As you are probably aware of, there has been a massive 8.7 million pounds of beef being recalled from the Rancho Feeding Corporation, located in Petaluma, California. For the latest news on this recall, check out the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle dated February 9, 2014 at the link provided. The reason for this recall is due to the animals being diseased or unhealthy and not being inspected by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services.
The question here is, are you surprised? The fact of the matter is, most animals used for human consumption are in fact unhealthy. Remember a few weeks ago the Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak? If you want to keep track of such recalls it really is quite simple. Just follow the USDA's food recall page here.
When it comes to beef recalls, and they are happening more and more frequently, the major culprit is usually ground beef. Why? Because the beef is ground up in filthy environments. When the plants put the beef into their massive grinders, you have not only innards being ground into the meat, but fecal matter. If you're really lucky, you'll also get a hefty amount of the infamous "pink slime" ( and yes, it is still being added to most commercially processed ground beef).
So, if you're a ground beef lover, what can you do? Simple! Do what your grand parents did and grind your own beef. Nothing could really be simpler and you will actually be saving yourself some money and very possibly a trip to the hospital.
All you need to grind your own beef is a simple meat grinder. You can find these at most stores that sell kitchen supplies. If you have a Kitchen Aid stand-up mixer, you can buy the meat grinder attachment and that works quite well.
When you buy your beef to grind, you want to make sure there is fat on the piece of beef. Remember, fat is flavor! Fat also keeps the ground beef together. Don't scoff at fat because without fat in your diet, you die! For an outstanding ground beef, I recommend an untrimmed tri-tip roast. It is a wonderful piece of beef and usually comes with the perfect amount of fat you want to grind into the meat. For a little added flavor, you can also grind some bacon with the beef.
Once you have ground your beef, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil and freeze it. By making your own ground beef you'll not only have a tastier product and more healthy, but you also will not become a statistic of the USDA.
The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.