Hamburger Helper, Paleo Style

One pound of ground grassfed beef, one pound of ground pastured lamb, cooked on medium low with 1/2 onion and clove or two of crushed garlic. Drained the fat, but used a fat separator to retain the juices from the meat. Then it was time to add in about 1/2 cup of beef stock, a can of coconut milk, a good tablespoon of Thai massaman curry, a couple of chopped carrots and 1/2 of a large potato, chopped. Cover and simmer until the veggies are soft. Click for the hi-res version.

Hamburger Helper
Hamburger Helper

Very hearty and satisfying. Give it a try. Eat it with a spoon. Hundreds of possible variations. Get creative, and never be afraid to fail. And speaking of failing, my rule is that if I make something I don’t like, I simply push it aside and no substitute is allowed. I go hungry until the next mealtime. That happened to me last week when I did a curry using left over pot roast, but for some odd reason the roast cut into 1" cubes was super tough. I didn’t even take a bite.

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  1. Skinny Lesley on May 18, 2011 at 10:06

    Yum – this does look good. I wouldn’t have thought to add the coconut milk – good idea! I definitely look forward to adding this into my dinner rotation. I love fritattas, as well as salmon, but I’m wanting to branch out more.

  2. AndrewS on May 18, 2011 at 09:45

    I will sometimes use rice noodles to make these kinds of dishes. After a while I got out of the “try to mimic neolithic dishes I remember liking” thing and instead … just cooked meat! With a sauce, and maybe sauteed veggies. Your dish reminds me of many great massaman curries that I’ve enjoyed and I’m tempted to hunt one down. :)

    A tasty cheddar sauce still eludes me. American “cheese” would help but it’s against my religion.

  3. Robert L on May 18, 2011 at 09:46

    I like that rule. I’ll have to keep it in my back pocket for next time I make a steak-n-bacon curry.

    Such a bad, bad combination.

  4. Fredrik on May 18, 2011 at 09:59

    Why do you drain the fat?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 18, 2011 at 10:28

      “Why do you drain the fat?”

      Knew I’d get that question. I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t replacing it with coconut fat. I just didn’t want to lamb fat to overpower the dish. Not certain it would have, just my preference.

  5. Todd on May 18, 2011 at 13:00

    Odd coincidence, I just posted a similar kind of recipe the other day, and the eggs could be dropped in favour of coconut milk as you have done:

    Keema Scramble

    This recipe came about because I had some ground pork that needed cooking before it went off and limited prep and cooking time. It took a little over 10 minutes from start to finish. I had it for dinner, but it would work for breakfast, too. As for measurements, I rarely measure anything exactly, so all spice measurements are guesstimates; you’re free to experiment to suit your taste buds.


    454g (1 pound) ground beef, pork or lamb.

    3 shallots or one small onion

    3 cloves of garlic

    1 TBSP Madras curry powder

    Punch of cumin seeds (or 1 tsp cumin powder)

    2 tsp ground allspice

    A few good dashes of Salt

    A couple of twists of pepper

    Shake of chilli flakes

    A palm full of dessicated coconut (optional)

    Coconut oil

    Eggs (however many you fancy)


    Heat a skillet to low-medium and add good-sized dollop of coconut oil. Chop onion/shallots. Crush and mince garlic. Add both to the pan. Add the curry powder, cumin and all spice and allow them to cook for a minute or so, but don’t let them burn. Add in your meat of choice and stir to mix all the ingredients and coat the meat in the spices. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chilli flakes to taste (cayenne if you’re the adventurous type). Add coconut if using. Cook the meat thoroughly. Crack in 2 or 3 eggs (or more) if using and scramble through the cooked meat. Serves one or two.

    I had mine with a big salad of mixed greens, chopped spring onions, cucumber, cherry tomatos and yoghurt for dressing (reminiscent of the salads you get in Indian restaurants) but you can serve this any way you please. Heck, eat the whole pound yourself if you’re hungry.

  6. Bobby on May 18, 2011 at 15:35

    Richard do you use a curry powder or paste for your curry dishes?

  7. HeMan on May 18, 2011 at 16:44

    I call ground meat with veggies (various styles): human chow.

    Fast, easy, filling, cheap and tasty? No wonders I “invented” chow back in my university days.

  8. keithallenlaw on May 18, 2011 at 18:44

    Damn this looks awesome. Wish I had time to prepare this. I get home late from pulling appliances around all day, and by the time I get home at 8pm, I’m ready to chew the skillet in half. I usually end up eating about 2lbs of ground sirloin burger with a reduction of fat and some cream to make a sauce, and five eggs every night. I’m just afraid of eating to late I suppose, and I’m just real fucking hungry. My appetite has really increased after taking this job of moving heavy ass appliances up and down stairs. I still manage to lift heavy weights on the weekend. Damn I love eating flesh and picking up heavy shit!

    Will save this recipe and try it some weekend. I want to use lamb though. Thanks for the post Richard, on what looks like a mouth watering feast. Later.

  9. Wylie on May 18, 2011 at 19:15

    Nice one. I do a big batch following the same principles every sunday night and use it for a quick breakfast / snacks for the next few days. There are so many variations you can do to keep it interesting.

  10. mehitabel on May 18, 2011 at 19:55

    Only recently came across the English expression — it’s a dog’s breakfast — meaning something totally screwed up. It possibly came from cooks creating an inedible concoction which would turn out to be only fit for the dog.

  11. Chris Sturdy on May 18, 2011 at 21:06

    I must make something like this while I am a temporary bachelor this weekend…time to pull the ground beef out of the freezer!

  12. Eric Lepine on May 19, 2011 at 05:08

    I like, I like… funny that you mentioned trying a curry with leftover potroast and the latter pieces coming out tough. I’ve had the same thing happen to me last week. Not sure if it was my method, or the cut of roast but I was hungry, so I persevered ;)

  13. Matt on May 19, 2011 at 05:38

    boo on wasting food. Even my paleo failures get choked down!

    • Ray S on May 20, 2011 at 12:35

      Yeah, I don’t really get the wasting-food thing, either. Unless it’s godawful, I guess.

  14. Anivair on May 19, 2011 at 06:54

    I love this stuff. When I make my palep hamburger helper I use a peeler to make noodles out of carrots and squash. great stuff.

  15. Chris on May 19, 2011 at 09:43

    This makes my “one lb grass fed ground beef simmered with a bag of stir fry vegetables” seem pathetic in comparison. At least I have some better ideas for the next week’s batch!

  16. Ron on May 19, 2011 at 18:18

    Damn it, Nikoley… you rock! I just got done wolfing down a huge helping of this stuff. Wifey did a great job preparing it. Outstanding! Betty Crocker can kiss my skinny, but well-defined paleo ass! Thanks for posting this.

  17. rho on May 22, 2011 at 07:02

    Thanks for this super-easy dish. Tried it Friday night when I was too tired to cook–with the way I eat now, I hate getting takeout more than I hate cooking while tired. Will be adding it to the regular rotation here. Usually I read your blog for entertainment and to feel supported in making my way against the mainstream, but this time you made my life better in a concrete way.

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