Freezer Recipe for Easy Once A Month Cooking Amish Steak
Turning Poor Man's Steak into Amish Steak
I first discovered this recipe while looking through a terrific cookbook From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens. I have yet to find a recipe from this cookbook that doesn’t turn out well. The recipe originally was titled Poor Man’s Steak. I thought that if I told my husband that’s what I was serving for dinner, he would turn up his nose. Instead, I told him it was Amish steak. Since I had an Amish cookbook out on the counter, it wasn’t a stretch.
Amish Steak Is A Family Favorite
This is one of my family’s favorite meals. After I ‘freezer-fied’ it (my word for converting something to freezer cooking), I found that it is a never fail recipe. The beef gains somewhat of a silky texture when the crushed crackers are added to it. Silky may not be the right word to describe ground beef, but there is definitely a good mouth-feel to it. Then there is the gravy. Oh, let me tell you about the gravy. My son could drink it by the glassful he likes it so much. I have tried it with a couple of variations. I’ll include both in this hub.
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How I Converted the Recipe To Freezer Cooking
To freezer-fy the recipe, I found that I had to brown the meat steaks, but not cook them all the way through. Don’t worry. You won’t be eating raw meat. They will finish baking in the oven. Plus, when they finish baking in the oven, it provides more juices to add to the delicious gravy I mentioned earlier. I also found that I had to freeze the meat steaks separately from the gravy. Freezing the meat in the gravy ends ups with a different consistency and that silky texture is something that you don’t want to miss.
The Recipe for Freezer Amish Steak
Prep time: 30 minutes plus letting it rest in the refrigerator overnight
Cook time: 1 ½ hours
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 sleeve of crackers, crushed to fine crumbs. (I just squeeze them without opening the sleeve)
1 cup milk
½ cup water
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 onion chopped OR 1 package Beef and Onion dry soup mix (use ½ tsp. salt if you use soup mix)
1 ½ cups flour for dredging
3 T. canola oil for browning
1 large (2 gallon size works best) freezer bag and one small, quart-size freezer bag.
A Great Trick for Easier Storage
- Place crushed crackers into a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the water onto the cracker crumbs to soften them.
- Add the ground beef, onion OR onion soup mix, salt and pepper.
- Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Line an 11 x 7 baking pan with enough plastic cling wrap so that the wrap hangs over the edges.
- Pile the raw meat mixture into the pan. It should fill it up. You can use a 9 x 13 pan, but your steaks won’t turn out as thick. My family thinks the thick steaks taste better.
- Cover the meat mixture with more plastic cling wrap and place it in the fridge. Leave it in the fridge overnight or 8 hours.
- After the meat mixture has been refrigerated 8 hours or overnight, take it out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Cut the raw beef into 6 ( or 8 if you are using the 9 x 13 pan) square patties.
- Dredge each patty in flour so that the flour sticks to all six sides. I put the flour in an old pie tin for this part.
- Brown the patties in the in the oil until they are just lightly brown on the top and bottom sides, but very pink or raw in the middle. I brown a few at a time and then move them to a piece of wax paper that I have placed on a flexible cutting board. Placing the partially cooked steaks on a flexible cutting board makes it much easier to transfer them to a freezer bag. Look at the photo to see how the wax paper will slide right into the freezer bag. Then, when it is time to cook them, I just slide them all out at once on the piece of wax paper.
- After all the square steak patties are browned, deglaze the pan by adding the cup of milk to it and scraping up the bits from the bottom. You will get a gravy forming.
- Cool the gravy so it can be packaged.
- When the gravy is cool enough, pour it into a quart size freezer bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it. Lay this bag of gravy starter on top of the square patties in the large freezer bag.
- Squeeze the air out and seal the freezer bag with the gravy starter packet inside of it. Better yet, use a vacuum food sealer.
- Freeze flat for up to 3 months.
Place The Patties on A Flexible Cutting Board to Slide It into Bag
The night before, place the packet of square patties and gravy unopened into the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Or, you can defrost it in the morning, as long as it is at least 8 hours until you want to cook it.
Preheat the oven to 300°. Spray the bottom of a large baking dish (like you use for lasagna) with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the steak patties in the bottom of the baking dish in one layer. Spread the gravy starter mix evenly over the patties. It won’t look like it is very much, but it makes just the right amount of gravy after it has baked. Bake for 1 ½ hours, covered with foil.
Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
This Is The Vacuum Sealer I Use
I prefer this vacuum sealer because of its upright construction. It makes it easier to seal wet or juicy foods.