Make It Tonight: Lean Ground Beef

January 23, 2020

Ground beef has to be one of the most ubiquitous proteins out there. It works in everything from chili, to burgers, meatballs and Italian pasta dishes. It’s tasty, versatile and a great source of protein. Plus, Calgary Co-op beef comes from Alberta farms, so you’re buying local every time you choose it. 

What To Know About Ground Beef
Ground beef is usually categorized based on the amount of fat it contains.  

Extra lean ground beef has at least 96% lean meat, and only 4% fat. This preparation of ground meat is considered the most heart healthy ground beef option, and it is usually used in foods promoted as heart healthy. 

However, if you’ve ever tried ground beef with the highest fat content, and compared it with foods made with extra lean ground beef, you’ve probably noticed that the leaner the ground beef, the less moist it may be. That’s because the fat is what gives moist texture and added flavour to ground beef.   

Using Ground Beef
Because extra lean ground beef tends to be drier we don’t recommend using it for making hamburgers, although you can get some of the moisture back in of you add some fillers like soy or breadcrumbs. These ingredients will help the burger or meatloaf to maintain its moisture without adding more fat to the recipe. 

Some of our favourite ways to use Only Alberta Beef extra-lean ground beef is in tacos, lettuce wraps or lettuce rolls, and stuffed peppers. It’s also tasty in pastas and sauces, or in this Classic Sloppy Joe recipe.

Classic Sloppy Joes

Wk4 leangroundbeef blogIngredients:
- olive or canola oil, for cooking
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 1/2 lb. Only Alberta Beef extra lean ground beef or lean ground chuck
- 1 28 oz (796 mL) can diced, whole, or stewed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup ketchup 
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 6 plain soft buns, cheese buns, or biscuits
- salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, celery, red pepper and garlic for about 10 minutes, until the onions are starting to turn golden. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it up as you cook, until the meat is no longer pink.

Add the tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Split the buns or biscuits in half and ladle the sloppy Joe mixture on top.

Three Make It Tonight recipes for Lean Ground Beef

Fast MIT

Sloppy Joes

Fancy MIT

Lasagna Bianca

Family MIT

Classic Beef Chili



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