At some point in my childhood, the responsibility for cooking the family meals shifted from my mum to my dad. I don’t remember what brought on this change – I’m not sure that I ever knew.
Before that point, I can recall him making only two things – the occasional roast dinner and his delicious sourdough bread. Once he became the main cook, Dad brought a typically structured approach to feeding the family.
Over time, he mastered a small number of recipes that he served up week after week: hamburger mince gravy, spaghetti, clam chowder, Shake ‘n’ Bake (chicken 0r pork chops) and chicken chow mein.
Until a few years ago, I had never once made hamburger mince gravy since leaving home. Then a couple of Christmases ago, dad was visiting from Canada and offered to cook one evening.
Unable to find the tinned clams he needed for clam chowder, he made hamburger mince gravy instead. My first mouthful hit me with such an intense wave of nostalgia it brought tears to my eyes and knocked me straight back to the 1970s. (I think it was the Worcestershire sauce…)
Happy birthday, Dad!
Hamburger mince gravy
- 1/2 Tb sunflower oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 500g lean ground beef
- 3 Tb flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- Heat the oil a large frying pan over a medium flame. Add the onion and cook until softened.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
- Sprinkle the flour over the beef and onions, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Add the water and Worcestershire sauce and stir again. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened. Season to taste. Serve with boiled potatoes and vegetables on the side.