Getting Creamed

Getting creamed is usually not a good thing.  In sports, it would mean you lose.  Badly.  Not a close game. And possibly the game is called early, due to the ten run rule.  OUCH!

In the South, and if you are a vegetable, getting creamed is good.  Very good.  You see, in the South, if we aren’t frying something, we are creaming it.  This requires the use of butter.  And cream.  The Two Fat Ladies and Paula Deen would be proud.

As a largely agricultural part of the country, the South produces plenty of vegetables.  And we DO like them any which way. Raw, steamed, baked, roasted, or boiled.  Grilled, braised, stir fried, creamed and blanched. But the greatest of these, at least according to Southern tradition, is creamed.

We will cream corn, peas, carrots, peas AND carrots, potatoes, and spinach.  There is also sausage and cream gravy, cream chipped beef, and creamed onions.  Not to be left out, there will be creamed cauliflower, broccoli, tuna, and chicken.  Incredibly, there is also such a thing as Creamed Tacos.

But one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, as my Granny made it, was mashed potatoes with hamburger cream gravy.  It was a meal in itself.  Homemade mashed potatoes topped with thick, peppery, cream gravy full of fried hamburger meat.  Sort of the dinner cousin to the classic southern breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy.  It is inexpensive, filling, and very, very comforting. 

Comfort Food!–Mashed Potatoes and Hamburger Gravy

Mashed Potatoes and Hamburger Gravy

  • 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 8 cups milk (1-2% okay, but not skim)
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ cup flour

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Boil for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Drain well, and return to pot.  Add butter, and mash until butter melts and potatoes are mostly mashed.  Add 2 cups milk, and salt to taste.

While potatoes are cooking, brown meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When thoroughly browned, add milk, salt and pepper.  Mix flour in a small bowl with enough water to make a thick, smooth paste.  Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the paste is the consistency of pancake batter, and very smooth.  When meat and milk is simmering, add flour mixture to the skillet and stir well to incorporate the flour mixture.  Cook until mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.

Serve over hot mashed potatoes, with a green salad.

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Categories: Food, humor, recipes, Texas, Uncategorized, writing


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31 Comments on “Getting Creamed”

  1. 2012/07/25 at 12:06 pm #

    s’enough to give anybody an appetite !! Cheers ..

  2. 2012/07/25 at 12:12 pm #

    This is the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s the kind of rich, comforting dish you want to sit down to on a cold rainy night. Or – anytime. The ultimate comfort food. Virginia

  3. 2012/07/25 at 12:14 pm #

    I’m so thankful you added the green salad to make it healthy. 🙂

    • 2012/07/25 at 2:26 pm #

      Oh yeah….definitely need some good roughage in there!

  4. 2012/07/25 at 12:35 pm #

    The title and photo ALONE compelled me to read your post! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great recipe!

  5. 2012/07/25 at 1:09 pm #

    Looks great. My mom makes hamburger gravy. 🙂

    I like how you started your “story,” too. 🙂


  6. 2012/07/25 at 1:11 pm #

    Looks really good! Reminds me of a recipe growing up, mashed potatoes with peas in the middle, mom called it a birds nest, add this hamburger gravy and you have the ultimate.

    • 2012/07/25 at 2:25 pm #

      Oh, that sounds yummy! I love peas, so will try that next time. Or maybe corn. Or both…. 🙂

  7. 2012/07/25 at 2:01 pm #

    Reblogged this on Fields Family and Friends Home Cooking and commented:
    I could eat this all the time, but once in awhile, mmm good.

  8. 2012/07/25 at 2:32 pm #

    OK, Texana. You did not mention another favorite way that Southernors like their veggies — fried. Think about it: fried okra; fried squash; fried corn; fried pickles; and so on. As for creamed veggies, you’re right. I discovered creamed cabbage about 20 years ago — a Pennsylvania Dutch thing that I adopted as my own. Very good! The hamburger gravy, by the way, just made me wish I had one more night of comfort food before the family comes home. Absolutely divine!

    • 2012/07/25 at 4:09 pm #

      I figured the fried vegetables was understood–when I said if we aren’t frying it, we’re creaming it. The fried green beans at our local diner are YUM! But way to mess up a perfectly healthy vegetable!

  9. 2012/07/25 at 2:36 pm #

    Oh great recipe.It brings back memories of my mother’s Thursday dinner..I remember in my poorer college days using water in place of milk,and putting the gravy over rice.Had to watch the calories.Thanks gotta do this again;the “right”way.

  10. 2012/07/25 at 3:34 pm #

    YUM! I was born in the south and love southern cooking!

  11. asterisk * photography
    2012/07/25 at 5:24 pm #

    Mmmmmm. Love my butter and milk 🙂 Kim*

  12. stutleytales
    2012/07/25 at 5:59 pm #

    Oh, this brings back memories. We left Oklahoma in 1964 when I was 5 and moved to Australia. My mother died when I was in my early 30’s – there are so many things that we grew up eating, but I’ve never known how to make them. This is very close to my favourite dinner and I’d forgotten all about it. Thank you.

    • 2012/07/25 at 11:36 pm #

      What is the meal that was your favorite?

      • stutleytales
        2012/07/25 at 11:53 pm #

        We had it with sausages. I think she used to cook all but one of the sausages, take them out, then fry up the meat from the last sausage and make the milk gravy. We sometimes had it on biscuits, sometimes on mashed potato. And there was always a huge bowl of coleslaw to go with it.
        The other thing she used to make, was cubed potato and onion (I think) and fried till it was golden/cooked. I tried cooking it once and set off every smoke alarm in the house. Never tired it again. Is there a secret to this?

  13. 2012/07/25 at 6:29 pm #

    My fave from elementary school!

  14. 2012/07/25 at 6:32 pm #

    Mashed potatoes must be the ultimate comfort food. There’s always a bottle of cream in my fridge to cheer up any meal that’s boring and especially to add to mashed potaoes!

  15. Missus Tribble
    2012/07/26 at 3:18 am #

    That looks and sounds delicious! My husband and I love to experiment, and one of my favourites is his garlic mashed potato with fish fingers!

    • 2012/07/26 at 11:05 am #

      Oh, I really love garlic mashed potatoes–with the sweet roasted garlic!

      • Missus Tribble
        2012/07/27 at 4:02 am #

        My husband peels the cloves, boils them with the potatoes and mashes the lot together with goat butter. Sheer comfort food and total bliss on a rainy night 🙂

  16. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman
    2012/07/26 at 8:12 am #

    Germans liked to get creamed too, so since my father was a southerner (South Carolina) and my mother from the land of fairy tales in Germany I was a young adult before I knew that food can be made without creams and sauces!! 🙂 Hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes was a favorite – still is. In Germany there is a dish similar called “one pot” just as good!

  17. cookingactress
    2012/07/26 at 9:05 am #

    Oooooh my brother and my boyfriend would kill for some of that gravy!!

  18. 2012/07/26 at 12:22 pm #

    Is it supposed to say 12 cups of milk? It doesn’t seem like that much milk would fit in a skillet with two pounds of beef.

    • 2012/07/26 at 12:47 pm #

      No, it should say 8—I scaled the recipe down, and failed to scale the milk…I just corrected it. But even still, if your skillet isn’t large enough, use a dutch oven.

  19. 2012/07/26 at 6:47 pm #

    Oh my, my, my, that looks so yummy!! I love southern food, my gram is from Virginia and I am mainly German so I love creamed food. I now live in PA and we are looking to move possibly further south. Can’t wait. I am originally from CT so I am in heaven now.

  20. 2012/07/27 at 5:21 pm #

    Love your writing style—and your recipes.

  21. 2012/07/28 at 8:07 am #

    I didn’t think anyone else in the world knew about Hamburger Gravy. I figured it was part of my mom’s Scottish background. It’ known as Mince (ground beef) and Tatties. I grew up with potatoes and hamburger gravy. All four of my kids, now adults, know how to make it. My mom’s process was a little easier. After browning the meat she would put a big serving spoon of flour into the skillet and stir the meat until it was coated. Then she would add water and stir until the flour was incorporated into the water and thickened to the consistency she wanted. It would go over mashed or boiled potatoes.

    I made a few changes from my mom’s recipe. I use the water from the potatoes instead of tap water (she never used milk with beef gravies) supplementing with tap water only if I needed more liquid. Instead of salt in the gravy I use Au Jus seasoning or beef bouillion. It adds a bunch of extra flavor.Yumm-m……comfort food!

  22. rachel
    2012/08/09 at 2:49 pm #

    Never did the hamburger gravy, but it sounds good. Mashed potatoes are one of the best foods ever!

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