Ground Beef

Ground beef’s got a lot going for it — it’s fast and easy to cook, versatile and enjoyed by all. Is it any wonder that ground beef is the #1 Canadian meal-maker! And there‘s more to ground beef’s benefits – plain and simple, ground beef’s good for you! Here’s all you need to know to make dinner – made easy with Canadian Ground Beef!

Get Ready

Forever flexible, ground beef can be pan-fried for meat sauces and casseroles or shaped into burgers, meatballs and more.

  1. COOK ground beef in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small chunks with cooking. Cook thoroughly, until browned throughout.
  2. DRAIN.
  3. ADD to pasta sauce or soups or use in chili, casserole, taco and soup recipes, seasoning to taste.

Watch

Common Cuts

Extra lean ground beef
Maximum fat content 10% (90% lean)

Lean ground beef
Maximum fat content 17% (83% lean)

Medium ground beef
Maximum fat content 23% (77% lean)

Regular ground beef
Maximum fat content 30% (70% lean)

Myth Buster

MYTH:

Ground beef has colour added to it – that is why it is purple in the centre of the pack but bright red on the surface.

TRUTH:

Ground beef is 100% beef with no additives, fillers or colours. As beef is exposed to oxygen, it naturally develops a red hue – so the meat at the surface of a package is bright red. The meat at the centre will turn red too once it’s opened up to the air.

Tips for Ground Beef

Cook’s Notes:

  • All ground beef comes designated as Extra Lean, Lean, Medium or Regular, based on the maximum fat content. This designation is the same for all ground meats: beef, turkey, veal, chicken, pork and lamb.

Ground beef types

  • EXTRA LEAN (10% maximum fat) great for flavour-packed recipes that you don’t drain after cooking. Use in meat loaf or cabbage rolls.
  • LEAN (17% maximum fat) Canada’s No. 1 grind is a good all-purpose choice. Use in all kinds of ground beef recipes.
  • MEDIUM (23% maximum fat)
  • REGULAR (30% maximum fat) use for grilling, broiling and drain to reduce fat before adding to your recipe. Use Medium in burgers and meatballs, and Regular or Medium in pasta sauces and casseroles.
  • Have you tried “Steak Experience” Ground Beef? Look for the names Sirloin, Chuck and Round on packages of ground beef. These names indicate that the ground beef is made from a single cut, not a mix. Ground Sirloin tastes like Sirloin Steak for example – it’s ground beef gone gourmet.
  • Refrigerate ground beef within 1 to 2 hours of purchase.
  • Refrigerate at 40° F (4° C) or lower, on bottom shelf to avoid dripping on to other foods.
  • Thaw in the fridge, allowing 12 to 15 hours per pound, OR thaw in the microwave, cooking immediately after thawing.
  • Cook all ground beef thoroughly to 160° F (71° C). Test temperatures with a digital read thermometer. Never eat ground beef raw.

The Question of Colour

Contrary to popular belief, the colour of beef is not a reliable indicator of freshness. In its initial state, beef is a deep purple colour. As it is exposed to oxygen in the air, the pigment turns cherry red. That same beef can turn purple again if oxygen is removed. The perfect example is vacuum-packaged beef.

With certain packaging types, that initial cherry red pigment will begin to take on a slightly brown hue quite quickly. The meat is still fresh and safe to eat, but just not as bright a red as when it was first exposed to oxygen. The Best Before date is still the best way to know if your fresh beef needs to be prepared and eaten right away or frozen.

Some ground beef can be brownish in the centre. This is because the small amount of oxygen present in the centre gives the meat pigment a brownish hue. However, the meat remains fresh and safe to eat up to its Best Before date.

Cuts used with Ground Beef

Ground Beef Options

regular-ground-beef-canadian-beef
EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF
Maximum fat content 10% (90% lean)

regular-ground-beef-canadian-beef
LEAN GROUND BEEF
Maximum fat content 17% (83% lean)

regular-ground-beef-canadian-beef
MEDIUM GROUND BEEF
Maximum fat content 23% (77% lean)

regular-ground-beef-canadian-beef
REGULAR GROUND BEEF
Maximum fat content 30% (70% lean)

Ground Beef recipes:

prep time

1:30

cook time

11 hr
Beef KreplachThis kreplach recipe by Chef Phillip Walters is a uniquely-presented version of these Jewish traditional dumplings in broth. The dumplings, filled with beef seasoned with fresh herbs, in an aromatic, richly-flavoured chicken broth are elevated even further with crispy carrot chips and a fresh dill oil for garnish.

prep time

40 min

cook time

20 min
Beef Bulgogi Dumplings (3 ways)An easy and delicious beef bulgogi dumpling recipe that allows you to say “no” to frozen store-bought dumplings forever! Dumplings are filled with seasoned cooked ground beef, green onions (scallions), fresh napa cabbage, sweet carrots, ginger, onions and garlic. Recipe developed by Christina Chow

prep time

30 min

cook time

60 min
Beef SamosasSpiced ground beef enveloped in pastry and fried to perfection, these beef samosas make the best kind of appetizer. I prefer using lean ground beef for this recipe. Traditionally samosas are deep-fried though sometimes when we get uncooked samosas from our families we use the air fryer. The samosa wrappers can be found in the freezer section in well-stocked supermarkets and at Southeast Asian grocery stores.

prep time

30 min

cook time

60 min
Persian Tiny Meatballs (Koofteh Rizeh)Koofteh is a Persian term for meatballs and Rizeh in Farsi means mini and tiny. There are many recipes for koofteh (also called kofta) in Middle Eastern cuisines. In Iran there are various recipes from different regions with most of them being from Azarbaijan province. There are many tips and tricks for making any kind of koofteh and usually grandmas are the experts. All koofteh recipes have one ingredient in common which is ground beef though the rest of ingredients may change. Some recipes have cooked rice, others yellow split peas and some might have chopped fresh herbs. Almost all of the koofteh recipes are finished by simmering in tomato sauce. Fried potatoes and tomatoes are here to bring extra flavors and texture to this recipe. This dish is commonly served with bread such as lavash or barbari. Torshi (pickled vegetables) and fresh herbs also pair beautifully with koofteh.

prep time

20 min

cook time

6 min
Air-fried Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushroom BitesHere’s a new take on stuffed mushroom hors d’oeuvres, filled with the classic combination of beef and blue cheese. The air fryer cooks these up in just minutes to juicy perfection. Note: Cook times suggested are based on a counter-top family-size air fryer**; times will vary with different appliances so always check for doneness with a reliable digital instant-read thermometer and texture cues and adjust cook time as necessary. Ground beef is done when the thermometer reads 160°F (71°C).

prep time

30 min

cook time

40 min
Chinese Beef Curry PuffsA weekly trip to Chinatown to buy Asian groceries occasionally also meant a special stop at the Chinese bakery. As a child, one of my favorite pastries to eat was the very tasty, mild flavoured curry beef puffs (and it still is!). Under the many layers of flaky pastry was a delicious filling of delicious fragrant savoury beef. This recipe re-creates the treat with an easy-to-make ground beef filling with the convenience of prepared frozen puff pastry. Be sure to thaw pastry in the refrigerator overnight and keep chilled until ready to use. Refrigerating the meat filling makes it easier to work with.

prep time

45 min

cook time

50 min
Individual Ground Beef WellingtonsThese individual Beef Wellingtons are made with ground beef instead of the traditional beef tenderloin, making them a delicious, yet cost effective, way to serve a special meal to your family and friends.The ground beef is seasoned well, topped with duxelles (a mixture of chopped mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme), neatly folded into thin slices of prosciutto, then wrapped in prepared puff pastry to create beautiful little packages, which are bursting with big flavour.

prep time

20 min

cook time

27 min
Air Fryer Quarter-pound Beef Burgers & FriesA classic combination, this air-fryer version yields juicy hamburgers and crispy fries. The bonus of cooking hamburgers in the air fryer is that you can set them and forget them. No need to flip them and you still get an evenly cooked burger, every time. French fries can be cooked in either one or two layers but no more as it will prevent crisping. Note: Cook times suggested are based on a counter-top family-size air fryer**; times will vary with different appliances so always check for doneness with a reliable digital instant-read thermometer and texture cues and adjust cook time as necessary. Beef burgers are done when the thermometer reads 160°F (71°C).

prep time

20 min

cook time

15 min
Air Fryer Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed PortobellosAdd a new, quick weeknight meal to your rotation with these savoury beef and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms that air fry to juicy perfection inside with an amazing crust on top. Served up with a salad of greens, this recipe makes enough to serve 2 as a main course or 4 as a plated appetizer. Note: Cook times suggested are based on a counter-top family-size air fryer**; times will vary with different appliances so always check for doneness with a reliable digital instant-read thermometer and texture cues and adjust cook time as necessary. Ground beef is done when the thermometer reads 160°F (71°C).

prep time

10 min

cook time

25 min
Lasagna SoupThis Lasagna Soup recipe is a spin-off of a classic! It’s packed with all of the best lasagna flavours, but in a one-pot soup. This warming, hearty soup is packed with Lean Ground Beef, veggies and three types of cheese.

prep time

10 min

cook time

50 min
Classic Stove-top Mac n’ BeefThis is a great dish to make ahead, keeps well in the refrigerator for 3ays. Don’t have any elbow macaroni? Any medium pasta shape will work just as well.

prep time

10 min

cook time

50 min
Classic Stove-top Sloppy JoesThis family favourite is a perfect weeknight meal. Serve in the classic style with potato chips and dill pickles, or how about a side salad or veggies and dip to make a better-for-you meal?

prep time

10 min

cook time

35 min
Beef Asian Bowls with Oven Roasted VegThis dish has an intense flavour. It’s not very saucy, but still juicy and really delicious! Add this simple and quick dish to your weeknight meal plan rotation.

prep time

15 min

cook time

50 min
Classic Swedish MeatballsEnjoy this Ikea classic from the comfort of your home! They’re easy to assemble yourself following the simple instructions below. Serve over hot, creamy mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

prep time

10 min

cook time

55 min
Classic Meat Loaf with Tomato GlazeThis traditional meat loaf recipe is oozing with flavour and is moist and tender–just like mom used to make. The tangy tomato glaze is what makes it a classic!

prep time

10 min

cook time

40 min
Classic Baked Beef EnchiladasThis recipe looks so impressive and tastes so great that they’ll think you’ve taken a day off just to make dinner! It’s perfect for any night of the week.

prep time

15 min

cook time

50 min
Meat Loaf TacosTacos bring fun to the dinner table and are tops with kids–just mention tacos and watch their smiles grow. This recipe is a twist on both classic tacos and classic meat loaf. With a meat loaf slice for the filling, these tacos are neat to eat and easy for children’s hands to hold.

prep time

30 min

cook time

45 min
Classic Oven-baked Stuffed PeppersTender sweet peppers stuffed with a delicious mixture of beef, rice, cheese and tomatoes makes a healthy, simple meal the whole family will love!

prep time

5 min

cook time

40 min
Pantry Chili with Garlic LoafThis is a snap to pull together with simple pantry ingredients. If you prefer a fiery version, add a teaspoon or so of chopped canned chipotle peppers.