Tuesday, August 18, 2009

German Style Ground Meat on a Budget

Momma knows what it is like to feed a family while on a budget, so she has a few recipes from her grandmother and mother that will help stretch those dollars while providing nutrition.

Momma Explains: Meals need to be nutritious but not necessarily expensive. My Grandmother was of German descent and boy did she know how to stretch a dollar and use every item from a meat purchase, even the fat. ( They kept melted fat to use for frying and hard fat was wrapped in bread and cooked) Okay maybe that was not heart healthy but you get the idea of true frugal means. My grandmom often would make a very simple but tasty dish that we call " German Style Chop Meat". Most people refer to this meat as ground meat and you can use whatever type of ground meat that you prefer. It is usually labelled by percent lean so 80% lean meat would be 20% fat. This is actually a good combination and very tasty. This dish really tastes best with a beer, sorry to my wine lovers but some things just call for a beer. Light or dark beer is fine, you choose. This meal is fast to make so it is great when time is short.

German Style Ground Meat : In a large skillet or stockpot pour a small amount of olive oil and add one chopped onion, minced or finely chopped is best. Soften the onion and add some salt to the onion. When the onion is thoroughly cooked add two cloves of chopped garlic and saute for about one minute then add your ground meat. Use about 2-3 pounds per onion and garlic. Salt and pepper the meat and stir in pot to get the onion mixed in then add some water to steam the meat and release the fat. I add at least a cup and more if the meat starts to dry out. Stir the eat often and keep an eye on it so it does not burn or stick to the pan. This only takes a short time to cook but make sure the meat is not running red, and that all the juices are clear. Drain the water if it is excessive or if you prefer to remove the fat but it should be fine to have some as a juice base. Then taste your meat and add salt and pepper to your preference. I also like to add chopped basil or chives but it is up to you. This dish can be served with rice, pasta or bread. I always make string beans as the vegetable, it just matches up well. If you are making rice or pasta then cook it at the same time as the meat so that they are ready simultaneously. Now sit back and have a simple, old fashioned, budget wise , mouth happy meal.

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