Ground Meat, The Superior Meal

Occasionally - but only occasionally - we get a question about the amount of ground meat included in a given monthly box, whether that be beef or pork. We suspect the unmentioned inquiry is based on a feeling that ground meat is ‘cheap meat’ and so we must be loading our boxes with ‘the cheap stuff’ instead of steaks, roasts and pork chops. So let’s put the issue on the table and talk it out. We hope the following puts it all in perspective for you.

Perhaps the most compelling question for the customer is where does ground meat come from? Another way of saying “isn’t it cheap because it is made from the poor portion of the beeve or porker?”

First and foremost, ours doesn’t come from worn out, drug and hormone infested cows headed for Burger King’s griddle. And it is not shipped and handled in 3 different plants 5 different times, each handling adding to the risk of food poison. Ditto our ground pork. Those are big differences, folks, and gives 1 of the many reasons why our ground is prime stuff.

Meat that will be ground from our beeves comes from all of the prime sections of the beef or pork; it may be from the traditional steak portions (rib and loins), or the chuck (shoulder) or the round (hips) or the ribs. So when the butcher is cutting steaks and he gets to the end of the rib section and there is ribeye meat left that is too small to form a steak, he moves that remainder to the meat grinder. Ditto the round or the shoulder, or in the case of pork, the hams, chops or Boston Butts. Include in these categories meat that is too close to the bone to form a cut. It too is trimmed and set aside for grinding. In short, the ground is not cheap at all, but every bit as prime as any of the standard cuts.

The superior nutritional qualities of ground meat actually makes it a first choice for your diet. How is that? Because the butcher also combines the superior fat of our animals with the protein to be found in ‘the lean’ or muscle of the animal. We all talk about the benefits of Omega 3's and conjugated linoleic acids in grass-fed, free range meats. Guess what - those superior nutrients are only found in the fat of the animal, and that fat is most prominent in our ground meats. So you eat a steak one week and you get the superior proteins but very little fat. The next week you eat a ground steak and get a proper dose of Omega 3s and CLAs. But if you were to eat only one cut from the beef or pork, the ground meats are probably your best choice because you are getting the best blend of proteins, fats, and the valuable anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals in one package.

Our last but not least reason for choosing the ground meats - flexibility in the kitchen. Because of the many ways you can cook ground beef, most of them quick and easy, Honi and I choose ground meat for dinner more than any other cuts. It takes no time to form it into a chopped steak, fry it in the skillet and eat it as is...or put it on a hamburger bun all dressed up...or smother it in onions...or break it up and cover it in Paul Newman’s spaghetti sauce served over pasta...or a meat loaf or meatballs...or add vegetables and broth for a delicious soup. The list seems endless  All of this is true for ground pork as well as beef. The pork is fabulous in any of these cooked forms - or you can do a half and half beef and pork for another change of taste.

So there you have it. Ground meat should be your first choice among meats.   It truly is the best choice - when it comes from Jolie Vue Farms.