One of the least expensive and most practical meats is ground beef. You can buy it in huge packages and then portion it out for freezing. It is easy to defrost in the microwave or in a sink full of cold water. And it is extremely versatile. You can do more than just tacos and meatloaf with ground beef. There are plenty of easy and inexpensive recipes that call for ground beef. Here are a few that you can incorporate into your menu.
“Cheating” Stroganoff *This is a very fast recipe (takes less than 15 minutes)*
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
1 pkg. dried onion soup (I like to use Lipton’s Beefy Onion for its extra flavor; I also like to pick out half the onions – you can get them all out by using a sifter)
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a skillet over medium heat. Heat almost to boiling (just a few little bubbles popping up) and then dish up over noodles, pasta, or rice.
Cheeseburger Pie *A great favorite with the kids*
1 pound ground beef, NOT browned
½ c. milk
2 minced garlic cloves
½ tsp. oregano (dried)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. chopped onion (should be sweet – I use a little less onion)
Six ounce can sliced olives, drained
½ c. ketchup
1 ½ c. shredded cheese, Monterey Jack or cheddar (I like to add an additional generous handful)
2 tbl. fresh chopped parsley
Mix beef, egg, milk, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a bowl, blending well. Push the mixture evenly in the bottom, as well as up the sides, of a 9-inch pie plate (ungreased). Add layers on top: ketchup, onion, olives, cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees. Sprinkle parsley over the top and serve hot.
“Cheating” Salisbury Steak
1 pound ground beef
2 c. cornflakes
½ c. barbeque sauce
1 tsp. salt
Measure out the 2 c. cornflakes and then crush them until they only take up one cup. Mix in the egg and 1/3 cup of the barbeque sauce (set the rest aside). Add salt and pepper and them mix in the ground beef. Shape into patties, making them about ¾-inch thick and place into an ungreased 13×9 pan. Pour remaining sauce over the patties. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
Porcupine Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce *This one takes a bit longer, and requires more planning. Good for company*
1 pound ground beeg
1/3 c. milk
¼ c. minute rice
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1tbl. instant onion flakes
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
¼ c. cracker crumbs
1 can mushroom soup (cream or regular)
½ c. water
Gently mix beef, rice, salt, pepper, onion, milk, crumbs, and seasoning in a bowl. Make meatballs of about 1 ½ inches. Use a little vegetable or olive oil to brown in a skillet and drain off any grease.
In another bowl, mix together the water and the soup. Pour over the meatballs and move the whole to a casserole cover. Bake for an hour and a half at 324 degrees. These can be served over rice, pasta, noodles, or even potatoes.