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Quick meals from ground beef

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    Quick meals from ground beef

    I usually have ground beef in the freezer in one-pound bags, onions and garlic in the fridge, dried spices in the kitchen, and a variety of canned tomato products in the pantry. If I need to throw together a quick meal I often turn to a basic template for chili or pasta sauce:

    Olive oil
    Spices:
    For Chili: 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder (ancho or New Mexico for me),1 to 2 tablespoons comino (cumin)
    For Pasta Sauce: 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, some fresh or died rosemary if you wish. You can just use Italian Seasoning, of course.
    1/2 medium onion, diced
    1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (About 1 teaspoon of dried garlic powder may be substituted if necessary, or use a mixture of fresh and dried.)
    1 pound ground beef
    Salt, to taste (about 1 to 2 teaspoons usually works for me)
    Tomato Products:
    1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
    1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or petite diced tomatoes (For chili, I use Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chilies)
    1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth**

    Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking and bloom the spices.*

    Add the onion and fresh garlic (Dried garlic should be bloomed with the other spices) and sauté briefly.

    Add the ground beef. Break it up with a spoon or spatula. Add salt and mix into the ground meat and continue to cook. While there is still some pink in the meat, add the tomato paste and mix well. Allow the meat mixture to simmer in the tomato paste for a minute or two.

    Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with their juice), and broth. Stir well. I usually make this in a skillet which won't quite hold all of the liquid. So, I add any excess broth gradually, as the mixture is simmering (next step).**

    Bring the mixture to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) and gently simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    *How to bloom ground spices: First, you need to mix them with a little of the liquid from your recipe—vinegar, water, stock, wine, whatever—to make a thick paste. The moisture in the spice paste helps keep the ground spices from burning when you put the paste in the hot oil. Then you cook the paste until all the liquid evaporates. You can tell it’s time to stop cooking when the oil starts to separate from the spices. ( https://www.finecooking.com/article/...your%20recipe. )

    **If you don't keep beef broth around, you can substitute two cups of water and two bouillon cubes. If space in the cooking vessel is tight, as mine is, you can just add one cup of water but still add two bouillon cubes. Add more water to the mixture as it simmers, as you see fit. If using the bouillon method, you may need to cut the salt used in seasoning the ground beef.
    Last edited by gcdmd; June 22, 2020, 03:18 PM.

    #2
    You forgot the 2-3 cans of pinto beans in the chili.....

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    • gcdmd
      gcdmd commented
      Editing a comment
      Continued from previous comment:

      Chili peppers are, of course, seasonings. There may be some wiggle room for onions with the purists.
      Last edited by gcdmd; June 22, 2020, 03:08 PM.

    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Nah, I make beans or I make chili. No purist here so tomatoes, onions and fresh peppers go into the chili pot, but I will never, under penalty of death, ever put butternut squash in either dish!

    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh hell no .....................

    #3
    I edited the original post to include the following at the end:

    If you don't keep beef broth around, you can substitute two cups of water and two bouillon cubes. If space in the cooking vessel is tight, as mine is, you can just add one cup of water but still add two bouillon cubes. Add more water to the mixture as it simmers, as you see fit. If using the bouillon method, you may need to cut the salt used in seasoning the ground beef.
    Last edited by gcdmd; June 22, 2020, 03:42 PM.

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    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      I also keep a jar of Better Than Bouillon in the fridge for those times when I need some broth. Beef and chicken flavor. Stuff is actually pretty good.

    #4
    gcdmd Your recipe looks pretty good, convenient and easy to put together. Will be giving it a try.

    One thing I had been doing, and need to re-engage in, is fixing 2 or 3 briskets at the same time. I rough chop or mince the flats and vacuum pack portions to use in place of ground beef. It’s great for chili and many more applications. Downside is of course, freezer space, dealing with vacuum packs, and 3 briskets in the smoker at the same time, but it’s truly worth it. I recommend adding some au jus in the vacuum pack bags to add that brisket umami, when reincorporating it into a recipe.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Cheers,
    Ricardo

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    • gcdmd
      gcdmd commented
      Editing a comment
      You're welcome.

    #5
    When in doubt - taco meat

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      #6
      I really enjoyed this article.

      Comment


      • gcdmd
        gcdmd commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you.

        I could also have called it "Express Lane Meals with Ground Beef and Tomato Product."

        On your way home from work or school you could stop at the grocery store and get all the ingredients plus a salad kit and a loaf of bread or a package of tortillas in your hand basket and go through the express lane.

      #7
      Ground beef is so easy to cook with — you just brown it up, add in your favorite seasonings, and it’s good to go. The hard part is coming up with inspiration for what to make with it for dinner. You could make meatloaf, meatballs, and tacos, but that can get so boring after a while, right? No longer. We’ve got so many ground beef recipes here for endless dinner inspo. From an easy fall dinner to the perfect summer recipe to throw on the grill, we have the recipes for you.

      Feeling Italian? Try stuffed shells, spicy meatballs, or the best pasta sauce you’ve ever tried. What about Tex-Mex? We have taco salads, loaded nachos, and even a Tex-Mex pizza. Want the Mediterranean? We have recipes for beef gyros, loaded hummus, and even Greek ziti. Plus there’s Asian dumplings and Gochujang-glazed meatloaf. And that’s not even mentioning the Mongolian meatballs, the Irish stout pie, or the homemade empanadas.

      Whether you're in the mood for a simple ground beef recipe or looking to jazz up your average weeknight dinner with a little bit of spice, we've gathered our favorite meals for inspiration on what to do with this very versatile protein.

      You shall always follow guidelines and reviews of the best gooseneck kettles for all coffee and tea enthusiasts who want only the most delicious coffee and tea.
      Last edited by Justin Black; July 15, 2020, 08:13 AM.

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