Mom’s “Hamburger Hash (stew)”, made my way


This one’s an old family favourite for me. It’s one that we had very frequently as kids and I always looked forward to it. It wasn’t until recently that I said my mom, “Remember when you used to make hamburger hash for us? I used to love that and haven’t had it in years!” My mom told me she had, ironically, just made it a few days prior. So I asked her, “How do you make it??” I said, “Do you first brown the meat–?” She cut me off and said, “Oh, god no! That’s too much work!” or something very similar. She told me how she did it all those years ago and now I’m going to share with you how I made it recently for my hubby and myself.

Oh, but wait. What is hamburger hash, you ask? Oh! It’s not like a breakfast hash made with potatoes. It’s more like a ground beef stew that’s poured over mashed potatoes. When I was a kid, it was made with onion and ground beef and was in a really thick gravy. I imagine it was a favoured dish because it was relatively cheap and easy to make — which of course made it really easy to feed a family of four on a budget and without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Here’s what I did…


  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups “coined” carrots
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef, broken up into small pieces
  • 2 boxes (8 cups) low sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp favourite barbecue sauce (I used Bullseye Guinness)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour or all purpose white flour


  1. Over a medium heat in a large stewing pot or Dutch oven, saute onion for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add garlic, seasonings, celery and carrots and saute for a few minutes longer until celery begins to soften.
  3. Add the ground beef.
  4. Pour in broth, barbecue sauce and Worcestershire.
  5. Stir to mix well, then bring to a boil.
  6. Add the bay leaves, cover and lower heat to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at most.
  7. Remove lid and add peas. Remove any bay leaves you come across as you stir this together.
  8. In a measuring cup or coffee cup, mix flour with some of the hot broth from the pot (a good ladle-full or two should be enough).
  9. Pour this slurry slowly into the hash while stirring to get it to thicken up.
  10. Serve over your favourite mashed potatoes (I make a garlic mash that my family go gah-gah for!).

Next  day hint: Another thing we used to love when I was a kid was fried mashed potatoes. Simply put some butter or margarine in a pan over a medium heat and add your mashed potatoes. Pat them down with a spatula so that they form a large “patty” in the bottom of the pan. Give it a few minutes, then begin to flip it over in sections with the spatula/egg flipper. Once there’s a good amount of caramelization and it’s heated through, serve. This is perfect for a based for a next-day serving of the hamburger hash! YUM. So not good for you but so comforting. 🙂

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