Friday, October 16, 2015

Hamburger Steak for a Crowd

You may have noticed that I'm kinda fearless in the kitchen, well, when it comes to making food for a crowd.

Not really.

I stress about it, and worry over it, and then just go make the food.

There is a bit of a challenge involved, mainly, because of the sheer amount that you need to figure on, and when I was still making lunch for a crowd at the Senior Center, I never knew just how many would show up.
Hamburger Steak with Zucchini Spears and Marinara Sauce, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans and a Roll

Which can be kind of, umm, FRIGHTENING!!!!

Just kidding.   I sometimes think I'm too stupid to be scared.
That didn't come out right.
I just don't know enough to be scared of the outcome.
How's that?

However, I know you're reading this and wondering how to make the Hamburger Steak for a crowd?
Well, to start with you need some basic math.

I had about 30 pounds of ground beef and knew it would make about 90 patties.
And it did.   Actually, it made more than 90, but that's cause of the additions.

Now, I'm not totally, umm, silly.    I knew that there was no way I could mix up 30 pounds of meat at once, so I took each 10 lb. tube of ground beef and mixed them separately.

I have a huge stainless steel bowl I mix it in, and there just so happened to be a little table in the kitchen I could put the bowl on when I mixed stuff.  (I'm a little short, in height that is), so any advantage I can get, I take.

Here's the mixture for 10 pounds of meat, which if you're making hamburger steak for a crowd will yield 30 patties.  If you figure on about 5 1/2 - 6 oz. per uncooked patty.   I've been doing this for awhile, so I can usually get it almost exactly that.  And that might seem like a big serving, but you have to remember that it will shrink as you cook it.  Not too much, but some.

10 lbs. ground beef -  I like a mixture of 90/10 and 80/20, roughly half and half.
3 finely chopped onions
6 finely chopped Roma tomatoes, I used some frozen tomatoes, which we'd roasted and frozen earlier in the year. 
2 tablespoons Badia Seasoning or your favourite all purpose seasoning mix
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
You can also add more Salt and Pepper to taste, if desired.

Mix together, and then take out a little bit and fry it up.  Taste it for seasonings at this point.

This way you can add more salt or pepper or the seasoning mix.     Much easier to add seasoning at this point.

Trust me on this.  

It's much easier to add seasoning at this point. 

Mix together lightly and form into patties.   I would say a piece the size of a tennis ball would be good, and if you weigh it out, it will come in at about 5-6 oz.   Continue until you've got all the meat into patties.  Place them on a greased, rimmed baking sheet, and then poke a hole or dimple in the middle of each patty. 
Poking a hole or making a large dimple in the patty ensures that it cooks evenly.  Cause they plump up in the middle when you cook them, which means they cook unevenly.   This works great on hamburgers that you grill as well.
I baked these at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, checking the internal temp on a couple of selected patties after ten minutes, I wanted them to get to 160 degrees.  As they rest, the internal temp comes up about another 5 degrees.

After baking them, I would take them off the baking sheets, place them into a steam table pan, cover them with foil and let them rest in a warm oven while we prepared the gravy.
Which we did by scraping off all that great fond off of the pans, then gave them a quick splash of water to loosen the last little bits of goodness, before pouring them into a pot to make the gravy.   I did cheat a little and added beef base to the pot.  I wanted the gravy to be as beefy as possible.
I actually made this a couple of times and each time we served it with Green Beans and  Mac and Cheese.  I also made some Zucchini Spears once and another time some Carrot Salad. 

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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