Fake Steak is one of my favorite meals from my childhood. I have no idea where the recipe originated; it was simply in my mom’s recipe box. When I wanted to make it as an adult, the internet didn’t show me the recipe I remembered, and I had to ask Mom to send it to me.
It's not the same as a real steak, but it's delicious nonetheless.
When we cook steaks at home, we usually grill them, and season them simply with salt and pepper. Fake Steak - although I believe it was labeled Mock Filet Mignon on my mom's recipe card - is highly seasoned. More like eating your meat with steak sauce. That used to be popular, right?
While it's not the same as a simple steak, it's so delicious that Alex and I struggle not to have seconds, and we fight over the leftovers.
What Is Fake Steak?
Many recipes circulate the internet for fake steak. I've seen lots that involve pouring cream of mushroom soup over it as a sauce. I tend to think of pouring sauce over meat as hiding the meat, much like gravy masks dry turkey. No, thank you.
This recipe for Fake Steak creates patties of hamburger and cooked rice, flavored with onion and Worchestershire sauce, wrapped in bacon if I feel like being fancy.
Using your hands, gently mix together raw ground beef, cooked but cooled rice, finely minced onion, Worchestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. It's important to use a light touch so nothing gets tough.
Once everything is mixed together, divide it into 8 balls. Shape each one into a ball, then flatten slightly to more of a disc. If desired, wrap a slice of bacon around it. Place on a broiler sheet, leaving space between them, and bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes.
I regularly freeze ground beef and thaw it to brown to use in chili or other things, but I recommend using fresh ground beef here. It will mix better (and won't freeze your hands, as thawed hamburger does).
It's important to use cooled rice, or else the mixture will become warm, greasy, or just won't hold together well. However, don't use cold rice directly from the fridge, because it will be clumpy and hard to mix in.
I use a broiler sheet to let the grease drain beneath, although leaner 85% or 88% ground beef doesn't yield much grease; I wouldn't go leaner than that. (I'm sure we used 70% lean hamburger growing up.) A benefit of baking them on a broiler sheet is that you can roast vegetables (Brussels sprouts or broccoli are good choices; salt them first) on the tray beneath the rack, where they are seasoned by the drippings as it cooks.
This recipe serves 4 people, as long as you keep yourself from polishing off the entire recipe, which is admittedly hard. We guess that it’s the Worchestershire sauce that makes this taste so much better than the description sounds.
How to Make and Freeze Fake Steak in Advance
I don't like handling raw meat very much, so when I make this recipe, I often double it. A double batch makes it slightly harder to mix, but it's worth it so I can freeze some for later.
To freeze, shape patties as usual. Place them on a plate lined with waxed paper, being sure their sides don't touch; I get 4 per plate. Top with another sheet of waxed paper, and place the other 4 on it. Top them with another sheet of waxed paper.
Place the plate in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the 2 layers of fake steak, sandwiched by waxed paper, into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Label them.
Thaw overnight in the fridge the day before you want to cook them. They may still be a little frozen by dinnertime; this is ok. Remove them from the freezer bag, place on the broiler sheet, and bake as usual. (For reference, I froze then baked the fake steak in the pictures in this post.)
Serving Fake Steak
Try roasting a juicy or crunchy green vegetable on the tray of the broiler pan. Spray the bottom of the tray with cooking spray before adding vegetables, and salt the vegetables first. Halved Brussels sprouts worked really well; broccoli should be good. Avoid anything too starchy, since there's already starchy rice in the fake steak.
Otherwise, I often serve these with green beans or peas. Fake steak is kind of heavy, and a dark color; I like to use something to brighten up the meal.
Leftovers? If you happen to have any, be prepared to fight over them as Alex and I do. To serve, simply microwave them in a covered container for a minute, test the center to see if it's warm, and heat another 30 seconds at a time until it's as warm as you'd like.
(Someone once said these are like miniature meatloaves. I see the technical resemblance, but I hate meatloaf. So no - these are much better than meatloaf.)
Pictures of fake steak aren't much to look at, but I love this recipe just the same. This is my comfort food; that’s why I was eating these 20 years ago and will still be making this recipe 20 years from now.
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In the past:
Three Years Ago: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Five Years Ago: Bourbon Brioche
Eight Years Ago: Freezer Pancakes
A delicious, satisfying main dish made from ground beef and rice, perfect for a weeknight dinner. A family favorite, we fight over the leftovers. Plus, a make-ahead option!
- 1 1/2 pounds uncooked ground beef (85% and 88% lean work well)
- 2 cups cooked white rice (cooled but not cold)
- 1 cup finely minced onion
- 1 clove garlic (minced or crushed)
- 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 8 slices bacon (optional)
Use your hands to gently combine all ingredients except bacon.
Shape into eight 3/4-inch patties. If using, wrap bacon around each patty; you can use a wooden toothpick to fasten it if necessary.
Place on broiler sheet over a drip tray (preferred) or in a shallow baking pan. If desired, place vegetables on drip tray to roast (see notes). Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes.
Shape patties as desired. Place separated on a sheet of waxed paper on a plate; I get 4 per plate. Top with another sheet of waxed paper, then layer on the other 4 patties. Top with waxed paper and place in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the 2 layers of patties, and waxed paper sandwiching them, in a freezer bag. Label with cooking instructions.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator the night before you want to cook them. At dinnertime, remove them from the fridge, place on the broiler pan, and cook as usual.
Use jasmine rice if desired. You can use brown rice, but it's not that good in this recipe. If you've refrigerated your cooked rice, microwave it briefly to remove the chill and make it easy to mix.
Soy sauce is a good substitute for Worchestershire sauce if you run out or need to avoid fish products.
Want to make this a one-pan meal? Spray your drip tray with cooking spray and add vegetables to roast (such as Brussels sprouts or broccoli). Add salt, then top with the broiler tray and fake steak. Bake as usual.
Calorie count calculated based on a serving of 2 patties, including bacon, using 85% lean ground beef. Calories are closer to 450 if omitting bacon.
[Originally published April 29, 2017. Rewritten with new text, photos, and instructions in March 2019.]