meatballs ----- 4 slices bacon ---- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced ----- 2 tbsp ketchup ---- sliced mushrooms (optional) ---- pound noodles ---- cream of mushroom soup ---- 1/4 tsp each of thyme and oregano

Prepare meatballs, adding thyme and oregano to the meat mixture. Fry bacon slices until crisp, remove from pan. Saute meatballs in bacon fat until browned on all sides, remove. Add sliced onion to pan, cook until soft and lightly browned. Add mushrooms to onions. Cook noodles, drain, place noodles, onion-mushroom mixture, and meatballs in layers in 1-1/2 quarter casserole. C combine soup, ketchup, salt and pepper, add 1/4 cup water (or beef stock or liquid from canned mushrooms) and pour over other ingredients. Crumble bacon, sprinkle over top. Cover casserole dish and bake in 375 degree oven until sauce is bubbling (about 45 minutes).

Cornbread Meatloaf

Bacon ends and pieces -- 1 onion -- lb hamburger -- 1-2 cups cooked beans, or canned beans -- 1 cup shredded cheese (optional) -- cornbread batter -- cream of tomato soup -- spices to taste (such as chili powder, ground red pepper, cumin)

Fry bacon and remove from pan, cutting it in pieces. Chop onion and fry until light brown. Add hamburger, fry, drain grease. Add bacon pieces to hamburger/onion mixture, pour soup over it and add can water or beef stock, beans, mix well. Simmer this mixture slowly about 30 minutes, stirring often. If it gets thick, add a little water. Add cheese, stirring well. Put in casserole dish (or if you are using a cast iron skillet, leave in pan) and pour your favorite recipe of Corn Bread batter over the top. Heat in 400 degree oven until cornbread is done, about 20-30 minutes. Variations: For vegetarian, eliminate bacon and hamburger and use extra beans. Add can of hot dog chili sauce to meat mixture.

Better Times Cookbook | Justpeace | Better Times | BobWaldrop.net |Access to Energy Conservation | On Pilgrimage in Oklahoma City

For much greater detail about my plans for adapting my "urban homestead" to meet the looming challenges of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality, see Gatewood Urban Homestead, the permaculture design for my home.