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one sous vide hamburger steak on plate with onion gravy
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5 from 8 votes

Hamburger Steak With Onion Gravy (Sous Vide or Pan Fry)

Sink into a hamburger steak with onion gravy for pure and simple delicious comfort food. Moist and tender with beefy flavor in a rich oniony sauce. Sous Vide or pan fry method.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time52 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 6
Author: Cheryl


Hamburger steaks

  • 2 pounds (900 kg) lean ground beef (85:15 Or 90:10 meat-to-fat ratio)
  • salt, black pepper, garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or grapeseed oil (for searing)

Onion Gravy

  • 1 large sweet onion or 2 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 2 tablespoons -3 olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups  (354ml) beef broth, Note 1 for options and additional seasoning.  if using undiluted full strength broth like Campbell's in a can (recommended), use 1 1/2 cups broth and 1/2 cup water


    ° 134F/56.7C - 136F/57.8C for medium-rare -ish (although some would call this medium). I use 136F-138F/58-59C.
    ° 137F/58C-138F/59C for medium (still warm pink)
    ° 140F/60C for medium well-ish
  • PREPARE HAMBURGER STEAK PATTIES: Lightly form 6 hamburger meat patties of about 5 1/2 ounces/156g each, 1 inch/2.5cm thick. Don't over handle the meat. Season patties both sides and edges with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Transfer patties to a large zipper lock bag in a single layer. Or use two bags if needed. Do not use a vacuum sealer or the burgers will become too packed and dense.
  • SOUS VIDE HAMBURGER STEAKS: (Note 2 for pan sear method). Place bag with burger patties in sous vide bath using the water displacement method: lower unsealed bag into water to an inch above water line. This will push as much air as possible out of bag. Then seal bag and let it sink down. If it floats, try again or weigh it down with a pot lid or butter knife, or clip it to the side of the container.
    Cook for 40-45 minutes up to a maximum of 90 minutes. I find about 45 minutes to 1 hour results in the best juicy burgers.
  • SAUTE ONIONS FOR GRAVY: While meat is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and lower heat to medium. Sauté about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warm brown and caramelized. To speed up the process, add a pinch of baking soda or sugar. Season with salt.
    At this point, you can finish the onion gravy in the pan. I do because it's quicker this way but you will have to use a separate pan to sear the burgers. If you don't want to use a second pan to sear the hamburger steaks, you can finish the gravy after searing the patties.
  • FINISH GRAVY: Add remaining tablespoon oil and flour to sautéed onions with the skillet still on medium heat. You may have to add a touch more oil. Stir for 2 minutes until flour is starting to turn light brown. Add half of broth. Whisk until smooth. Add rest of broth and thyme. Whisk. Cook about 3 minutes until gravy has thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, more thyme) Note 1. If too thick, add extra broth or water.
  • BROWN HAMBURGER STEAKS: Remove burgers from water bath and plastic bag. Pat dry well with paper towels. Rest for 10 minutes while you prepare other skillet for a quick sear. Heat another skillet to high (8-9/10). Add a tsp of vegetable or grapeseed oil. Sear burgers for 1 minute per side to brown top surface.
  • FINISH DISH: Transfer finished hamburger steaks to pan with onion gravy and spoon rich gravy on top. Warm through if needed. Serve with your favorite sides.


  1. Broth and gravy seasoning
    • If you don’t have liquid broth, use a broth/stock powder, base or cubes with water according to the directions on the package. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon Beef Base.
    • To enhance gravy seasonings: add more salt, try fresh thyme or rosemary leaves (add at the end), a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce, a splash of wine or sherry and/or 1 tablespoon cold butter stirred in at the end for a velvety finish.
  2. To pan sear hamburger steaks (instead of cooking sous vide)
    • Heat pan to very hot with a bit of oil. Place patties in pan (don't overcrowd and don't press down on them). When a nice crust forms in 3-4 minutes, flip the burgers and cook another 3 minutes or until temp reaches 145F/ 63C for medium.
  3. Shortcuts
    • Skip the caramelizing of the onions and either quick pan fry them (much quicker) or eliminate them altogether. You can use a tablespoon or so of onion soup base from a soup package for onion flavor (or a teaspoon of onion powder) if you like. Or try our Better Than Bouillon gravy recipe (using their onion base).
    • Skip pan frying the cooked sous vide patties since they are being smothered in the onion gravy anyways. You will lose a bit of flavor though.
    • Also as noted, pan searing the patties is quicker than sous vide. 
  4. Make Ahead
    • Make ahead sous vide hamburger steaks: You can sous vide the burgers, cool them in an ice bath (half ice, half water) for 10 minutes, then transfer to a sealed container or bag to freeze for up to 3 months. They will also keep in the fridge for several days. When ready to eat, warm them up from frozen in the sous vide at 125F/51.7C for about an hour. Or defrost them to room temperature and continue with the recipe.
    • Make the whole recipe ahead: and store leftovers in an airtight container. Warm on the stovetop or in the microwave for a few minutes on medium heat.
    • Make gravy ahead: the gravy can be made hours ahead of a few days (store in fridge). It can also be frozen for up to 4 months). 
Nutrition values are estimates 
Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 4mg