This comforting ground beef and potatoes dinner features beef gravy loaded with mushrooms and onions, generously slathered on top of fluffy mashed potatoes.
Beef and potatoes are as classicly Midwestern as Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox. It is the ultimate comfort food combination, and there are a million ways it can be prepared, though I suspect this easy recipe using simple ingredients may soon become your favorite.
Ground Beef and Potatoes
My ground beef and potatoes is an easy dinner recipe that is sure to satisfy the whole family. A savory gravy loaded with ground beef, mushrooms, and onion is served atop a fluffy pile of mashed potatoes as a complete meal. Mashed potatoes are a perfect companion for this dish because they are well suited to soak up all of the delicious liquid from the gravy. However, this delicious meal would also taste great served with crispy roasted potatoes instead.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground beef - I use fairly lean ground beef so the meat mixture doesn't have too much excess grease.
- Yellow onion - Yellow onions and sweet onions are best.
- Fresh Mushrooms - I recommend buying sliced mushrooms to save on prep time.
- Fresh garlic cloves - You can substituted ½ teaspoon of garlic powder if needed.
- Tomato paste - Tomato sauce can be substituted, but it has more liquid, so it may need to simmer longer to thicken.
- All purpose Flour
- Beef broth - Beef stock also works well. Chicken broth can be used in a pinch, but it lacks the richness of beef, which obviously pairs better with the ground beef in this recipe.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh thyme - You can substitute other fresh herbs such as rosemary or sage.
- Baking potatoes - Also known as Russet potatoes. Waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold, don't make great mashed potatoes.
- Heavy cream - Milk can be substituted.
How to Make Beef Gravy
The heart of this ground beef and potatoes recipe is the ground beef gravy that is served over the potatoes. It is a simple dinner to prepare. You will cook the ground beef, onions, and mushrooms together in a saute pan (or large skillet), then add the liquids and flavorings.
The mixture will start out very soupy, but as it simmers water will evaporate and the mixture will thicken up. Rather than worrying about how long it is simmering, I recommend just cooking it until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture thickens like a gravy. For me, that is about 15-20 minutes, but the cooking time can vary depending on the heat of your burner.
Tips for Making Mashed Potatoes
You can get fluffier mashed potatoes by not mashing them. Instead, boil your potatoes, rinse them under warm water, then run them through a food mill. Finally, gently fold the heavy cream and butter in with a spatula. This method yields the best mashed potatoes, but admittedly even I get lazy and just mash them up half the time.
My potato recipe below goes through the basics of making mashed potatoes, but if you really want an in-depth look at how to make outrageously fluffy mashed potatoes, check out my detailed mashed potato tutorial.
More Beef and Potato Recipes
If you are craving more ways to pair beef and potatoes, check out my insanely popular Beef Tips and Gravy recipe, or create a comforting Guinness Shepherds Pie, Beef Strew, Hungarian Beef Goulash, or even the classic Corned Beef Hash!
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Ground Beef and Potatoes
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 4 baking potatoes (peeled and chopped)
- ½ cup heavy cream (can substitute milk)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add ground beef, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper to a saute pan set over medium heat. Cook beef until well browned and onions and mushrooms are tender. Add garlic and cook an additional two minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and flour, then add beef broth, Worcestershire, and fresh thyme. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to allow any burnt on bits to incorporate into the liquid.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. It is done when the liquid has reduced to a gravy. (if it is still watery, cook longer)
- Begin to prepare the mashed potatoes when browning the beef.
- Boil the chopped potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender, then remove from water.
- Add heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper and mash to combine. (alternatively, running the potatoes through a food mill then gently blending butter and cream with a spatula will yield fluffier mashed potatoes)
- Serve mashed potatoes on a plate with a generous helping of beef gravy over the top.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com August 19, 2019.