Ground beef is one of the more inexpensive meats to buy. It's very versatile and simple to cook with so it's great for a beginning cook as well as anyone who wants to stretch their cooking dollar to feed their family well.
Types of Ground Beef
Ground beef, which is also called hamburger, is ground up portions of the cow. Different cuts of meat may be mixed together to change the fat content or to tenderize the tougher pieces.
- Regular ground beef This contains between 25 percent and 30 percent fat. The beef will shrink in size more than the other types of ground beef due to the higher fat content. This is the least expensive and most flavorful kind of ground beef.
- Ground chuck Taken from the front of the animal, ground chuck contains 15 percent to 20 percent fat. This type of ground beef works in most dishes. It can be labeled LEAN yet it still has a lot of the flavor like the regular ground beef.
- Ground round This selection has about 12 percent fat content. Ground round comes from the back of the animal. It is a good choice to be cooked with vegetables and used in sauces. The flavors and seasonings from the other ingredients will work well with its lower meaty flavor. This is EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF.
- Ground sirloin The leanest form of ground beef is ground sirloin. It contains between 10 percent and 14 percent fat. It's cut from the center section of the animal. Although it's the healthiest ground beef, it is also the driest. This type will also receive a rating of EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF.
When Buying Ground Beef
If purchasing pre-packaged ground beef, it is important to always check the fat content. It is also very important to check the sell-by date on the package. Some grocery stores will treat packaged meats with carbon monoxide and other things to make them appear pink and fresh. Therefore, the safest way to choose the freshest meat is by choosing the latest date.
Many butcher shops and some grocery stores will grind your meat to order. The course ground beef is good for making hamburgers and any other meal that should be juicy and light. Meat that is ground finer will hold together well when forming meatballs or a meatloaf.
Ground beef should be used within two days of purchase. It can be safely stored in a freezer for up to six months.
Recipes for Ground Beef
- There are many resources for finding new recipes for ground beef. One of the best ways to find new recipes is searching through cooking websites and You Tube. A very easy way to begin is to type the words 'Ground Beef Recipes' into your preferred search engine and it will find hundreds of websites.
- One method to finding good recipes is watching the food preparation on You Tube. It will give you an idea of the difficulty level of the recipe. You will be able to determine if it is something you would like to try.
Top 5 Routes for "Ground Beef"
- Wikipedia.org This encyclopedic site offers information about the parts of the animal that go into the making of ground beef. It discusses the ways ground beef can be used in many recipes and offers food safety tips.
- Epicurious.com The people at Epicurious speak from the perspective of culinary experts. The share their knowledge on the basics of ground beef and discuss issues surrounding the bacteria of which the buyer and cook must be aware. This site also shares a few ground beef recipes.
- USDA.gov This site from the United States Department of Agriculture discusses in great detail the ways in which beef is safely handled in this country.
- Encyclopedia.com Many interesting facts are given in this site. It tells a little about the history of the hamburger and fast food restaurants that focus on hamburgers. It also discusses the how the hamburger fits in with globalization.
- StartCooking.com This site gives their ideas on the best ways to buy and store this meat. It also has several examples of ground beef recipes.
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