Hamburg Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

by0| PUBLISHED Sep 12, 2012 4:00 AM
Hamburg Steaks with Mushroom Gravy
See the Recipe. Maxime Iattoni

This rendition of ground beef patties topped with a luscious and intensely savory mushroom gravy, once a signature dish at grand old restaurants like New York's Delmonico's, has become so ubiquitous as to be taken for granted, the stuff of TV dinners and school cafeteria lunches. With this recipe, you can restore the Hamburg steak to its former glory.

Yield: serves 4


  • 2 lb. ground beef chuck
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup grated onion
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cup canola oil
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cup flour
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni (6 sprigs thyme, 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, and 1 bay leaf tied with kitchen twine)
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup tomato paste
  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish


  1. Combine beef, onion, Worcestershire, hot sauce, allspice, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined. Form mixture into four 5" oval patties, about 1" thick, and transfer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Add bacon to skillet, and cook, stirring, until its fat renders, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and set aside. Add patties to skillet, and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium. Transfer to a serving platter.
  3. Drain and discard all but 3 tbsp. fat from skillet, and add 3 tbsp. butter; add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and bouquet garni, and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add dried mushrooms and wine, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1⁄2 cups water, bring to a boil, and cook until gravy is thickened, about 8 minutes. Pour gravy through a fine strainer into a bowl, pressing on solids in strainer; discard solids. Stir in remaining butter and sherry vinegar, and season with salt and pepper; stir in reserved cooked mushrooms.
  4. To serve, spoon gravy over steak patties and garnish with reserved bacon and chopped parsley.