Poor Mans Steak
What is Poor Man's Steak? If you've never tasted poor man's steak before, then let me be the first one to introduce you.
However, let me assure you first of all, that even though the name of this recipe sounds like it's food for poor people, it is quite delicious!
Imagine a thick juicy hamburger patty that has been dipped in flour, fried in butter, and then smothered in mushroom gravy. That pretty much sums up poor man's steak. It is a smothered hamburger steak.
Why Is it Called Poor Man's Steak?
As most of you already know, a good steak is very expensive. I can't say for sure why this recipe is called "Poor Man's Steak", but I'm guessing that someone thought it tasted just as good as a steak.
This recipe is made with ground hamburger, and hamburger is a lot cheaper than steak cuts. So they decided it was hamburger steak that poor people could afford to eat.
Amish Poor Man's Hamburger Steak Recipe
Growing up on an Amish dairy farm, we always had plenty of our own beef in the freezer. Whenever we butchered a cow, we tried to get all the roasts we could, and then we ground most of the rest of the meat into hamburger.
A lot of people would try to get all the steaks out of the beef that was possible. But our family did not often eat steak, so we only saved a few steak cuts.
My mom and dad both had false teeth, and I guess they aren't as good for chewing as your own teeth. So my dad always complained that steak was too tough to chew. And my mom seldom cooked something that dad didn't like.
Therefore, steak was not really part of our diet. But we all enjoyed this poor man's steak.
I enjoy a good juicy steak now and then, but I'm not a huge fan either. I honestly prefer a good-smothered chicken breast or poor man's steak over a grilled steak.
Can I Use Different Kinds of Burger for Baked Hamburger Steaks?
Yes, you can use different kinds of burger besides beef for this recipe. If you are fortunate enough to have deer or elk meat in your freezer, go ahead and make it with whatever you have on hand.
Deer burger is not my favorite because of the wild gamey flavor, but I will still use it if we manage to get some. And honestly, I can't tell that much difference if it's meat from a young doe.
Poor Man's Steak with Cream of Mushroom Soup
To make Poor Mans Steak, mix hamburger, cracker crumbs (I place my crackers in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin), onions, milk, and seasonings.
Shape the mixture into eight thick hamburger patties. And you can refrigerate the patties for a while before dipping them in the flour. If you want to make it ahead, mix the patties and refrigerate them overnight. It also makes it easier to handle them.
Melt the butter in a large skillet, then dip the patties in flour, coating on both sides.
Fry them over medium/high heat for several minutes on each side until nicely browned. (This is not meant to cook them, it's only to give them a nice sear and lock in all the moisture.) Place the seared patties into a 9 x 13" baking dish.
Mix cream of mushroom soup (Click here for a recipe if you want to make homemade cream of mushroom soup) and one soup can of milk. Pour it over the top of the hamburger patties and bake for about one hour at 350 degrees F.
Poor man's steak is yummy served with mashed potatoes. You can use the mushroom soup as gravy for your potatoes. And if you like to have extra gravy, add two cans of cream of mushroom.
This Poor Man's Steak Recipe would also be delicious served over buttered noodles.
More Amish Ground Beef Recipes you may want to try...
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A link to a book about the Amish school shooting...
Amish Poor Man's Steak Recipe
- 2 lb. hamburger
- 1 c. saltine cracker crumbs (about 28 crackers)
- 1 c. milk
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 c. flour, for dipping
- 3 Tbs. butter, for frying
- 1 or 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 1 soup can full of milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Mix the cracker crumbs, milk, onion, and seasonings. Add the burger and mix to combine.2 lb. hamburger, 1 c. saltine cracker crumbs (about 28 crackers), 1 c. milk, 1/2 small onion, finely chopped, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- Shape the meat mixture into thick burger patties. It makes eight.
- Roll the patties in flour.1/4 - 1/2 c. flour, for dipping
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Fry the patties over medium/high heat for a few minutes on each side to give them a nice sear.3 Tbs. butter, for frying
- Place the browned patties into a 9 x 13" baking dish.
- Mix cream of mushroom soup and milk. Pour over the patties.1 or 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 1 soup can full of milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 - 55 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles.