I’ve tried so many different ways to stretch my ground beef hoping to save some money. I’ve tried using oats (made everything way too bland) and different vegetables (made it difficult to incorporate the meat into a variety of different meals). I knew there had to be a better way so every couple of weeks when I bought my usual 3 lb log of 93/7 ground beef, I’d try a different method, a new ratio or a new variety of seasonings. I knew I finally succeeded when my husband stopped making comments like, “This needs more meat.”
I almost feel silly sharing the way I do this because it’s so simple, you probably have all the ingredients on hand already! The ratio I’ve found my husband and I like this best is as follows:
1 pound of beef : 3/4 cup of grain
2 pounds of beef: 1 1/2 cups of grain
3 pounds of beef: 2 1/4 cups of grain
As you can see, I use 3/4 cup of grain per pound of meat. I find that this stretches the beef without sacrificing any “meaty-ness” in my meals.
Grain of your choice (I’m using brown rice)
minced or fresh garlic
Optional: salt and pepper
Because brown rice takes so long to cook, I start that immediately. Once I add my rice to the boiling water, I start the timer and start cooking the beef. I wait until the beef is mostly done then I add my onions.
Right before the rice is finish cooking, I add the garlic to beef and onions. I want to take the raw bite out of it before I mix the rice in. I let that cook for around 5 minutes, mixing and stirring every minute or so.
By this time, the rice should be done so I mix the rice in with the beef, onion and garlic right in the skillet (this is also a good time to salt and pepper the mixture). I take the skillet off the burner and put a lid on it to let it cool completely. For me, it takes close to an hour to cool. This can vary based on how well your skillet can hold onto heat.
This batch made 6 baggies which equals 6 different meals for my husband and I (I reserved a bag for dinner that night). Do you have any tips for stretching your ground beef? Share them below!