“I don’t eat red meat,” is the go-to line for many people who believe that avoiding the red stuff is going to make them healthier. Sure, red meat isn’t great for you in abundance, but it’s not so bad for you that you shouldn’t eat it. Of course, if your beliefs are that you shouldn’t eat any animals or their products, that’s different and this entire piece is going to be pointless for you. However, if you are a meat eater but you tend to avoid the red stuff – such as ground beef – because you think it’s too unhealthy, think again.
Sure, a diet without ground beef is healthy. But missing out on things you love because you think that it’s better for you is going to deprive you. What you need to do is take a few minutes to consider how you can still eat ground beef recipes on occasion by making better choices and healthier additions to each meal. What we’ve done is go through a few expert chef opinions and directions and choose some tips that will help you choose the best type of ground beef so that you can maximize both health and flavor when you make ground beef recipes.
Buying Ground Beef
When it comes to buying ground beef for any recipe, you have to be careful that you choose the right products. For example, you cannot just go into the supermarket and choose ground beef based on the price. Did you know that the price is a pretty good indicator of the quality of the meat you’re buying? That’s right. The cheaper the price, the less amazing the meat. This is not always true, of course. Sometimes there are sales or deals that are on better quality beefs, but most of the time this is the truth to the rule.
If you’re looking for a low fat meat, you want to pay more money. The more expensive beef if the healthier beef, and it’s going to be what makes your meals healthier, less greasy and better tasting as a whole – even if you’re going with something simple such as tacos or spaghetti.
Expert chefs do recommend that you choose a ground beef with something called an 85/15 split. This beef is far less fatty than other types, and it’s still moist enough to be good with any recipe. Health addicts will tell you to choose the 90/10 split, but many chefs find that this is a type of ground beef that provides you with a very dry meal with fewer flavors and less taste. It’s far better to choose the slightly fattier meat and go with flavorful recipes.
Additionally, you’ll want to look more carefully at the leaner ground beef choices. These tend to have less fat but still have plenty of taste, so you get the best of both worlds.
Drain the Fat
When browning your meat, you have to drain the fat. It’s the best way to get the most taste and up the health content a bit. However, do not – ever – pour the fat of your ground beef down your drain. It’s deceptively liquid-like when hot so many people assume that it’s fine to pour down the drain. However, it’s not. Hot fat can cause serious plumbing issues such as a clogged drain that requires the use of a plumber, an expensive tab and a lot of headache. Pour it into a bowl, wait for it to harden and then throw it away in the trash can so as not to clog your kitchen sink.
Storing Ground Beef
Some ground beef recipes call for very little beef, which might require that you save part of the package you’re using. The best way to store this beef is to double wrap it in saran wrap and place it in the freezer. An added layer of foil is not going to hurt.
All ground beef should either be placed in the fridge and used within two days of purchase, or it should be wrapped securely and placed in the freezer. Most ground beef is only good for about four months in the freezer, so be sure to carefully label each wrapped container you place in the freezer for future use. The taste and health of the beef you freeze begins to deteriorate rapidly around the 4 month mark, and you’ll want to either throw it away at this point or quickly use it before it gets to that point.
This suggestion is not for everyone, but it’s something my family loves. Instead of using ground beef in our recipes, we’ve taken to using ground turkey. We find it just as flavorful, a bit lighter and just as easy to work with. Instead of hamburgers, we use turkey burgers. Turkey tacos and spaghetti sauce are always amazing. In fact, we have friends and family that frequent our home for dinner and rave about the taste of my husband’s spaghetti meat sauce, and telling them that it’s nothing special – just turkey – usually ends up met with shock. Even those who say, “I’m not eating ground turkey. I’m a man’s man, and I like beef,” (or something less barbaric but still to that effect) end up loving the ground turkey.
It might not be something you use regularly, but on occasion it’s a great solution for the meals you want to add a bit of flavor to, make a bit healthier and also make more delicious. Additionally, it’s a perfect substitution for those people who still want ground beef recipes but don’t eat red meat.
These tips, tricks and general rules are going to help improve all of your ground beef recipes – and your plumbing. They’re not difficult, they’re informative and they’re very simple for anyone to consider, which is what makes cooking simple, effective and delicious. You needn’t be an expert chef to make a good taco or spaghetti, but it does help to have the opinions and advice of those professional chefs to ensure your meals are the best.
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