These are a few of my favourite things
Brown paper packages, full of ground beef, these are a few of my favourite things. 🎶 A wee missive on proper ground meat.
We have a mass emulsification problem in our meat supply. We live to emulsify everything. You can hide a multitude of sins in the smeared up, spiced up blob of meat shrink wrapped at the grocery store. For now, let’s leave the horrors of how the animals are raised and what that stuff does to your hot bod aside. We’ve talked about that before and we’ll do it again, but what I want to talk about is ground beef. Why? Because it’s so popular. Because it’s good, fast food. Because it’s delicious and so darn useful. But mostly because the stuff you’re getting may not even compare to the real stuff and you deserve the good stuff, my friend.
If what you see when you open that package is a pink and white smear, more a paste than textured grind, you are eating sub-par ground. If you need eggs or breadcrumbs to hold your beef together, well, that’s not right either. There’s a proper ratio of fat to protein, a way of handling and grinding the meat, and, of course, starting with a properly finished, matured, and aged piece of meat that determines meat deliciousness or meat poopiness. There’s a trend afoot of taking the worst meat from the worst animals and grinding it up. If what you’re eating is a creamed meat paste (puke-o-rama) you are getting shortchanged. Scroll through the pics to see a couple burgers I’m salt frying compared to badly ground beef.
Look for grass fed and finished beef from a local farmer that butchers only properly finished animals with good fat cover. Make sure your butchers properly grind meat so any fat melts into the meat when cooking, it doesn’t float the meat boat in grease. Buy ground beef in opaque packages only. Cling film and shrink wrapped ground, which is even more susceptible to oxidation than other cuts of meat, should be avoided. Lastly, ground beef should be a beautiful, deep red with an earthy, grassy smell, stick together well, and fill your every cell with song and dance.