It seems like we are blessed with a bunch of ground beef sales lately — it’s good for us, but bad for Texas.
The drought hurt their hay crop — which they feed the cattle. With no real hay locally, they had to bring it it — and it wasn’t cheap. When they could afford to feed the cattle, they put it on the market.
That is why we are seeing sale after sale on it!
Now — what % should you buy?
It really depends on the preference of your family.
I find 90%+ lean is too dry for good burgers, meatloaf or meatballs…but is OK for recipes that need “hamburger gravel” like chili and tacos.
85% is better but pricey — so I usually buy the 80% as I have found that buying the 80%, when cooked right is lean. You simply rinse it with hot water and let it drain for five minutes.
How do you decide? By doing the math! Math never lies!
It’s pretty common to see 80% lean ground beef right now in a three pound pack for $5.97. Compare this to the 85% lean three pound pack for $10.49!! That is $1.50 more a pound for a 5% difference.
When you break that down — 5% of three pounds (48oz) is 2.4oz. You pay $4.52 for that 2.4 oz. With that exchange rate (2.4oz @$4.52) you would be paying over $30 a pound for your ground beef!
I am cheap (I know, shocker!) and simply won’t pay that extra $4.50 for that 2.4 ounces of extra meat.
Now – what can you do with that meat besides just cooking it off for Italian dishes, Mexican dishes or casseroles? I have a few ideas HERE.
You will see that it was a 73% lean pack — which was WAY too greasy – the last picture shows the meatballs still draining, almost an hour after they came out of the oven.
Now for the bad news…
When we finally buy all that inexpensive beef on the market — the prices will jump. It’s a great time to start stretching your ground beef with rice or veggies when you are using it inside of something else.