As the colder days roll in I feel the need for those warm comfort food type meals.  You know the ones I mean?  Warm potatoes, pastas, soups… those hearty meals we grew up on that just hit different.  The ones you put your comfy-pants on to consume.  (I recommend some of our joggers or yoga pants naturally! ;-)

One of my very favorite meals around my grandmothers kitchen table was her Hamburger Gravy and Potatoes.  She sent me off to college with a box of recipe cards she had typed up, this is my most favorite one!  (She is a cool grandma, who learned how to use a computer early on and now uses her iPad and iPhone like a boss)  

I asked her before writing this blog if she minded if I shared the recipe.   I don’t mind at all!  She said.  I think it was just the ingredients I had on hand one day when making a meal on the farm.  So, as suspected, she made it up.  I don’t remember the last time I just “made up” a recipe.  I usually just pull out my phone and google “recipes with hamburger and ketchup”, then google feeds me 426 recipes with ground beef and ketchup in them. Then I filter through 24 recipes to find the right one…I tell my family what we're having...they complain....then I just make tacos.  My grandma is the coolest, not to mention, she could to this day run circles around me.  She could have her flower beds weeded, clothes on the line, and an afghan crocheted for her neighbors grandbaby by the time I finish writing this blog.  She is who I think of when I read the word GRIT.

"When there is a will, there is a way" -Grandma Koehler

The ingredients are inexpensive and we almost always have the basic ingredients on hand.  Basically, if you have ground beef and potatoes you’ve got what you need. My husband likes it, my kids like it, and it’s simple.  A win in my book!  Also, if you are gluten-sensitive (which I think we all are to some degree) this is a great recipe for you!  

photo of ingredients.  box of cornstarch, pile of potatoes, two packages of ground beef, Kitchen Bouquet browning seasoning, one onion and salt and pepper

Here is what you need.  If you don’t have it, add them to your grocery list.  It’s a true “meat and potatoes” recipe…a food style that has never let me down.

  • 5-8 Potatoes, unpealed 
  • (1-2 lbs) Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 T Kitchen Bouquet, browning & seasoning sauce (see photo)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Onion Powder, to taste
  • 2-3 T Corn starch
  • Favorite bottle of wine or beer, optional


-Boil the potatoes whole until you can just pierce them with a fork. (Guesstimate: 20ish minutes)

whole potatoes in a pot of water on a stovetop

-While potatoes are cooking, brown the ground beef (with optional chopped onion).  You only need one hand to brown ground beef so if and only IF, you can multi-task, you can sip on your beer or wine (optionally).  Stay focused here.  Try not to get distracted by EVERYTHING else happening around you. (texts rolling in, kids fighting, boiling potatoes, work residual, etc).  Now, when beef is browned, drain the grease.  (I love that you're still reading this by the way)

browned ground beef in a skillet on a stovetop

-When you can pierce a potato with a fork to the center, remove them from heat. IMPORTANT: Save some of this potato water for the gravy! (It just tastes better) So drain them but set aside approximatley 3 cups in a glass pyrex.  Set the drained potatoes aside to cool slightly.  

-Add the 3 c. potato water to the prepared ground beef and bring to a simmering boil.  Season with salt, pepper, and onion powder.  Add approx one tablespoon browning/seasoning. (I literally just dump in a the browning seasoning until it looks right)

-Grab the corn starch.  I take about 1/4 cup of the potato water (or you can also just use tap water) and add 4 or more tablespoons cornstarch mixing in with a fork.  

-When the beef/water mixture is simmering add the cornstarch, a little at a time, while stirring.  Gravy will thicken as you stir.  (Add more cornstarch mixture, if needed, until you get your desired gravy thickness.)  Turn heat on low and simmer adding salt and pepper and onion powder to taste.

-Now it’s about time to eat.  Just hand peel the cooked potatoes with paring knife and slice in half (the long way) and put them back in the pot. This is how my grandma does it, so that’s how I do it!  I remember watching her as a little girl and marveling at the fact that she was holding the hot potato and peeling it as the steam was rolling out of her hands.  I must be a weenie with hot foods.  I’ve seen people pull pans straight out the oven bare handed. This must be what happens when you’re good at cooking? 

-YOU DID IT!  You made dinner!!  Now let’s eat! 

Dishing it up:  We start with a potato half or two on a plate.  Smash with your fork til you have a nice warm potato bed made.  Ladle the hamburger gravy mixture on top and Voila!  MMmm Enjoy your warm grandma-hug on a plate!

plated gravy on potatoes with side of green beans

I usually serve this with green beens.  I like the cheap frozen yellow bag of cut green beans.  I usually just microwave them in a covered dish with a stick of butter (hehe) and salt and pepper. I nestle them beside the hamburger gravy and potatoes.  Sometimes, if i’m feeling extra, I just mix all that goodness together for a special kinda of sloppy goodness.

Suggestion: Best enjoyed with family around a table OR also on a couch, in comfy-pants.

Also, here is some recommended attire to wear while consuming your warm grandma-hug on a plate.


 Ava Jogger

Bria Essential Legging- Cassis


Presley Peekaboo Top

Jenny's Sherbert Sweatshirt

Happiness Sweatshirt




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