- Chefs share their favourite things to do with a pound of ground beef.
- Large batch dishes like chilli utilise ground beef and make versatile leftovers.
- Seasoned ground beef can amp up basic dishes like a bowl of rice.
Ground beef can simultaneously be one of the easiest and most intimidating ingredients to pick up at the grocery store. It’s ubiquitous because it’s so easy to use and hard to mess up, but when the options are seemingly endless, how do you use ground beef in new, delicious ways that will keep you excited for dinnertime instead of dreading yet another night of meatloaf leftovers?
We asked chefs what their favourite things to do with a pound of ground beef are to help inspire your next weeknight beef feast.
Ground beef chilli is a great meal all year around.
“I love making chilli – we actually serve it at Sons of Thunder because we love it so much. Our chilli uses grass-fed ground beef and three different kinds of whole dried chilies, cooked down to capture a complex and sweet heat that warms you up during the winter – but don’t let us stop you from eating it in summer, too. You can eat it on its own, over rice or fries, or on a hot dog!” – James Kim, co-owner of Sons of Thunder.
Grilled burgers are classic.
“My favourite thing to do with ground beef is to make burgers! At The Williamsburg Hotel, we use wagyu beef from Snake River Farms to create a juicy beef burger. Simply add a pinch of salt and black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and parsley to the ground beef patty and put it straight on the grill” -Nicolas Caicedo, executive chef at The Williamsburg Hotel.
A “fatty” is a twist on a classic.
“I like to make a fatty with the ground beef. A fatty is a stuffed ground beef loaf, usually wrapped in bacon and cooked on the smoker. Recently I made a pulled pork, roasted poblano, queso fresco stuffed fatty, wrapped it in bacon and as it smoked I basted it with a pineapple serrano glaze. Delicious!”- Rick Gresh, executive chef at Flight Club.
Lettuce wraps are a low-carb treat.
“I like to make Asian lettuce wraps with ground beef. First, I sauté 1lb. of lean ground beef with 1/2 cup diced onions, 1/2 cup diced celery, 1 Tbsp of ginger and 1 Tbsp of garlic in 1 Tbsp of oil until cooked. Then I add a little chopped cilantro and 2 Tbsp of soy sauce and thicken it with a cornstarch and water slurry. This helps to make the sauce thick so it sticks to the lettuce” -Brandon Thordarson, executive chef at Moxie’s Grill & Bar.
“Schmom” Tacos are inspired from childhood.
“These are the best kind of ground beef tacos, like mum used to make. I really caramelize the beef and get it nice and crispy. Drain the fat and add onions, garlic, poblanos diced small and slightly caramelised everything. Then, serve ‘schmommy’ style with sour cream, lettuce, tomato, onion, and hot sauce” – Dan Jacobs, executive chef, and owner of DanDan, EsterEv, and Fauntleroy.
Pastitsio is a rich and delicious dish.
“Jamaican meat pies baked or fried in a turnover pie crust are delicious. Also, I love to make pastitsio – it’s a delicious Greek lasagna dish with pasta and ground beef, topped with cheese and nutmeg” – Chef Joshua Dalton, Veritas.
Amped-up meatballs are a tribute with a classic dish.
“Our meatballs are a tribute to the classic dish Beef Stroganoff. We utilise beef trim from our in-house butcher room to make the meatballs. Once the meatballs are formed they are slow cooked in a gravy similar to Stroganoff that contains chicken stock, sour cream, fresh dill, and parsley. The meatballs are then topped with freshly shredded gouda right before serving.
“The secret to the meatballs themselves is the use of the ingredient Sambal Oelek which is a garlic chilli sauce commonly used in Asian cooking. We add the sauce to our onions while they are sweating to give the meatballs an earthy umami flavour profile”- Executive Chef Andy Pastore, Meat on Ocean.
Spicy ramen with added beef.
“Most people associate ground beef with American dishes like meatballs and burgers, but it’s delicious with Japanese food, too. One of our current favourite ways to use ground beef at JINYA Ramen Bar is in our Spicy Meatball Ramen. Adding meatballs is a great way to upgrade a classic bowl of ramen and create a next-level comfort food dish. Ground beef is also an easy, affordable way to transform instant ramen into a standalone dinner at home. It’s also great over rice. Cook with sake, soy sauce, sugar and Chinese chilli bean sauce and simmer until liquid has evaporated” – Tomo Takahashi, CEO and founder JINYA Ramen Bar.
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