Getting the Most From Your Ground Beef
Ground beef, or hamburger meat, is finely ground beef chopped by a meat grinder. It is a common staple in many homes because it is an easy food to work with and use in a variety of recipes, from simple hamburgers to chili.
Here you will find how to buy this meat, what its nutritional value is, and how to make two recipes using it.
The Basics of Buying Beef
Buying ground beef doesn't have to be difficult. You're basically going to be looking for two things: the amount of beef and the fat content.
Quantity: The amount of beef depends on what recipe you will be making. If you're not sure about a recipe, you can buy any amount and freeze what you don't use. Whatever you buy should be used or frozen within 2 to 3 days.
Fat Content: There are a few different levels of fat content that you can find: 90/10, 85/15, and 80/20 are a few that you may see most often. 90/10 means that there is 10% fat in the meat, and 85/15% means there is 15% fat in the beef. If you are watching your fat intake, choose 90/10. If you'd like more flavor and texture, buy the 80/20.
About.com has a great article with further info on this meat if you're interested.
1. Easy Burrito Recipe
My kids are in their picky eating stages, so I try not to make my meals too complicated. This recipe is great for kids who are picky about their food. You can choose the kind of salsa—chunky or smooth—to use, plus you can add whatever extras you'd like for the adults.
For this recipe, I used two different flavored tortilla wraps: sundried tomato and spinach. They added extra yummy flavors to the burritos!
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Serves a family of four two burritos each
- 1 pound ground beef, Angus ground chuck, 80/20
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons taco sauce, mild
- 1 cup shredded cheese, Mexican blend
- 1/2 cup salsa, chunky or smooth
- tortillas, large
- hot sauce (optional)
- Brown the ground beef. As it turns brown, add chopped onions. Drain when onions are tender.
- Add in cheese, taco sauce, and salsa. Stir until the cheese is melted.
- On a skillet or a flat grill, place tortilla shells. Let them sit for about 30 seconds to crisp.
- Spoon some of the burrito mixture onto the tortilla shells. Fold. In the seam, place a little shredded cheese to seal. Heat for about a minute.
- Serve hot.
- Spanish rice
- Guacamole salad
- Refried beans
- Salsa and chips
- Corn, or corn on the cob
- Fruit salsa
2. Easy Chili Recipe
This is my husband's super-easy chili recipe. He throws it together in less than 30 minutes and cooks it for less than an hour. It's great for cool nights in the fall and winter when you want a warm meal that's easy to make.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 2 to 3 medium chopped peppers, red, green, or jalapeño
- chili powder, to taste
- hot sauce, to taste, for added spiciness
- salt (optional)
- pepper (optional)
- sour cream for topping (optional)
- crackers for topping (optional)
For Spicy Chili
If you like spicy chili, add some hot sauce and use some jalapeño peppers. Be easy on the extra hot flavors, though! You want to still be able to enjoy the chili without burning your taste buds away.
- Brown the ground beef. Drain.
- In a pot, add all of the ingredients and stir gently.
- Simmer for close to an hour. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and some crackers, if desired.
How much easier can you get?
Variation: Chocolate Chili
For a different taste, try adding some semi-sweet chocolate. It doesn't overpower the other chili flavors, but it does enhance the flavors of the chili quite well. When my husband adds chocolate, he uses about 2 to 3 ounces of a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar.
What Should You Do With Leftovers?
If you're looking for ways to reinvent your chili leftovers, I've got to solution for you: stuffed bell peppers filled with chili!