7 Easy Ground Beef Recipes
It is not surprising that there are many recipes for ground beef. This must be one meat ingredient that you can perennially stock a considerable amount of in your refrigerator and you are never wrong. The recipes abound, and from different cuisines as well. We would give you at least three ground beef recipes here – two Asian ground beef recipes – Chinese and Filipino, that is, and a Middle East version. Plus, more than have ground beef either as a key ingredient or a sub-ingredient.
Why are they called ground beef?
Ground beef is primarily beef meat that is minced, or in other terms, ground. It normally is a collection of trimmings of different parts of cow meat, then ground. However, in time, with many ground beef recipes that call for a special type of cow meat (for a more desirable taste), ground beef is also now labeled as such plus the part of the cow where the meat come from or the type of beef meat it is, like ground round, ground sirloin or ground chuck. Aside from that, ground beef is also supposedly from parts that are closer to the bones and, therefore, without much fat, which on the other hand is necessary as it provides tenderness and juiciness to your dish.
How to buy good ground beef
You can tell when the ground beef you are paying for has more than the recommended amount of fat from the fat’s whitish look against the reddish meaty portion. These, even if they come from the same cow, are supposedly sold cheaper than that of the all-meat type. The not-so-good thing about this is that you would end up with an oily version of your recipe unless this is what you prefer.
One good practice, if you would like to make sure you get the best ground beef, is to ask for the piece or cut that you prefer, and then ask them to ground it for you. You would then be going home happier with your ground beef. This, however, might be pricey.
Ground meat and your health
Yes, ground meat might become a health concern because it belongs to the red meat category and we are advised to take caution in our intake of red meat. Red meat, yes, ground beef, is also high in protein necessary for muscle-building, therefore can still be a part of a healthy diet. It has iron and a good amount of vitamin B-12 as well, which are necessary for the production of new red blood cells. One way to curb red-meat intake and still enjoy the taste of it is ground beef and vegetables. This post will give you that. Another way is to go for the leaner cuts of meat. It is also when meats are processed that they become carriers of stuff dangerous to health. The best to keep in mind when deciding for your health is to choose “lean.”
How much red meat you can take primarily depends on how much calories you take a day. For example, if you take a total of 2,000 calories a day, you re recommended taking about 4 ounces of red meat/day. You would have other sources of protein for your diet, though.
How to cook ground beef
Cooking ground beef takes a lot less time than its chunk counterpart. What could take an hour or more for beef cuts is only between 10-15 minutes with ground beef. There are so many ways to good ground beef as the number of recipes they are used for. What is common and good practice is to put salt almost at the end of cooking, as salt has a tendency to drain the meat, and vegetables for that matter, of their juices making the dish dry to the taste, at the very least.
- It would be faster to brown ground beef if they are first pat-dried with a paper towel.
- It is wise to use less oil when sauteeing ground beef, as the meat will provide enough oil in the cooking process.
- Using a wooden ladle or silicone spatula is best for turning ground beef while cooking; they are also good for scraping the meat and its ingredients from the side of the pan.
- Non-tick pans are similarly best for the same reason.
- Pyrex dishes provide a good presentation and are hygienic.
How to get the best from ground beef recipes
Beef has its own distinct taste, in fact, if you put it side by side with other similar animal meats and ask people to identify the taste, it would most likely be the one identified accurately. Despite that, beef can easily blend with spices and other ingredients you put in the marinating and cooking process. A few tips to get the best out of ground beef:
- Thaw until completely defrosted; beef is best cooked while already at room temperature;
- Pat with a paper towel to rid of oil and fats. It is good to know that the leaner the meat is, the less oil it would produce in the saucepan or casserole. So, if you find that your meat has produced oil, you’re the paper towel becomes your immediate best friend.
- If you are making meatballs or burger patties, dipping your hand in cold water would help in preventing the meat sticking to your hands.
- Make sure the pan or cooking casserole is already heated before putting the meat onto it, however, do not let the pan overheat as the meat might become rubbery. As the meat is already ground, do not overcook. It should take less cooking time than beef chunks and steak cuts.
Use spices appropriately. As I had already mentioned, the distinct taste of beef can become even more flavorful with the other ingredients we cook it with; that includes spices. From my own mom’s kitchen, I knew of some that are basic, and a few that are special from the type of recipe. Here are a few of them:
Onion and garlic
I should have named them differently, however, as they are almost always together in my mom’s cooking, so there you are, let’s simply let them bond all the time. Sauteeing ground beef with garlic and onion brings out the best in the meat. Cut these spices complementing the grainy size of the meat for tastier dishes.
Depending on the dish, the use of black pepper requires either whole or ground. I have not seen any recipe that asks for both. Like beef nilaga asks for whole black peppercorns, while ground beef recipes always ask for ground black pepper.
This spice brings out the taste of beef especially when the recipe has lemon or vinegar in it, like beef humba or Arabian ground beef with vegetables.
Thyme is a good replacement for rosemary as it reacts and functions almost similarly.
This is perfect with past recipes that have ground beef like Beef and Mushroom Lasagna and Lasagna 21.
Other spices that are equally good are sage, marjoram, and oregano.
How to store ground beef
Anything fresh from the market is best used, cooked, consumed the same day. That is the general rule, however, due to lifestyles becoming busy for most and refrigerators and freezers being good at extending the lives of food, people have gained the convenience of buying their consumables for keeping and future use, including wet items as meat.
Divide ground beef into considerable portions and keep them in plastic bags in the freezer. They can keep for 3-4 months. Thaw them before cooking, which is a healthier choice than defrosting them in the microwave oven. When ground beef is thawed, it is advisable to cook them within the next two hours, otherwise, it could invite the growth of bacteria and would then become a cause for health concern. Although it would still be considered safe if ground beef is thawed and in-room temperature for more than two hours, the taste of the dish would change a bit.
Easy ground beef recipes from My Mothers’ Kitchens
My mom’s ground beef recipe which for, my tongue, is the counterpart of Mother M’s ground beef with vegetables. They are almost the same, separated by the use of oyster sauce here and Middle eastern mixed spice in the other. This dish is easy to prepare and cook, and can be eaten over steamed rice or as is! The highlight of this dish apart from the oyster sauce is the shredded cabbage. It replaces rice and I still get the same satisfaction.
I used frozen veggies when I want to cook this quickie way since I almost always have frozen vegetables in the refrigerator. Otherwise, I dice carrots, julienned green beans, add mushrooms, and corn. I sometimes opt for sweet potatoes and zucchini as well. Again, the highlight — oyster sauce and limped shredded cabbage. You’ll never go wrong with this one.
Arabian ground beef with vegetables is another recipe from the kitchen of my mother-in-law. This ground beef with vegetables from the Saudi kitchen that is Mother M’s has the distinct taste of the Saudi local mixed spices they call Bharat and the teasing taste of turmeric. This recipe frequents my kitchen, especially on lazy days, as it is easy to prepare and cook. My hubby loves this; well, why not? I find the aroma of the mixed spice while it darkens with the onions very intriguing. I am sure you would enjoy this dish like we always do!
I know Filipino spaghetti for having hotdogs (frankfurter) in its recipe, however, ground beef is its partner. If you are intrigued, you can visit this recipe from my bestie Tina here.
I called this recipe Lasagna 21 because of the number of ingredients, all fresh ingredients. This is the healthiest pasta dish My Mother’s Kitchens has come up with.
MMK’s other version of lasagna that is simpler than Lasagna 21. But with MMK’s touch, it definitely is not behind.
Lumpiang shanghai is definitely ground beef. Although there are now many variations in cooking fried spring rolls, lumpiang shanghai is mostly meat versus its vegetable partners.