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New ideas for ground meats

We buy a lot of ground meats because they are easier for our little boy to chew through, but I am running out of ideas for preparing them.

I do a pretty steady stream of turkey, chicken, or beef chili, meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, and an occasional chinese stir fry with ground pork or an indian curry with ground lamb. Looking for some new ideas to bring excitement back to dinner (and to cooking). Thanks all!

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  1. how about stuffed vegetables? stuffed cabbage comes to mind. what a yummy dish for fall...
    pierogis are another option.
    as are other stuffed pastas--ravioli, tortellini, etc...

    1. What about a scandinavian meal with swedish meatballs, lingonberries, red potatoes? This lamb and raisin pie with pine nuts and mint is also yummy:

      1. What about meat pies, like turnovers, empanada or pasties?

        You can vary the flavor profiles of the fillings to suit the ground meat you've got on hand and your tastes. Pastry crusts are pretty easy to make - and can also be jazzed up with the addition of things like achiote, cheese or other spices - but if juggling time and ease of preparation are an issue, the pre-made pie crusts, frozen phyllo dough or puff pastry work like a charm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiningDiva

          hey, yes, another great warm meal--shepherd's pie.

        2. Great ideas! I'm not much of a baker/pasta maker, but the pre-made doughs sound great in a pinch. And maybe I will start working on my dough skills. Thank you :)
          Just imagining now some little meat pies and a bowl of hot soup. Dinner!

          1. I recently made stuffed peppers with italian sausage, pecorino romano, breadcrumbs and egg that would work. I stuffed jalapenos and hungarian wax peppers but you can use cubanel peppers so its not spicy. Take the sausage out of the casing and breakup the meat and saute until cooked through. Cool and mix with the cheese, breadcrumbs and an egg. Use enough of each ingredient so the mixture comes together. Off hand I think I used 3/4lb sausage, one egg, 1/3-1/2 cup of grated cheese and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Then stuff into hollowed out peppers and bake at 350 till the peppers are soft, maybe 20-30 minutes. Then serve with marinara sauce.

            1. As a kid I loved American Chop Suey. It seasoned ground meat, sauted with chopped onions and chopped green pepper, after it's browned I drain some of the fat out and add cooked elbow macaroni, and tomato pasta sauce and mix it all together.

              1. Joe's Special (a Bay Area thing) -- start by sauteeing some onion, add burger meat and stir around, add blanched or semi-cooked chopped spinach (well squeezed) and stir around, add an egg or two and scramble all this together. Oh, yes, garlic powder goes in there, and S & P of course. At the "Joe's" genre restaurants, you get wonderful sourdough bread with it.

                To make Joe's Special DeLuxe, add mushrooms.

                1. Bacon double cheeseburger pizza.

                  Cook and break up some ground beef. Make bacon bits. Grate cheese, especially cheddar.
                  Top your favourite pizza dough/shell with sauce, cheese(s), tomatoes, onions, beef and bacon.


                  1. I love to get my butcher to grind up some lamb leg, then i mix it with:
                    -fresh garlic
                    - thyme
                    -a little paprika
                    -some chili flakes
                    -Some crushed black pepper
                    -some scallions
                    - a splash of red wine
                    -and some nice olive oil

                    Go easy on the spices, you dont want to overwhelm the delicouse lamb flavor, just enhance it. I form the mince into fat little rectangular hamburger patties, kind of sausage shaped. Then I either grill them over a wood fire or sear them in a pan. I eat them medium rare with flat breads, and a nice yogourt cucumber salad.
                    They are fantastically deliouse!!

                    My grandma used to stuff cabbage with a mix of sweet and sour ground beef.

                    1. Oh yeah samosas are also delicouse,
                      just make some curried mince, either lamb, or beef, add some peas, get some samosa/spring roll wrappers and make these little suckers by the dozens, and freeze em.

                      Kreplach are also delicouse little jewish wontons filled with ground beef.

                      1. Take and form the meat into patties.then put pieces of monteryjack,cheddar or mottzarella cheese on one patty,then top with another.seal the edges .Brown and drain then put then into the skillet or a pyrx dish,pour over tomato sauce,but you can use pasta sauce,and bake at about 350 for 30minutes to one hour.I do an hour.My mom called them fancy pants,and they were very popular in our family.You could do the same with mushrooms,onions and blue cheese.And pour on top Campbell's cream of mushroom or golden mushroom soup and bake.
                        Hope this helps.

                        1. How about a tamale pie. We usually cook this one in a dutch oven over charcoals, but I've also baked it in a regular oven in the kitchen and it's come out great. It's one of my family's favorite ways to use ground beef.


                          --Nancy Berry

                          Upside-Down Spoonbread Tamale Pie

                          2 lbs lean ground beef
                          1 large onion, chopped
                          1 small red bell pepper, chopped
                          1 clove garlic, (to 2 cloves) minced
                          1/4 cup oil
                          1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2-oz.)
                          1 can low liquid whole-kernel corn (12-oz.)
                          1 packet Lawry's Taco Seasoning, large-size (enough for 2 lbs. meat)
                          1/4 cup cornmeal
                          1 cup water
                          --SPOONBREAD CORNMEAL TOPPING--
                          1 1/2 cups milk
                          1/2 teaspoon salt
                          2 tablespoons butter
                          1/2 cup cornmeal
                          1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
                          2 eggs, beaten

                          12-inch Dutch Oven or if baking in an oven, use a 9 x 13 in. pan or a 12-in. cast iron skillet.

                          Saute ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic together in heated oil until onions are golden.

                          Stir in tomatoes, corn, and Taco Seasoning. Cook 5 minutes.

                          Stir in 1/4 cup cornmeal, blended with water; simmer 10 minutes more.

                          Spread TOPPING mixture over meat. If using a dutch oven outdoors, then put on lid (preheated). If using a regular oven, then bake uncovered.

                          Bake with 9 coals under dutch oven and 18 coals on lid for 30-40 minutes.

                          If baking in an oven, bake at 400 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes.

                          CORNMEAL TOPPING

                          Heat milk with salt and butter until butter melts. Gradually add 1/2 cup cornmeal. Cook, stirring until thickened.

                          Remove from heat; stir in shredded cheese and eggs.

                          Serves 8.

                          Nancy Berry

                            1. Okay, this is a Rachel Ray recipe (so don't hate me), but it is awesome! Real comfort food...

                              Chicken Goulash (made with ground chix)

                              2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
                              1 tablespoon butter
                              1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
                              1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
                              2 cloves garlic, chopped
                              1 medium onion, chopped
                              1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
                              2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2/3 palm full
                              Salt and pepper
                              1 cup chicken stock
                              1 cup tomato sauce
                              1/2 cup sour cream or reduced fat sour cream
                              Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
                              1 package fresh gnocchi, in refrigerated section of market, 12 to14 ounces
                              2 tablespoons chives

                              Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken. Brown the meat 3 to 4 minutes, push it off to the sides of the pan then add mushrooms, garlic, onions and peppers to the center of the pan. Cook the vegetables 5 minutes then mix them together with chicken and season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in stock and tomato sauce and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes then stir in sour cream and turn off heat. Add parsley. Adjust seasonings, to your taste.
                              While chicken goulash cooks, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt boiling water and cook gnocchi until they puff up like pillows and float, 5 minutes or to package suggestions. Drain gnocchi and add to chicken just after you stir in the sour cream.

                              Ladle goulash with gnocchi into shallow bowls and garnish with chives

                              1. More kid-friendly ground meat ideas:
                                -lasagna or calzones
                                -fried rice with ground pork and basil
                                -tacos or burritos
                                -pot stickers or egg rolls
                                -italian wedding soup
                                -easy deconstructed stuffed cabbage: brown onion, garlic and ground meat, drain, season with s&p, stir in sliced cabbage (or cole slaw mix - cabbage and carrots) cook till softened... add cooked rice. stir in fresh parsley. Serve with sauce if desired.
                                -quick "swedish" meatballs: serve your meatballs in brown gravy and serve over egg noodles

                                1. I very much love this Turkish dish, ground meat with spinach. Fry a chopped onion and two mashed garlic cloves, add a pound of ground meat, fry for a few more minutes while stirring, add 1,5 pounds of spinach (frozen is fine) and a water glass of rice. Now add two cups of broth, salt, black and red pepper, bring to boil and boil for 20 mins or until the rice is tender. If it's getting too dry, add some more water. It's not supposed to be a soup, but juicy. Serve with plain yogurt. Now I'm hungry :)