Hamburger Gravy


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Hamburger Gravy is simple and uses easy-to-find ingredients. Also known as “SOS,” this dish is rich, creamy, and incredibly easy to make!

There are few ground beef recipes that get easier than this simple Ground Beef Gravy. Serve over some of The Best Mashed Potatoes with a side of Garlic Roasted Green Beans!

Hamburger Gravy on Toast

Hamburger Gravy

Today’s recipe goes by a lot of names- Ground Beef Gravy, Hobo Gravy, “SOS,” or Stuff-On-A-Shingle. To keep things simple, we’re going to stick with calling it Hamburger Gravy. It’s a fitting name: like hamburgers, this gravy has a short ingredients list, is easy to make, and it’s hard to hate!

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Ground Beef Gravy on potatoes

Ground beef served in gravy is a pretty old idea: back around World War II, many GIs and soldiers were probably eating dishes similar to this. It was a budget-friendly and economical way to keep folks fed so they could get to work- especially when served over toast or potatoes! Those boys ate plenty of this stuff and, in time, they started referring to it as “Stuff-on-a-Shingle-” the “stuff” often being subbed out for another S-word…

Text on image Hamburger Gravy

Really though, there’s nothing wrong with this dish- it’s ground beef in a nice, creamy gravy! I wouldn’t want to eat it every day but it’s pretty delicious. Couple that with the fact that it’s super easy to make and you can see why you might want to hang on to this recipe. It’s an easy, simple way to feed the family!

Text on image Hamburger Gravy

Ground beef recipes are usually pretty easy and this one is definitely one of the easiest. There’s no shaping into patties or meatballs- just brown the beef, make some gravy, and you’re done! Whether you’re serving over biscuits or “on a shingle” for breakfast or with some potatoes and veggies for dinner, we know you’ll love this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

Text on image Hamburger Gravy

Loved this recipe? Try some more beef recipes next!

  • If you’re wanting some more creamy and beefy flavors, consider some Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff. Tender beef tips and a creamy onion and mushroom sauce come together for this classic beef dish! Tastes great served over some easy egg noodles for an easy family favorite meal.
  • Skip the store-bought and try some Homemade Hamburger Helper Beef Noodle! Making Hamburger Helper from scratch is easier than you think- it’s quick and uses common pantry and spice cabinet ingredients. Not to mention homemade almost-always tastes better than whatever’s in the box!
  • Of course, Simple Salisbury Steak with gravy is always popular! This is an easy, solid, standby dinner dish that’s always a favorite on busy weeknights. Tasty, well-cooked patties pair well with delicious brown gravy- bonus points if you make some gravy from scratch!

Text on image Hamburger Gravy

Ingredients for Ground Beef Gravy

  • Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Milk
  • Beef Broth
  • Salt & Pepper – To taste.

Ingredients for Hobo Gravy

How to make Hamburger Gravy

Our Hamburger Gravy is pretty easy to make! If you want to make some yourself, here’s all you’ll need to do:
  1. Brown your ground beef, minced garlic, and chopped onions.
  2. Push the beef, onions, and garlic over and add some butter to the pan before mixing in some flour to make a roux.
  3. Add your Worcestershire sauce before streaming in your milk and broth, mixing until a cohesive gravy forms.

Diced onions

After getting your onion finely chopped, you can add it to a pan with some ground beef and garlic. Brown all of these over medium/medium-high heat until no pink remains.

Ground Beef, onions, and garlic in a pan

After browning, there should be some fat in the pan- drain some of this if you have a high-fat content ground beef! We’re going to use this fat- along with about 2 tablespoons of butter- to make a roux. Move the ground beef mix off to one side of the pan and drop in your butter.

Butter added to pan

Once melted and mixed with the beef fats, add the flour to all the fats. Mix well until a roux forms.

Flour added to melted butter

Let that roux cook for a couple of minutes until the raw flour smell is gone. Add your Worcestershire and mix it into the roux.

Worcestershire added to flour mixture

Now we’re going to turn this roux into a rich, flavorful gravy! First, slowly stream in your milk while whisking constantly.

Milk added to make gravy

Once all the milk is added and you have a fairly creamy gravy in the pan, we’re going to add in some beef broth to amp up the beefy flavors.

Broth added to make white hamburger gravy

With the gravy all mixed up, stir it together with the beef to make our Hamburger Gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve, and enjoy!

Finished ground beef gravy.

What to serve with Hamburger Gravy?

This Hamburger Gravy goes great over any sort of starch or grain. Like any gravy, it’ll taste great over mashed potatoes or serve it up “on a shingle” of bread or toast for something more like “SOS.” Goes great over rice and noodles as well! Considering serving with a side of vegetables.

Hamburger gravy on top of potatoes

How long is Hamburger Gravy good for?

If you have any leftovers, I’d recommend keeping them in the fridge. Seeing as our gravy is very dairy-heavy, it won’t freeze very well. Instead, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Kept this way, it will taste best if consumed within about 3-4 days.

SOS Hamburger Gravy on a plate

4.50 from 2 votes

Hamburger Gravy

By: Jen CIncyshopper
Hamburger Gravy is simple and uses easy-to-find ingredients. Also known as “SOS,” this dish is rich, creamy, and incredibly easy to make!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Broth
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  • Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat.
  • Drain most of the grease and move browned ground beef to one side of the skillet.
  • Melt butter on the other side of the skillet and add flour.
  • Stir/whisk constantly until roux forms and has cooked for several minutes.
  • Add Worcestershire, and slowly add milk while stirring constantly to make a smooth gravy.
  • Add the broth while continuing to stir.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over toast or mashed potatoes.


Consider serving over mashed potatoes, toast, rice, or noodles


Calories: 434kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 367mg, Potassium: 538mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 393IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 145mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Long pin collage with text Hamburger Gravy Also Known as

Long pin collage with text Hamburger Gravy Also Known as

Long pin collage with text Hamburger Gravy Also Known as

About Jen Cincyshopper

A lover of food and frugal living. A wife to a wonderful hubby, momma to 5 fun kiddos. Welcome to my blog. You will find REAL TASTY RECIPES. Be sure to subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media, to never miss a recipe.

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  1. Hamburger gravy is delicious. Even more so on a cold winter day. But, it is not known as SOS, never has been!
    Chipped beef with cream and peas is referred to SOS (Shit on a Shingle). Also delicious!
    Both cats, different breeds!

  2. Few had this a lot growing up and always ate it over toast or a baked potato. My parents always called it Haggled Beef, though, and my grandmother called it Katzie Poo!

  3. My husband, a Viet Nam vet, has begged me for 48 years to make SOS. I never have because it just sounded gross. But your recipe sounds delicious!
    Now I know what to cook for supper.
    Thank you

  4. 4 stars
    Have made something similar to this but not for a long time. Thanks for the post to remind me! I heard a WWII vet speak of *Sxxx on a Shingle* with a grimace on his face one time – ha.

    However, back during World War II this dish was not the kind made for the GIs with ground beef. “SOS” was made with Dried Beef – like you now find in jars or plastic pouches. It traveled well since mess halls were many times remote, refrigeration was precious and many times not big enough to accommodate a large piece of beef. The dried beef was and is very salty, and likely added any flavor, especially since there weren’t a lot of seasonings in the field, either.