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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

How to Pick the Best Ground Meat From the Grocery Store

From the basic burger to the moistest meatloaf and coziest chili, ground meat is the cornerstone of so many dinner mainstays. But when was the last time you really considered your ground meat, beyond grabbing a pre-packaged pound at the grocery store? Well, award-winning writers and newly minted restaurateurs, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton—aka The Canal House Cooks—are here to help you start looking more closely at your ground meat. They've even dedicated an entire chapter to the subject in their newest book, Canal House: Cook Something: Recipes to Rely On, on the fundamentals of cooking (plus 300 recipes that demonstrate them all).

Hirsheimer and Hamilton explain that classic American ground meat dishes were born from efficiency-and economy-optimized recipe traditions from immigrants, who actually made them with different cuts of meat entirely. Take Russian beef stroganoff, which was originally made with tender cubes of beef cooked in a mustard–sour cream sauce. In the hurried New World, it morphed into a combination of hamburger meat and condensed cream of chicken soup over noodles that its creators may not have even recognized. Ditto goulash from Hungary (originally made with cubed beef, and sometimes, heart and liver), tacos from Mexico, and ground beef lo mein adapted from the Chinese culinary tradition. Despite this, ground meat has historically made our lives easier and more affordable, and still continues to do so.

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