What do you call a cow that’s lying down? Ground beef! Ok, that’s super corny, but can you guess what today’s recipes will feature? That’s right, ground beef, the underappreciated and versatile hero of your next meal. Our hope is that we can expand your use of ground beef beyond tacos, and remind you of a few old favourite recipes that you haven’t cooked in a long time.
But first, a few words about Lepp Farm Market beef. Our animals are all raised at Hat Creek Land and Cattle Company in a lush, fertile valley near Cache Creek. The Black Angus Triple A cattle roam freely over thousands of acres of ranch and crown land and are finished on a diet of hay, silage and barley in Ashcroft, where they enjoy spacious and dry conditions. Twice a month, Farmer Rob or our son make the trip to retrieve the cattle to be processed at Scott Meats in Agassiz.
Scott Meats is a government licensed facility, and a small, family-owned processing plant who deliver our sides of beef to us so our butchers can practice the old fashioned art of nose to tail butchery. Every morning the beef is freshly ground and put in the meat case for our guests to enjoy, and nightly the remainder is used for other purposes. We sell it frozen, use it in our cafe (hello Shephard’s Pie!), or make house-made sausages. This means that the ground beef you buy from the meat case has always been ground fresh that same day, and we manage to do so with little to no food waste.
When choosing which type of ground beef to use, here’s a few things to consider. Here at the market, we offer 3 types: Lean, extra lean and ground chuck. All 3 are available from our meat counter, or you can pick up a frozen pack from the freezer right in the centre of the market.
Ground Chuck can be used for any recipe that calls for ground beef. It isn’t as high in fat as the ground beef you would typically find in grocery stores, which means it shrinks a little bit less than you might expect. There’s still just enough fat to give it a full flavour. Due to being made from a single muscle, ground chuck tends to be the most expensive option.
Lean and extra lean ground beef have slightly lower fat content, as the name suggests, but be aware that this means you’ll need to “beef it up a bit” if you’ll pardon the pun. Through spices & mixing with vegetables, these types of ground beef might need a bit of help with flavour, but are a less expensive alternative to chuck.
Regardless of which one you choose, our promise to you when you purchase Lepp’s beef is that we can trace the origin of our animals from birth to our meat room and you are getting the freshest meat possible.
Now, onto the recipes!
Stephanie’s Orzo Beef Skillet with Kale – this dish comes together quickly, but have some patience once it’s finished. If you make it ahead and let it sit overnight, the flavours become much more pronounced.
Classic Meatballs in Marinara Sauce – who doesn’t love this childhood classic? Dress it up a little to suit your tastes, or keep it simple – completely up to you!
Best Ever Meat Loaf – don’t let the idea of meat loaf put you off, this is seriously the best ever meat loaf!
Sweet & Sour Meatballs – tangy and sweet, these meatballs are an easy dinner to serve over rice.