Flavor! Speed! Versatility! That’s what I love about ground beef, and I never seem to go wrong when I cook it, even for last-minute on-the-fly meals.
One of my favorite super-simple recipe for showing off ground beef’s best attributes is Lebanese-Style Grass Fed Ground Beef Kabobs opens in a new tab. Combining the meat with just onion, parsley, and five spice-cabinet standards gives you a terrifically tasty but slightly unexpected entrée. Better yet, you can have it on the table in about 20 minutes if you use a gas grill or grill pan. You could also easily broil the kebabs instead of grilling them, or, if you prefer, you can make patties and pan-sear them.
What makes it so foolproof? First off since it’s ground you’ll get tender results without even trying (unless you drastically overcook it, so don’t). Grinding also makes it quick and easy to mix with seasonings and other ingredients — you can even use your hands. Just remember to use a light touch as compacting the beef too much can make it dense.
Secondly, it’s full of umami — the taste that’s by definition beefy and meaty and makes your dishes naturally satisfying. Its high umami factor also means you can use it to heighten the appeal of other ingredients around it, like beans in chili, or grains in a burger.
And lastly it just loves to be spiced up — you can mix it with flavors from countless cuisines. The synergy of beef and seasonings is pretty remarkable, and it’s something that’s easy to harness for weeknight meals.
More Quick and Easy Recipes
How about other great options for over-the-top flavor in 30 minutes or less? You can’t beat Grass-Fed Beef and Couscous Lettuce Wraps opens in a new tab, packed with veggies and loaded with mint. And Kimchi Burgers opens in a new tab are an irresistible combo of tastes and textures that will really refresh burger night.
With a little more time you can try Baked Spinach-and-Beef Stuffed Shells opens in a new tab, an excellent example of how even a small amount of beef elevates the ingredients around it.
Storing and Thawing
It’s an inspiring ingredient, you should have on hand. You can refrigerate if for 2 to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months double-wrapped in snug heavy-duty or freezer wrap to keep it from getting freezer burn; thaw it overnight in the fridge for best flavor.
Is ground beef a staple ingredient for your weeknight dinners? Share your favorite recipes in the comments.