One of the best dishes our school cafeterias put out was Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes. They served it with sauerkraut. Hey, it was still the ‘50’s/’60’s and people are differently then.
We were allowed to eat one ‘hot lunch’ a week. Otherwise, Mom made us cold lunches. At first she sent milk in a thermos but we liked buying our milk. I guess it made us feel more independent. Or maybe we were embarrassed to be one of the few who brought milk from home. I remember milk was $.03 a day.
My favorite ‘hot lunch’ was HGoMP. When we tried to get Mom to make it at home, she never got it right. She always made . Sometimes she would crumble a hamburger patty into the gravy.
So I took over and got it right through trial and error.
Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes
Peel and cut in half at least 2 potatoes per person
Use a large enough sauce pan or dutch oven to accommodate the potatoes and water.
Place cold potatoes in cold water. I use ½ tsp salt for 4 servings.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Turn heat down to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until you can pierce with a fork
Drain the remaining water into a liquid measuring cup large enough to hold it.
Allow the potatoes to steam for at least 5 minutes
Mash the potatoes with a hand masher
Add just enough milk; we use 2%, to make the potatoes the consistency you want. Start with ½ cup and work up by ¼ cups.
Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
In a non-stick skillet brown 1 lb ground beef
With ½ onion, diced
Brown it well, drain off the fat
While the meat is draining, note how much potato water you have, if you need more liquid for gravy add beef broth or water.
Pour the liquid into the fry pan and bring to a boil scraping the crusty bits off the bottom
Using 1 TBSP cornstarch per cup of liquid, dissolve the cornstarch in an equal amount of water
Whisk into the liquid and cook until thickened and clear, a minute or two
Add back the drained meat
Add pepper to taste
Serve over the mashed potatoes.