Hamburger Rice – No Boxes Here

 

There's no box with this recipe.

 

When I was growing up, hamburger was one of the staples Mom would add to many of her recipes.  Usually, she’d stretch it by making a casserole that included pasta or rice—after all, she did have four hungry mouths to feed.  Today, it’s a rare occasion we eat hamburger in our household. Though I love beef, I try to refrain from eating too much of it to keep a lid on my intake of saturated fats and cholesterol.  Even so, if I’m going to have hamburger one of my favorite ways to eat it is by making a hamburger rice casserole–the old fashioned way.

 

Over the past several decades, manufacturers have taken just about every food possible and tried to make it more convenient for consumers to prepare and eat.  Unfortunately, the process of packaging and preserving food often adds all sorts of ingredients we don’t really need—ingredients like sugars, salt or extra fat.

 

 

The thing is hamburger rice casserole is easy to make without a box, is much healthier made from scratch, and tastes so much better because it uses fresh ingredients.  Don’t believe me?  Try it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Let’s Gather The Ingredients

 

Ingredients for hamburger rice casserole.

Gather your ingredients…Oops, I forgot the mushroom soup!

For today’s recipe we’ll need the following:

 

1 cup dry brown rice (substitute white if you prefer)

1 chicken bouillon cube

1-1/2 cups water

3/4 to 1 pound of ground sirloin (substitute ground beef for less expense)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons olive or other cooking oil

1 medium-sized sweet onion chopped

8-12 fresh brown or white mushrooms sliced

1 cup chopped celery

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup frozen petite peas

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 can 1% milk (or whatever is on hand)

Salt to taste

 

Preparation

 

I use bouillon instead of salt when I make my rice.

Cook a cup of dry rice per the directions first.

Add the dry brown rice to the water and toss in a bullion cube.  Allow to cook ahead of time as it takes about 45 minutes (check the directions on your rice package as they vary slightly).  When done remove from heat.

 

Fry the hamburger until it's well-cooked.

Brown the hamburger with the Worcestershire sauce.

Set a burner to medium high and toss the ground sirloin (or hamburger) in a pan.  I use ground sirloin when I can.  It’s more expensive than regular hamburger, but I think the taste warrants it and I can get it ground by the butcher in my grocery store.  I have to admit that with all the bad press hamburger has received in the past few years, I always prefer organic meat that’s locally processed to non-organic meat that’s processed in some butcher plant halfway across the country.  I recognize it’s a choice and it’s more expensive to buy this way, so substitute regular hamburger if you prefer.

 

Add the Worcestershire sauce to the pan as the meat is cooking .   Break up and brown the meat thoroughly.  When the meat is cooked through, remove it from heat and place it in a strainer or use the lid to drain off any excess grease.  Set aside.

 

Keep stirring until the mushrooms soften.

Start with oil, add mushrooms, onions and seasoning.

In a clean pan, add the cooking oil, soy sauce, pepper, onions, and mushrooms.  Stir fry for several minutes until the mushrooms and onions soften.

 

Keep stirring now, until the mushrooms and onions are thoroughly cooked.

If you prefer softer celery start it with the mushrooms and onions. Otherwise, give them a headstart.

A few minutes after starting the mushrooms and onions, add the celery.  Continue to stir.

 

Here I am adding peas to our casserole.

The peas are added toward the end. They take only a minute or two to cook.

When the other veggies are softened, add the frozen peas.  Continue stirring for another minute or so.

 

Continue stirring until everything is well mixed.

Stir in the hamburger, mushroom soup and milk.

Add the pre-cooked hamburger back in, plus the mushroom soup and milk.   Continue stirring until the meat and soup heat through. Then add the rice in and stir well to saturate it with the rest.  When everything’s heated through, remove the pan from the burner, cover it and allow it to stand for several minutes.  Meanwhile, call every one to the table.

 

The hamburger rice casserole is done!

Cover and let the casserole rest a few minutes. Allow the flavors to combine.

Serve hot.  This dish goes great with a green salad or makes a meal all by itself.  As shown, the recipe makes about 4 – 6 servings depending on appetite and serving size.  Add salt to taste.  Reheat leftovers in the microwave.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

You may also want to see:

Whip Up The Best Tuna Casserole

 

 

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