How to Wow With Ground Beef

Ground beef is a staple in many American homes, thanks to its diversity in a multitude of recipes and its relatively low cost compared to other cuts of meat. The meat itself comes from “trim” that is removed from all over the animal but is only composed of lean and fat. It does not contain sinew, gristle, skin, etc. We at Foothills Meats aim for a ratio of 70% lean and 30% fat to better bind the beef and provide that juicy, melt in the mouth flavor of a really memorable ground beef dish.

Ingredients for the Perfect Basic Hamburger

The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity. It goes well with any topping your imagination can conjure for a burger. To spice it up a little, consider Italian breadcrumbs instead of plain, add ½ tsp of chili powder before shaping into patties, or choose zestier toppings, such as chipotle mayo or even pesto.

  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef (from pasture raised cows)
  • ½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
 photo by Sarah Nix

photo by Sarah Nix

Preparation

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. A light coating of oil on the grate wouldn’t go amiss.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, salt, and pepper. Place ground beef and bread crumbs into the egg mixture, and using hands or fork, combine until thoroughly mixed. Shape into four ¾ inch thick patties. Place on preheated grill, cover, and cook 6-8 minutes on each side to desired level of doneness.

Top with all your favorite hamburger toppings and humbly accept the compliments you’re sure to receive. Total time, 35 minutes.

BakedZiti.jpg

 

Ingredients for the Perfect Baked Ziti

Want to make your pound of ground beef stretch further or bring a covered dish to your neighborhood potluck? Here’s a baked ziti recipe people will be asking for.

  • 1 lb ground beef (from pasture raised cows)
  • 1 lb dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 (26oz) jars of spaghetti sauce
  • 6 oz provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the ziti pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with pasture-raised butter and layer.

First layer: half of the ziti pasta, provolone cheese, sour cream, and half of the ground beef mixture.

Second layer: remainder of ziti pasta, mozzarella cheese, and remainder of ground beef mixture. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cheeses are nicely melted. Your family and friends will thoroughly enjoy this simple but flavorful dish and demand the recipe. Total time, 55 minutes.