Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy and Rice

The dish, Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy and Rice, does not sound like a Hawaiian dish, but it is a staple of Hawaiian plate lunch restaurants. If you add a sunny side up egg you have the Loco Moco. I am a big fan of Hawaiian cuisine, especially with my ties to Filipino and Japanese cuisines. I like this for other reasons, too. Rice is my go to starch, I prefer it to potatoes. I discovered this when I started to go to Hawaiian Plate Lunch places back in my mid to late twenties. This became my go to dish, since many of the other dishes I make by myself at home. I have a rule at Hawaiian Plate lunch locations, if I can make it I do not order it. Sadly as of December 2016, I can no longer order it.

The reason why it does not sound Hawaiian to many people is on face value, it does not seem East Asian in origin. Remember Hawaii is a state in the United States of America. It is their interpretation of meat and potatoes with gravy. They of course substitute rice for the potatoes. It is also similar to Salisbury steak. It is also traditionally served with a serving of macaroni salad. With my feelings about pasta, that part of the dish is usually avoided. I usually ask for a larger amount of rice at the Hawaiian plate lunch places.

Hamburger steaks with brown gravy and rice

One of the things holding me back was gravy. I never made brown gravy from scratch. With my experiences with various sauces and Hungarian Paprika Gravy, I decided to tackle this. I however did not make it at home first. I made it at work. It was a big hit. I used beef broth, hamburger drippings, and Imagine Foods’ Portobello Mushroom soup as my bases. I also used garlic, paprika, onion, and mushrooms to make the dish. The Portobello mushroom soup is a perfect replacement for cream of mushroom soup. First it has stronger mushroom flavor. Second no milk and no wheat/gluten. Third it is organic.

On January 27, 2017, I made this at home. First step was to fry the hamburgers on a skillet. Then I removed the hamburgers and added onions and garlic to be sautéed in the hamburger grease. Then the mushrooms were added. Finally half beef broth or stock and half mushroom soup. I added the hamburgers back to the dish. I added other seasonings. I simmered for 30 to 45 minutes. A thickening agent was added to the dish, this part is up to the cook. I served it over rice. To get a Loco Moco add a sunny side up egg. There is not exact recipe for this. This is all on the fly and by taste. This is an improvisational dish.

I may try making Loco Moco next time. In the past I avoided ordering Loco Moco. I am not a fan of egg whites; to the point of all eggs must be scrambled. I have watched several dishes on various cooking shows using sunny side up eggs or poached eggs, where the yolk was used to add to the richness of the dish. March 17, 2017. I had Portuguese sausage and eggs on rice at a local Hawaiian plate lunch place. The eggs were sunny side up. I loved it. My aversion to egg whites is not as strong as it used to be.