These Recipes have been copied with permission from the Better Times Almanac of Useful Information, 5th Edition       Bob Waldrop, founder The Oscar Romero Catholic Worker-Oklahoma City-


Ground meat is just a great food value. It can be fixed in a gazillion ways. The basic rule of thumb for feeding 4 people with a hamburger casserole is 1 lb/hamburger/casserole, but with these recipes if money is scarce you can feed 4 with a half pound of hamburger and nobody will go away hungry. Consider ground buffalo as an alternative to hamburger, and grass fed hamburger bought directly from a farmer as an alternative to supermarket mystery meat. Both grassfed hamburger and ground buffalo have serious health advantages over the feedlot supermarket mystery meats.

Creamy Burger Noodle

hamburger | noodles or macaroni | 1-2 C cooked veggies | 1 chopped onion | 2 cup beef stock | 2 cup milk | 1/4 lb cheese | 2-3 cloves garlic, minced | 8 tbsp flour

Fry hamburger with onion and garlic, drain grease and put cooked meat in a bowl Make a brown roux and add the beef stock and milk to make a creamy gravy. Add cooked meat and vegetables to the gravy. Add cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted and sauce is thickened. While this is cooking, boil noodles according to package directions and drain. Mix everything together. Optional: finish in 350 degree oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, topped with crumbled crackers mixed with some melted butter. Variations: add chopped jalapenos. Use chopped leftover roast and gravy. Add 1 cup barbecue sauce. Add dried herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme.

Meat Pie

hamburger | 2 cups cooked vegetables | Tomato sauce (15 oz) | 2 cups beef stock | onions and garlic | pie crust and top

Fry burger with onions and garlic, drain grease, remove meat to separate bowl. Stir in two tablespoons flour. Add beef stock and tomato sauce. Pour into unbaked pie crust and top with more pie crust dough (like you were making an apple pie). Bake until crust is done, about 20-30 minutes. Variations: pour into pie pan, top with biscuits, bake until biscuits are done. Add cheese. Use leftover roast. And yes, jalapenos are good here too.

Oklahoma Swedish Meatballs

2 cups bread crumbs | 1/4 cup minced onion | 1 lb hamburger |1 cup beef stock | 1-1/2 cups milk | 2 eggs, beaten | salt and pepper | 2 tbsp flour| Cream of mushroom soup or homemade mushroom gravy (2 cups)

Soak breadcrumbs in 1/2 cup milk. Add onions, meat, egg, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly (it is best to use your hands). Shape into 1 inch balls. Fry in oil until lightly browned on all sides. Remove meatballs, add the flour to the fat and make a medium brown roux. Add beef stock, 1 cup milk, cream of mushroom soup. Cook and stir over medium heat until sauce is smooth and thickened (about 2 minutes). Add meatballs, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve meatballs and sauce over Rice Stuffing. Variation: for a meatball casserole, double the amount of sauce (from 1 cup to 2 cups) add 2 tablespoons of ketchup to sauce, layer meatballs, sauce, and cooked noodles in pan, bake at 375 degrees until sauce is bubbling.

Shepherd's Pie

Mashed potatoes | 1/2 to 1 lb hamburger | 1 chopped onion | 2 C Cooked vegetables | Creamed corn (optional) | 2 C beef stock | Cream of mushroom soup (optional) | 4 tbsp flour | 1/4 lb cheese (3-4 slices) | garlic, minced

Make mashed potatoes. Fry burger with garlic and onions and drain grease. Measure 4 tablespoons of hamburger grease or oil back into pan, add flour, make a brown roux. Add beef stock, vegetables, cheese, soup and creamed corn. Place in a casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Variation: mix one cup cooked rice with mashed potatoes. Add sliced hot peppers to onions and garlic when frying. Add dried thyme, rosemary, oregano. Substitute 2 cups homemade mushroom sauce for cream of mushroom soup.

Burger Rice

1/2 to 1 lb hamburger | 2 cups cooked rice | 2 cups cooked veggies | hot peppers, onions, garlic, chopped | 1 cup beef stock |Mexican spices to taste | 1 can cream of tomato soup or tomato sauce

Fry burger with onions and garlic, drain grease. Measure 2 tablespoons of oil into frying pan, add 2 tablespoons flour and make a brown roux. Add vegetables, cheese, soup or tomato sauce, stir until cheese is melted, mix with rice, and bake in oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Variation: prepare as indicated, except use 1 cup uncooked rice instead of cooked rice and add 2 more cups of beef stock or water with bouillon. Bake in a covered dish in the oven until the rice is done (20 minutes or so).

Sloppy Joes

1 lb hamburger | 1 small onion | 1/2 cup ketchup|1/4 cup beef stock | 1 tsp chili powder | 1 tbsp mustard | 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce salt | pepper | ground red pepper

Fry hamburger & onion & drain grease. Add the rest of the ingredients & simmer over low heat about one hour. Variation: fry onion with hamburger, add 1 cup barbecue sauce, don't add the other ingredients, simmer over low heat 20 minutes.

Cornbread Meatloaf

Bacon ends and pieces | 1 onion | 1/2 lb hamburger | 1-2 cups cooked beans, or 1 can beans | cornbread batter | 1 cup shredded cheese (optional) | 2 C tomato sauce

Fry bacon and remove from pan, cutting it in pieces. Chop onion and fry until light brown. Add hamburger, fry, drain grease. Add bacon pieces to hamburger/onion mixture, pour tomato sauce over it and add 1 soup can water or beef stock, beans, your favorite spices and herbs, mix well. Simmer this mixture slowly about 30 minutes, stirring often. If it gets thick, add a little water. Add cheese, stirring well. Put in casserole dish (or if you are using a cast iron skillet, leave in pan) and pour your favorite recipe of Corn Bread batter over the top. Heat in 400 degree oven until cornbread is done, about 20-30 minutes. Variations: For vegetarian, eliminate bacon and hamburger and use extra beans.

Cabbage Casserole

1 small head cabbage | 1/2 -1 lb hamburger |1 C hot water or stock | salt and pepper | 1 cup chopped onion | 1/2 cup uncooked rice |

2 C stewed tomatoes and liquid or tomato sauce

Cut cabbage into ten pieces. Place in casserole dish. Brown beef with onions and rice and drain. Pour over cabbage and mix together a little. Mix other ingredients and pour over dish. Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until done.

Cheeseburger Pie

1/2 - 1 lb hamburger | 1-1/2 cups milk | 1/4 cup chopped onion | 2 tbsp butter | 3 eggs | cheese | sliced tomatoes | salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 10 inch pie pan. Cook hamburger with onion, drain grease. Add salt and pepper, spread in pie plate. Melt butter, mix with flour, milk, and eggs (make sure mixture is smooth) to make a batter. Pour onto hamburger in pie pan. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, top with sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with cheese. Bake another five to eight minutes, until cheese is melted. Cool five minutes before eating. Variations: shred carrot and/or zucchini and add to batter. Eliminate hamburger, use beans instead, or in addition to hamburger.