When it comes to deciding whether or not food is still good to eat, some people live by the motto: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
I am not one of those people.
No, I’m more of a “smell test” type of person – if I’m able to sniff something without automatically recoiling at the smell, then it’s still good. Expiration dates are just a guideline for me – I have been known to eat things that are wayyyy past their expiration date, to the horror (and disgust?) of my friends. I just hate wasting food!
Which is why when Dave told me I should throw out two and a half pounds of ground beef that was in our fridge because it was a week old and a little brownish, my response was something along the lines of “Bish, you crazy.” On this diet with its super small portions, two and a half pounds of beef is enough for at least EIGHT meals.
When I went to cook the beef the next day, I was annoyed to see that it was only 73% lean. 73%! (That means 27% fat, in case you don’t know.) I didn’t even know they made it so fatty. For a moment I didn’t know what to do – since I’m on a diet, there’s no way I could justify eating beef that’s less than 90% lean. (Even if I wasn’t on a diet, 73% still seems pretty bad.) But then I remembered something I had read on a bulletin board earlier that day:
“It’s harder for me to find the very lean [ground beef], so I just crumble and brown a portion of the more fatty stuff and then I run it under hot water. Gets all the excess fat off [and] it’s a little bit cheaper than getting the super lean stuff.”
I headed back to my computer and googled “rinsing ground beef” and read a little bit about it. The thing that stuck out most was that by rinsing ground beef with hot water, you can change your beef from 80% lean to over 90% lean. That’s a huge difference! Sometimes my supermarket doesn’t even have anything above 85%. And when it does, the price per pound is sooo much more expensive. So you could really cut a lot of money off your grocery bill if you buy meat that’s less lean and then rinse the fat off.
I watched this video just to see the whole thing in action, but even though the video was good, the woman drains the fat down her sink, which I know you shouldn’t do. So I googled a bit more and read something that advised rinsing the beef into a pot and then straining the fat from the pot (can’t find the link).
So that’s what I did. And when I finally ate my old, rinsed beef later that night, it tasted delicious!
This wouldn’t work in all situations, like if you’re cooking hamburgers, but for taco beef, chili, and things like that, it seems to me to be a great idea. Anyway, I was really impressed by this whole thing, so I decided to share it.
How to Rinse Ground Beef
1. Brown the meat thoroughly.
2. Prepare two pots – one empty with a strainer and one with super hot water. (If the faucet of your kitchen sink is long enough, then you’ll only need one pot. Unfortunately I have the worst designed sink in the world. It does get extremely hot though.)
3. Slowly pour the hot water over the beef.
That’s all there is to it! Cook with your beef as you normally would. When the hot fatty water finally cools down, strain the fat off the top and throw it in the garbage. The rest of the water can be dumped down the sink.
You’re welcome! :-)
Look at all that fat. Gross.