Wednesday, September 21, 2022


With all the busy-ness of our lives and the search for something different for meal time, ground beef is often a “go-to” food because it can be used for so many things. But do you ever wonder how long we’ve been eating GROUND beef? I was watching Rawhide the other day as they were serving up yet another helping of Wishbone’s stew, and it made me wonder exactly when ground beef came into existence.

No one knows for sure, because it’s a “bone of contention”—but some say it was invented in Europe in 1885. One thing for sure, though, it’s generally accepted that our version of the hamburger patty/hamburger was not popular here in the USA until it was served up at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904!

I’m sure Gil Favor, Rowdy Yates, Mushy, Quince, and Scarlet, as well as the rest of the crew, were heartily sick of stew! Yet, what could they do? The hamburger had not been invented, nor had ground beef.

If only they had known…Wishbone could have whipped up this tasty variation of stew right quick for the crew and it would sure have helped their dispositions in a lot of cases!

I found this recipe in my memories on Facebook, and had never made it. So…. Since I’d put off going to the grocery store “one more day” I thought I’d give it a try—I just happened to have the ingredients in my cupboard, so I felt like that was a ‘sign’ since I was out of so many other things. I even had cornbread mix!

Here’s the original recipe and my modified notes. The great thing about this recipe is that it is VERSATILE and you can change it to just the way your family likes it.

Hubby and I do not like celery, so I never cook with it. Instead, I just added more carrots and a can of whole kernel corn.

See? It’s just whatever you like or have handy! And believe me, it is DELICIOUS! (And easy!)

Note: Serve with buttered cornbread, biscuits, or crackers.

2 pounds ground beef
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
(Here, I put in only 2 cans of stewed tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, and one can of beef broth.)
8 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
(I left this out entirely.)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
(I used ¾ cup Minute Rice)
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained—my addition to the recipe
1 to 2 tablespoons salt (this will depend on how much tomato ‘stuff’ you use, and beef broth)
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
(I used parsley, a little garlic salt, LOTS of pepper—I love it!—and even a tiny bit of that ‘Hot Shot’ pepper from McCormick)

Cook beef and onions over medium heat; drain. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce (if used), beef broth (if used), carrots, celery, potatoes, water, rice, drained corn (if used) salt and pepper and other spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes until vegetables and rice are tender. STIR FROM TIME TO TIME TO PREVENT STICKING. Uncover; simmer 20-30 minutes longer or until thickened!

The original version of this recipe came from an old Facebook group that has changed, so I don’t know who to properly credit, but they sure did a great job!

You can make this whatever consistency your family likes, and if it thickens overnight, just add a little water before reheating the next day.

It is wonderful, and makes quite a lot! Perfect for these fall and winter days that are coming soon!

I hope you enjoy!

Have any of you ever made HAMBURGER STEW? Do you have a different recipe? This one is really good, but I always love to see what variations people use in their own recipes!


  1. Replies
    1. YES, IT REALLY IS "YUM"! I'm making another big batch of it over the weekend.

  2. Cheryl, it looks GREAT! I'm sure Rowdy would have thanked you profusely!

    1. HA! I bet he would have, too, John! Made me laugh. I think about how they all gripe about Wishbone's cooking all the time, but I think he did pretty darn well for what he had to work with! LOL

  3. Replies
    1. Jeff, I really loved it. My husband ate a bowl but wasn't crazy about it because he is not much of a "soup" person to begin with, and isn't as crazy about tomato-based foods as I am. But I really did love it and am looking forward to having it again, especially as the weather gets cooler!

  4. My mom used to make hamburger stew, probably when she couldn't afford a more expensive cut of beef. Just browned hamburger, potatoes, carrots, and gravy. No tomato. The original recipe from her 1950 cookbook called for turnips, but I doubt if my dad would eat those, and did call for onion but she omitted that.

    1. Now that's something my husband probably would eat, Alethea, if I left out the tomatoes. And neither one of my parents would eat turnips at that point--I think they ate enough of those growing up to do them a lifetime, so I don't remember my mom ever making those. This sounds like a really good recipe, too!

  5. I make a stew very much like this and I've learned if you're out of one vegetable, you can add most any you like in its place. I seldom have celery, so I leave it out, but I always have frozen ford hook lima beans (one of my favorites) and I always add them. If I can get it, I use fresh corn instead of canned. Anything you like seems to work, and I've found it freezes well, too. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.

    1. Agnes, thanks for letting us know about the freezing--I was wondering about that, if there's ever any left...LOL I love lima beans, too--we may be the only 2 people in the world who feel that way! XOXO

    2. Nope. I love lima beans as well and they only get better when they grow up to be butter beans.
      Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.

    3. YAY, Dennis! Another lima bean lover! Those would be so good in this, I just know it. Maybe next time I make it I will add those! You're welcome, and I hope you enjoy this if you make it.