Foodie Friday answers the age-old question: Can you "Country Fry" (or "Chicken Fry") just about anything?  The answer is: yes and, while you're at it, dress it up with one of the 5 Mother Sauces of French Cuisine.

Country-Fried Hamburger in Onion Brown Gravy (Espagnole Sauce) (Prep. Time 15 minutes. Recipe is for individual serving.)

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Espagnole (one of the five “Mother Sauces” of French cooking. This is the sauce you use every Thanksgiving when you combine turkey drippings with flour to make the gravy.  Note the technique for getting a lump-free gravy. The spots  you see in the photo are chunks of onion and garlic in the sauce.)

2 Tb. Butter

2 Tb. All-purpose flour

1 small onion, very thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, fine dice

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 C. beef stock

1 Tb. Worchester sauce

Country-Fried Hamburger

¼ lb. ground beef

1 egg beaten together with 1 Tb. Cold water for an egg wash

½ C. all-purpose flour

½ C. unseasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

Vegetable oil ¼ inch deep in saute pan

Prepare the brown gravy first and keep warm while making the Country-fried burger.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saute pan.  Add sliced onions and cook until onions are tender and start to turn golden.  Add garlic and saute another minute before whisking in flour.  Continue to stir and cook flour, butter and onions over medium heat until the roux starts to turn golden brown.  Watch to make sure it doesn’t scorch, reducing heat if necessary.  Slowly whisk in the stock, Worchester sauce, salt and pepper.  Add more stock as needed to get the gravy as thin as you wish.  Taste and add salt or pepper if needed.  Reduce heat to low and keep warm while you prepare the burger.

Heat vegetable oil in a smaller saute pan over medium-high heat.  Form the beef into a patty. Work the patty a little more than you normally would to make it a little more firm than a traditional burger. (Normally, you would just form the ground beef into a fairly loose patty to keep it moist but the breading will keep the juices in the firmer burger.) Line up the flour on a plate, egg wash in a bowl and bread crumbs on another plate. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Coat both sides of the burger patty with flour. Dip into the egg wash, coating both sides. Press the patty into the bread crumbs on the second plate. Gently place into hot oil. Reduce heat to medium.  Fry for about two minutes on each side until breading is brown and crispy and the burger feels firm.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Serve with onion brown gravy spooned over top and a side baked potato.

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