Popular ground beef recipes

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Until everyone learns the technique, put extra napkins on the table. This is probably also the messiest of many ground beef recipes, but the mess is a lot of fun
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Enjoy tasty Mexican ground beef recipes.

Ground beef has been a cooking mainstay for a long time. Especially as we have become more and more health-conscious, leaner grades of ground beef (93/7 or 94/6) have become available in most markets. For more solid nutrition try to use the leanest ground beef you can locate, rubbing the cooking pan with a little olive oil to prevent sticking rather than adding further animal fat by using a fattier grade of ground beef.


Since ground beef prices tend to correlate directly with the lean meat-to-fat ratio, here are two freezable recipes that let you take advantage of big-package sales on lean ground beef. Both recipes thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Lean ground beef can, of course, be frozen in small quantities from a big package without adding any other ingredients. The following ground beef recipes come from a variety of USDA County Extension Program Web sites.


Basic Meat Mix (Uncooked)




c nonfat dry milk
1 cup uncooked quick oats
1 cup tomato juice
cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
tsp. pepper
2 lb. ground beef
2 eggs




  • Mix all ingredients together. Shape into hamburger patties, meatballs or meatloaves


  • Wrap tightly and freeze. Sheets of waxed paper between burgers will make them easier to separate when thawing. You can substitute a cup of beef broth for the tomato juice


  • Add up to a cup of grated carrot, celery and red or green pepper if you'd like. If mixture seems very wet, add cup more quick oats


  • Two eggs will produce more stable results for meatballs and meatloaf. Stir in lightly-beaten eggs thoroughly before shaping. Patties can be cooked as is; coat pan with a little olive oil to prevent sticking


Basic Meat Mix (Pre-Cooked Meat)




2 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 tsp. garlic powder
tsp. pepper
(oil to wipe pan)



  • Brown ground meat and onions in a large skillet or pot, crumbling meat with a fork or spoon.


  • Drain fat, if any, and add remaining ingredients.


  • Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.


  • Divide mixture among three freezer bags, squeeze bags to remove air before sealing. Each bag will contain slightly over two cups of mixture. Defrost meat mixture overnight in refrigerator before using in a recipe.


Remember if your family has health concerns, both of these ground-meat recipes can be used with a mixture of ground beef and ground turkey or chicken or ground turkey or chicken alone. Feel free also to adjust seasonings; remember, however, that some seasonings are intensified by freezing, so you may wish to do this in small steps.

The meat mixtures are more basic procedures than hard-and-fast recipes. Their main purpose is to make your use of ground meat both as economical as possible and convenient.


Tacos or Burritos


The name depends basically on whether you are using crisp tortillas (tacos) or soft ones (burritos). Soft tortillas can be made of corn flour or wheat.



Package of pre-folded taco shells or soft tortillas
Thawed package of cooked ground meat mixture
Package of taco seasoning OR
2 tsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. cumin
cup water




  • Wrap taco shells or tortillas in aluminum foil to heat (350 degrees for 10 minutes)

  • Combine seasonings, water and meat; simmer until it's hot


Accompaniments (any or all):

Shredded lettuce
Grated cheese (mild or medium cheddar)
Chopped tomato
Chopped scallions
Salsa (homemade or from a jar)
Diced avocado
Sour cream


Tacos: Fill shells and serve. 

Burritos: Divide seasoned meat among tortillas, fold up from the bottom then left and right sides. This is commonly known as a diaper fold and its purpose is to keep the filling from falling out. Serve flat and teach everyone the fold after they have loaded up on cheese, sauce and veggies.

Until everyone learns the technique, put extra napkins on the table. This is probably also the messiest of many ground beef recipes, but the mess is a lot of fun.

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