Beef picadillo is a weekly menu item in our home. As one of the most versatile ingredients, it can be incorporated into so many dishes. This meat dish is always flavorful, kid friendly and most important, falls within our budget.
Saving time and money during dinner is one of my main priorities. Ground beef goes a long way and can be increased in volume when enhanced with chopped vegetables, herbs and spices.
I’ve been eating picadillo my entire life and prepare it for my family as well. Recently, through the #KnowYourBeef campaign, I attended a helpful webinar and learned a lot about beef and how to shop for beef on a budget, how to select cuts, where it comes from, and most importantly, how to properly freeze and store the beef I purchase. During my beef lesson with The Beef Checkoff, I learned about the helpful tools one can find online such as the Interactive Butcher Counter to help you select the beef cut that is right for your menu planning for your family.
One of the best money-saving tips is to purchase beef in bulk and freeze the rest for later use. There are various speculations about freezing beef and in the webinar, I had the opportunity to find out exactly how to store and freeze beef properly. Here are a few questions and answers that will help clear things up:
What’s the best way to freeze beef?
First remove from the overwrap and put the meat in a freezer-safe bag. Squeeze all of the air out that you can before zipping it up and freezing it. You can safely freeze up from 6-12 months. If you want to freeze already cooked beef, you can freeze up to 2-3 months.
Is it OK to freeze, thaw, then refreeze beef?
It can be refrozen, as long as it was thawed properly in the first place. If you defrosted it properly in the refrigerator, then it’s ok to put back in the freezer.
What’s the best way to tell your beef is done, without cutting into it?
A meat thermometer can easily monitor the temperature of dishes like roasts. Also, an instant read digital thermometer for steaks on the grill. See what the guideline is for what temperatures these beef cuts need to be cooked at. Make sure you cook to 160 degrees, and the only way you can do that is by using a meat thermometer
Does refreezing change the flavor?
Make sure when you refreeze cooked beef that the temperature goes back down naturally. If you try to refreeze beef when the temperature is still hot, it could change the properties.
What is the difference between sell by and use by dates?
Purchase beef on or before the sell by date. But then the refrigerator usage guidelines kick in. For steaks and roasts you want to use within 3-4 days from the sell by date. And for beef, stews, stir-fries, and cuts that have been cut for you conveniently, you want to use a little bit sooner, like 2-3 days of the sell bye date. Ground beef is even more perishable, so plan use 1-2 days from the sell by date.
I hope this post helps you with your beef knowledge as much as it has helped me. For more information, visit www.beefwhatsfordinner.com
Picadillo Crispy Tacos
1/2 cup canola oil, divided
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Roma tomato, seeds removed and diced, divided
1 large Russet potato, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 head cabbage, shredded
10-12 corn tortillas
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and stir, breaking up the beef until it begins to brown.
Add onion, garlic and 1 chopped tomato. Stir and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, cover and cook for 12 minutes until tender. Add cilantro and stir. Let cool for 10 minutes.
In a separate large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Place one tortilla flat on the hot oil and carefully fold not touching the edges. Fry for approximately 30 seconds, then turn to underside to fry. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of cooked ground meat in each taco shell. Serve with cabbage and the remaining chopped tomato.