Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Light and Juicy Milk Product, Eggs, Grain Add Moistness to Lean Ground Beef

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Light and Juicy Milk Product, Eggs, Grain Add Moistness to Lean Ground Beef

Article excerpt

Now that grilling season is well upon us, you're sure to be craving a thick, juicy burger. Unfortunately, 80 percent lean ground chuck contains 36 grams of fat in an uncooked 6-ounce patty, the size of most restaurant burgers- and that's before the cheese and mayo. No matter what dish you are preparing, the leanest ground beef is the best for you; unfortunately, it also is dry when cooked well-done, and, just to add insult to injury, the most expensive.

To both increase moisture and stretch the burger, add a little grain for bulk, a milk product for moistness, flavoring ingredients, and egg to hold it together.

We set out to put together a recipe for an all-purpose, super- lean beef mixture that is firm enough when raw to be used for grilled patties or meatballs, yet still moist enough to make a succulent meatloaf.

For the grain, we chose rolled oats. You could use bread or cracker crumbs, but oats have more fiber and better texture. As far as nutrition, par-cooked quinoa would be better yet, but oats struck the balance between nutritious and easy.

Thick Greek yogurt is key for moistness and texture. Buttermilk works well but results in a wetter mixture that is difficult to grill. The yogurt contributes moisture, flavor and tenderizing lactic acid without thinning the mixture.

We chose a simple complement of green onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and a dab of mustard for flavoring. If you wish to add other spices and herbs to complement a particular recipe - dried oregano for meatballs, say - go right ahead. Also feel free to add diced vegetables such as green pepper or mushrooms. Remember, the more veggies you add, the lower the fat content per serving, but too many add-ins will cause the mixture to crumble apart.

Finally, we used organic farm eggs, but if having as little fat as possible is your goal, use fat-free egg substitute.

As written, using 90 percent lean beef, an 8-ounce uncooked portion of our beef mixture (about 6 ounces after cooking) contains 18 grams of fat.

ALL-PURPOSE LEAN GROUND BEEF MIXTURE

Makes just under 3 pounds

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds 90/10 or 93/7 lean ground beef

1 cups rolled oats 2 eggs, beaten (may substitute egg substitute)

/ cup thick Greek yogurt, fat free 2 big cloves garlic, minced

cup minced green onion

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon brown mustard

DIRECTIONS

1 mix ingredients well and refrigerate for 1-2 hours for flavors to blend and oats to soften. …

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