What is Poor Man’s Steak? If you’ve never tasted poor man’s steak before, then let me be the first one to introduce you. But first of all, let me assure you that even though it sounds like food for poor people, it is quite delicious.

Imagine a thick juicy hamburger patty that has been dipped in flour, fried in butter, and then smothered in mushroom gravy. That pretty much sums up poor man’s steak. It is smothered hamburger steak.

poor mans steak

As most of you already know, a good steak is very expensive. Hence the reason for calling this a poor man’s steak. This recipe is made with ground hamburger, and hamburger is a lot cheaper than steak cuts.

I’m guessing that someone thought that it tasted just as good as a steak, so they decided it was hamburger steak that poor people could afford to eat.

Growing up on an Amish dairy farm, we always had plenty of our own beef in the freezer. Whenever we butchered a cow, we tried to get all the roasts we could, and then we ground most of the rest of the meat into hamburger.

A lot of people would try to get all the steaks out of the beef that was possible. But our family did not often eat steak, so we only saved a few steak cuts.

My mom and dad both had false teeth, and I guess they aren’t as good for chewing as your own teeth. So my dad always complained that steak was too tough to chew. And my mom seldom cooked something that dad didn’t like. So steak was not really part of our diet. But we all enjoyed this poor man’s steak.

Personally, I enjoy a good juicy steak now and then, but I’m not a huge fan either. I honestly prefer a good-smothered chicken breast or poor man’s steak.

Yes, you can use different kinds of burger besides beef for this recipe. If you are fortunate enough to have deer or elk meat in your freezer, go ahead and make it with whatever you have on hand.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 cup crumbled saltine crackers
  • 1 cup milk1/4 flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons butterSalt and pepper to tasteFor the Gravy Sauce:
  • 1-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1.5 cups of milk



Filling:Preheat & Mix:

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, meld together the ground beef, crumbled saltine crackers, milk, minced onion, and seasonings until uniformly mixed.

Shape & Coat: Mould the meat mixture into oval or rectangular patties, mimicking traditional steak shapes, and daintily coat each with flour, ensuring to shake off excess.

Brown Patties:

In a spacious skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat, placing the patties therein to cook until they achieve a browned appearance on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side.

Set aside after removing them.

Prepare to Bake:

Relocate the patties to a greased 9×13 baking dish.

Mix the gravy sauce ingredients in a bowl and cascade over the patties.Bake: Envelope your baking dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and allow an additional 10 minutes of baking.Relish the warm, comforting essence of the Amish Poor Man’s Steak, where the union of straightforward ingredients crafts a gastronomical delight that promises to envelop your family in a savory embrace.

This Amish classic stands as a testament to the timeless appeal and enduring charm of dishes that are not only easy on the pocket but also a feast for the palate.


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