Loco for Loco Moco
Every now and then I eat something where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Do I like rice, ground beef, egg, and gravy? Of course, but I can’t ever imagine going crazy over them individually, or a combination of some kind.
The first time I heard about loco moco (a mound of rice, topped with a ground beef patty and fried egg, which is smothered in gravy) I was rather underwhelmed. It sounded okay, but nothing I would go out of the way to try and something I didn’t see myself make. Then someone I went to brunch with ordered it and I fell head over heels in love with the dish. Runny egg yolk, rich beef gravy, starchy rice, and a seared beef patty are the perfect marriage. And it’s something that can be enjoyed any time of the day at either breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner.
When it comes to Loco Moco there are so many variations. One of my favorite local restaurants makes an exceptional version with the addition of Portuguese sausage, grits, and pineapple. Other establishments use fried rice instead of white rice and every now and then I come across a chunky, creamy sausage gravy instead of a broth based beef gravy. Are these variations all delicious? Yes, but there’s something about the original that I prefer, which is why I like to make mine as basic as possible.
Serves 2, recipe can easily be doubled or tripled
- 1/2 cup white rice (brown rice is an alternative, but it’s just not the same)
- 2/3 lb ground beef
- 1 shallot
- 2 cups beef stock or broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
Cook rice per package instructions.
Approximately 15 minutes before rice is done, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (a cast iron skillet is perfect for this). Form ground beef into two patties. Season the outside liberally with salt and pepper. Once the pan is very, very hot, add the beef patties and cook 3-4 minutes then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan. Turn down the burner heat to medium. Add butter to the same skillet and add finely minced shallot and cook for a few minutes just until softened. Add flour and cook for 2 more minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add broth, stir, and continue to cook until thickened.
Meanwhile in another pan, fry eggs (you could poach them if you were so inclined). I like my eggs nice and runny.
To assemble dish, place a scoop of rice in a wide bowl, top with a beef patty, fried egg, and pour in gravy. Garnish with chopped scallions.