Ground beef or minced beef is meat that is produced from finely chopping fresh or frozen beef with a knife or grounding machine. You may add some spices and seasoning but the addition of water, extenders, and binders is discouraged by the United States Department of Agriculture – Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA – FSIS). Although hamburgers or burger patties are often interchanged with ground beef, burger patties are different because they contain more fat and are often mixed with binders and extenders.
Americans widely consume ground beef as it is a common ingredient for hamburger patties, bologna sauces, chili con carne, meatballs, and meat pies.
Ground Beef Trivia
- Ground beef is the most widely consumed meat by Americans.
- In Texas, they go big or go home! Arnolds Burger made a whopping 24-inch burger that could feed 20-30 people. This mammoth masterpiece contains twenty pounds (20 lbs) of raw meat, pressed until it reaches half an inch and is 2 ft across. 40 slices of cheese are added and the burger is lifted using a pizza spatula. The burger is then cut up like a cake for easy serving.
Ground Beef Buying Guide
There are different mixtures of ground beef depending on the cut and the lean-fat content ratio. You can always buy ground beef at your local markets, grocery stores, butcher shops, and artisan producers. You also have the option to customize and mix different meat cuts and portions to suit your taste and other dietary requirements.
Regular Ground Beef or just ground beef is a regular term for finely chopped meat. It can be a mix of shank and brisket and has 20-30% fat content. It has a flavorful mouthfeel but it can be greasy and the irregularities of the mix can affect the flavor profile. Regular Ground Beef is the most popular and most affordable meat.
Ground Sirloin is the leanest and most sought after among all the cuts. Derived from the back and near the cow’s hips. Ground sirloin is a lump of very flavorful meat. It’s great in hamburgers but because it tends to be dry, it must be mixed with a fattier cut to give it a meatier mouthfeel.
Ground Round is derived from the cow’s back and rump. It is considered an extra-lean cut with only 10-14% fat content. It is less flavorful but can be a primary ingredient in meat sauces and stews. Health-conscious meat-eaters would prefer ground round because it’s more concentrated in protein.
Ground Chuck is the best option for hamburger patties Also called “lean ground beef,” this shoulder meat contains 20% fat, just the right amount to moisten your patties without making them greasy and suffocating
Ground Beef Production & Farming in Texas
Cattle farming has always been big in Texas. The Lone Star State holds 13% of all the cattle in the US. There are more cattle than people and it has the 14th largest inventory in the world. grasslands in Texas provide nutrition to the cows. Ground beef from free-range, organic, and pasture-raised cows are available in all supermarkets, groceries, butcher shops, and smaller artisan producers.
Although some consumers worry about a shortage in meat supplies, Texans don’t have to be concerned about that issue as there are more cattle than people in Texas. Consumers don’t have to buy from grocery stores. They can just contact the meat suppliers and directly purchase ground beef sold at wholesale prices.
Ground beef is a universal staple. It can be found anywhere in the world as long as there are cows and farmers. Americans have a huge appetite for ground beef mainly because it is popularly served as hamburgers. Generally, ground beef is an inexpensive and filling meal.
Enjoying Ground Beef
Using ground beef for recipes is cost-effective as it always provides filling meals. Ground beef can be eaten all year long in different recipes. It’s always a delicious and nutritious crowd-pleasing meal. Potluck dinners or feeding a crowd would be easier with the classic ground beef dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, mini burger sandwiches, or your hotdog with a ground beef chili sauce.
Just like any raw meat, ground beef should be refrigerated at 4.4°C or 40°F for 1-2 days to keep it fresh. Store in its original container at the lowest shelf to prevent any dripping juices from contaminating other contents. You can also put it in an airtight container to avoid the beef smell from wafting in your fridge.
Cooked ground beef should be cooled at room temperature and refrigerated two hours after the cooking process. Any cooked ground beef and burger patties should be stored in an airtight container, frozen, and should be consumed within 2-3 days.
Ground beef can be used to make burger patties or meatballs and is the main component of sauces such as ragu and the ground beef meat chili sauce. It’s great as an appetizer, snack, or main dish. You can also mix ground vegetables, sauces, spices, and other natural flavor boosters to elevate your ground beef; although it’s best to keep it plain and juicy.
Eating ground beef in moderation can provide you with different nutrients and minerals.
Iron: Ground beef is rich in Iron which is quickly absorbed in your body. A decrease in iron can lead to anemia which results in bouts of tiredness and weakening of the muscles. The heme iron produced by beef is easily soaked up in the system. Studies also show that the iron in beef is more potent and effective than the iron supplement tablets.
Niacin: Vitamin B3 or Niacin lowers the risk of heart diseases by reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), increasing good cholesterol (HDL), and regulating triglyceride levels.
Vitamin B6: This is essential for metabolizing your energy and is important for circulation and blood formation.
Zinc: Ground beef is rich in Zinc and is great for the growth, maintenance, and repair of your cells.
Taurine: The taurine found in meat acts as both antioxidants and amino acids which are essential for circulatory and muscular performance.