WHAT IS GROUND BEEF?
Also known as minced, ground beef is made from the tougher and less desirable cuts of meat. Favoring mostly lean skeletal muscles like flank, fat is added to bring the mix up to 20%. While popular because it’s both cheap and quick to cook, the lower the fat content the less flavor it’ll have. Typically an 80% meat 20% fat is sold by most supermarkets for use in hamburgers. However in the States there are 3 grades of meat used for grinding. Prime comes from the best young and well fed cows. This is followed by choice and then select. While most countries follow the U.S. grading model, Europe, Australia and Japan are slightly different. A common European complaint is that U.S. uses hormone in meat production. And in Japan, their emphasis on marbling means that their system has 7 levels of classification above the USDA Prime designation.
WHICH CUT ON A COW IS USED FOR GROUND BEEF?
Usually round, chuck and sirloin trimmings are used as the basis for ground beef. Fat is added to bring the meat to fat ratio up to supermarket ratios. However in Europe dairy and meat cattle herds are not kept separate prior to slaughter like in the States. To see a recipe to make this at home click here!
WHAT IS PINK SLIME?
It consists of beef trimmings that have been treated with ammonia. As a result this gives the meat its’ fine texture or “slime” appearance. The anti-microbial process is used to kill harmful bacteria. Unlike with whole cuts of meat where dangerous bacteria is limited to the surface, the act of grinding allows potential contamination through all of the meat. However pink slime also allows the least desirable and cheapest fillings to be used as filler for more expensive meats. As a result these meats become more profitable for the butcher and more affordable for the consumer.
HOW LONG DO I COOK GROUND BEEF FOR?
|HOW LONG DO I COOK GROUND BEEF FOR IT TO BE:|
|Medium-Rare||135 F / 57 C|
|Medium||140 F / 60 C|
|Medium-Well||150 F / 66 C|
|Well Done||160 F / 71 C|
Note: Because of the ease of bacterial contamination due to the grinding process, only well done is recommended for any recipes using ground meat. Lower temperatures are possible but are more risky. Subsequently they require longer “hold” times before serving.