Hamburger Stew!

Nothing beats comfort food!

Comfort food . . . that food that takes you back to your childhood . . . delicious, hot meals your mom or grandmother made. Well, my mother made Hamburger soup, and my Grandmama Hall made Beef Stew. Both always bring back such fond memories for me.

So, today, I decided to make a Hamburger Stew, taking part from Mama’s soup and Grandmama Hall’s stew. Yum!!! In fact, Lynn said, “I believe this is the best soup (stew) you have ever made! It is “larapin”!!!” Larapin??? Who has heard that word in a hundred years! I had to look it up!

The definition for “larapin” is “over the top in delectable flavor, seasoning, and texture. Superior taste in the food, sauce, drink, or dessert. A memorable meal.” (Source: OK! I take that! And, you know what? It WAS super good!

Making Hamburger Stew . . .

When I decided to make Hamburger Stew, I was looking for a great one-pot meal. I had a lot of things to do today, so there was not a lot of time to cook. I ran across a recipe for Hamburger Stew in a Taste of Home email that really looked good! That was my start! I decided to think about making Grandmama Hall’s Beef Stew .

Grandmama Hall’s Beef Stew . . .

Grandmama Hall had a Beef Stew recipe that was served in my Uncle Lamar and Aunt Kathleen Hall’s cafe, “Hall’s Grill”, back in the late 1940’s. Essentially, it was like most beef stew recipes with chuck roast beef chunks, onions, potatoes, and carrots in a tomato sauce gravy. In those days, stew meat wasn’t available. They had to purchase a chuck roast and cut it in chunks.

The meat was then floured and browned in a little oil in a Dutch oven . . . probably a cast iron one back then. Water was then added and the meat simmered until tender. At that point, the carrot chunks were added with tomato sauce, then simmered. Finally, the potato chunks were put in the pot to simmer just until the potatoes were fork tender. I remember how delicious Grandmama’s Beef Stew was! I had everything to make Grandmama’s Beef Stew except . . . the chuck roast. So, I looked at Mama’s Vegetable Beef Soup.

Mama’s Vegetable Beef Soup . . .

Mama’s Vegetable Beef Soup originally had a beef roast as the meat. Later, we began making it with good quality hamburger meat, usually ground chuck. Her soup had the onions, carrots, and potatoes plus some other vegetables, but she used canned tomatoes. I had canned tomatoes, so my Hamburger Stew began to come together!

From Grandmama Hall’s recipe, I used the onion, carrots and potatoes. After all, Beef Stew is meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots. Right?

I used the hamburger meat, celery, tomatoes and water from Mama’s recipe. (Of course, Mama’s recipe used onions, potatoes, and carrots as well.) The rice, which was in the Taste of Home recipe, was added along with the beef broth, my contribution:)

First, the meat was browned with the onion, then the chopped veggies, tomatoes, rice, water and beef broth were added. I chose to use brown rice, and it gave a slightly nutty texture to the Hamburger Stew which was surprisingly good. The result . . . “Larapin!”

Even though I made this stew with hamburger meat, it was totally delicious! It was as good, or at least ALMOST as good, as the Beef Stew made with chunks of meat. And, I can tell you, it was a WHOLE lot easier making it with hamburger meat. It was ready to eat in about 30-45 minutes. And, we have leftovers for tomorrow!!! Plus, if you want, you can freeze it for a couple of months. Make a double batch and freeze a bunch, then you have instant meals when you don’t want to cook. That sounds like a plan to me!

If you were going to make Beef Stew, do you think you would use beef chunks or try making it with lean hamburger meat?

Hamburger Stew Recipe


  • 1 1/2  pounds ground chuck
  • 1 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I actually used 6 potatoes because some of mine were small.)
  • 2 (14-1/2 ounces) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brown beef and onions over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven until meat is no longer pink; drain grease, if necessary.
  2. Add  carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, brown rice, salt and pepper to the beef mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and place a lid on the pot.
  4.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender.
  5. Serve with cornbread or your favorite bread.

NOTE: If the sauce is not thick enough, you can thicken it with 2 tablespoons flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Be sure there are no clumps in the flour mixture before gradually stirring it into the pot. Cook for a couple of minutes until thickened before serving.



I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It