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Ground Beef and Gravy Over Mashed Potatoes

This dinner recipe is quick, easy, and cheap, passed down from my grandma to my mom and now served to my own kids. I’ve been eating this simple but deliciously savory and filling meal my entire life, and this Depression-era recipe is surprisingly good, despite how easy and affordable it is to make!

What Makes This Recipe So Good

Ground beef with gravy (or maybe you know it as hamburger gravy?) is one of those childhood-throwback, ultimate-comfort-food, transports-me-instantly kind of recipes. It was passed down from my grandmother to my mom, from my mom to me, and now I’m making it for my own kids. I mean, a giant bowl of meat-and-potatoes smothered with a rich, savory gravy? How could the whole family not like it?
Not only is this recipe easy, satisfying, and delicious, it’s also super budget-friendly. With a couple of simple swaps, you can make it even easier and even more budget-friendly, too! Just use instant mashed potatoes instead of making your own, and use a can or two of store-bought beef gravy instead of making gravy from scratch. In fact, my mom pretty much always used canned gravy!
Because ground beef and gravy is so basic and versatile, you can serve it with pretty much anything. A bed of creamy, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes is a non-negotiable in my opinion, but you can replace them with rice, noodles, or mashed cauliflower if you want. Need a little green on your plate, too?

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme (optional)
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (optional)

For the Mashed Potatoes:

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Prepare Mashed Potatoes: Start by placing the peeled and quartered potatoes in a large pot. Cover them with water and bring to a boil. Let them cook until tender, which usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Once done, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Next, add milk and butter to the potatoes.

Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference. Cover the pot to keep the mashed potatoes warm while you prepare the gravy.

Cook Ground Beef: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and cook until it’s nicely browned. Be sure to break it apart as it cooks for even browning. Once cooked, drain any excess fat from the skillet. To the skillet, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté them with the ground beef until the onions turn soft and translucent, infusing the meat with aromatic flavors.

Make Gravy: Sprinkle all-purpose flour over the cooked beef and onions, stirring continuously to incorporate the flour evenly. Allow it to cook for about 2 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste. Gradually pour in the beef broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme (if using), enhancing the gravy with layers of savory goodness. Let the mixture simmer until it thickens, which typically takes around 5 minutes. For an extra touch of color and nutrition, add frozen peas and carrots to the gravy and cook until heated through.

Serve: With everything prepared, it’s time to assemble this comforting dish. Spoon generous portions of the creamy mashed potatoes onto plates or into bowls. Top them with the savory ground beef gravy, allowing it to cascade over the potatoes enticingly. Serve immediately while it’s piping hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this classic meal.

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