There must be at least 10 million different ways to cook ground beef! Here at startcooking.com I have many recipes for the beginner cook using ground beef.
Buying Ground Beef
The first thing you will notice when you go to the meat section of your grocery store is that there are a wide variety of different packages of what all looks like ground beef, but with different prices. In most cases, the pricing is directly related to different levels of fat content. Generally, the lower the fat content, the higher the cost will be per pound. The fat content is indicated by the numbers on the package.
I usually buy what’s called 85/15, which is the ratio of beef — in this case, 85 percent — to fat, which is 15 percent here. This ratio gives me the taste and texture I like when I’m cooking.
Many people who are watching their fat intake purchase ground beef with a 90/10 fat content ratio. I find that ratio to be a bit dry, but each to his own! My trick is to use the 85/15 beef, but drain off the fat after I have browned the beef. Put a small bowl beneath the colander to catch the fat and then throw it away in the trash. DO NOT PUT THE FAT DOWN THE DRAIN as you may end up clogging your pipes!
Storing Ground Beef
You should use or freeze ground beef within 2 days of buying it. Remove the beef from the store packaging and double wrap it in plastic wrap / freezer wrap to protect it from “freezer burn.”
Frozen ground beef should be used within three to four months of purchase. After that, I’d definitely recommend throwing it away!. The US Department of Agriculture guidelines say that even properly frozen food can deteriorate in taste and nutritional value if stored too long in the freezer.
If meat (or bread or even ice cream) has been in the freezer too long, the food gets very dried out and develops white edges. It not only looks awful but the taste and texture will be pretty bad as well.
Another “must” before freezing, is to label and date the package. You’d be amazed at how long unmarked packages take up residence in the freezer!
I also flatten and stack frozen foods. They take up less space plus it’s easier to find things this way.
Frozen Mushroom Gravy, Chicken Gravy, Sweet Potatoes and Pureed Squash and Ground Beef
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