The One About Ground Beef

Ground beef offers quick, easy and delicious options for any meal and for any occasion. We love it for it's versatility, ease of cooking, and major nutritional value. Ground beef provides 10 essential nutrients including protein, zinc, iron and many B vitamins. This high nutritional value, combined with it's texture and small crumble size, ground beef is an ideal food to give to small children or elderly adults.

It can be grilled, baked, broiled, braised or fried in the skillet. Ground beef is truly a jack of all trades! Some of our very favorite ground beef recipes can be found here.

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Here at Oak Meadow Meats, we grind our ground beef in house, from whole muscle cuts. This gives the meat a rich flavor and dependably consistency.

Traditionally, this cut comes in a range of lean to fat ratios:

70% LEAN

Ground Beef that is not less than 70% lean (usually a 73/27 or 75/25 lean-to-fat ratio) is used for burgers and in recipes calling for browning (crumbles) and pouring off drippings, such as chili, tacos and spaghetti sauce. When properly cooked, it is moist and juicy.

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80-85% LEAN

A mid-range lean-to-fat ratio is a nice option for dishes like meatloaf and meatballs, where you’ll be forming a ball or loaf, but you’ll be cooking in a pan or skillet. In addition, 80-85% lean is perfect for making delicious burgers! This ratio is also good to use when draining fat won't be an issue. When properly cooked, it is moist and juicy and has a slightly firm texture.

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93% LEAN

Ground Beef that is 93% lean or leaner meets government guidelines for “lean.” If you’re trying to choose lean meats, this is an excellent choice for you. It works well in dishes that require crumbles, like meat sauce, tacos, stuffed peppers or casseroles where draining fat might be difficult.

We carry 85% and 93% lean ground beef. In our experience, they are the two most versatile and desirable.

A meat thermometer is the BEST way to check beef’s temperature. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness. Cooking ground beef to 160F will protect your family against food borne illness, and is especially important when preparing for young children, elderly adults or those with compromised immune systems.

What’s your favorite way to use ground beef? Any cooking or storage hacks we should know about?

How many pounds do I need?!

Whether you're hosting extended relatives or gathering a few close friends, you're likely going to be serving a protein based main dish. A question we get time and time again is "how many pounds of xyz should I buy?" ... and I get it! It feels impossible to estimate how much your guests will eat, and in turn, how much meat to purchase for your meal.

The two most popular products we carry for the holiday season are double smoked, bone-in hams and boneless, USDA Choice prime rib roasts. So, while I'll talk specifically to those products today, these tips can carry over to many different cuts of meat.

First and foremost, there are a few numbers you'll need to nail down:

  • How many guests will you have?

  • How many guests are children or elderly?

  • How many guests are teenagers? 😂

If many guests are children or elderly, you can scale the estimate back a bit. BUT if they're teenagers, I'd bump it up. Do you know the kind of damage a 16 year old boy can do to a prime rib? It ain't pretty.

We typically recommend 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per person for hams or prime rib roast. Then, add a couple extra pounds for good measure.

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Generally, I tell customers to err on the high side. This way, if another guest decides to come, you'll be well prepared for them. And who doesn't love leftovers for the next day's lunch? Especially if you're hosting overnight guests. Ham is delicious in egg bake and prime rib sandwiches are delicious!

As always, reach out to us if you need help. We love to hear from you!

3 Tips for Practical Gift Giving

Each year, so many of us stress over what to buy those on our holiday list. It can be a major headache to shop for people who have everything!

                       

1.    Experience Over Stuff
I don’t know about you, but our closets are BURSTING at the seams. So this holiday season, be considerate of everyone else’s closets! Treat a family to water park fun or movie theater passes. Consider a trip to the zoo with the kids for grandparents. Memories made will last so much longer than the “latest and greatest” toy or gadget.

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2.    Think Consumable
What’s more practical than food or drink gifts?! Specialty food stores are pros at holiday gift giving. And liquor stores will often have gift sets available. And the best part is food and drinks are the most usable gifts you can give. It is so fun for people to open a box of meat and cheese that they normally wouldn’t have purchased for themselves. Or for a family to enjoy delicious steaks together. And you know what makes a busy parent really smile? Coffee. All the coffee.

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3.    When In Doubt …
If your recipient is truly difficult to shop for (and we all have one of those, don’t we …), consider a gift certificate. Gift certificates to big box stores and online giants can seem a little insincere, but local restaurants and shops send a warmer vibe. The feelings experienced from browsing a local boutique, picking out something delicious at your favorite meat market, or eating a special meal at a restaurant in town are hard to replicate. And we’ve all seen those posters that describe how dollars spent in locally owned businesses benefit families and the neighborhoods in which they do business; ultimately spreading holiday cheer in the communities that we live.

 

Ultimately, holiday gifts should be fun and exciting, and really make the recipient feel appreciated!