Ten Things to Do With Bargain Beef
Don't forget, steaks and roasts can often go on sale for less than the cost of lean hamburger. Have the meat department grind, slice or chop it for you for free. They've always been happy to do it for me when I've asked. Here are ten ways to stretch the beef even further on the home front.
- Terriyaki Strips - This is most easily done with the larger, thicker steaks. If you slice them on a diagonal, it will leave you with a thin wide strip easily woven onto a wooden skewer. Soak it in your favorite terriyaki marinade (home made or otherwise) and grill it for dinner along with some brown rice and a vegetable side. A bonus? They really cook in a flash!
- Kabobs - I really like making these with beef as well as chicken. Some of my favorite vegetables to include? Green and red peppers, onions and mushrooms. One great thing about kabobs for dinner on the grill is that the meat and vegetale portion of the meal is taken care of ahead of time. I only have to start the rice cooker when I get home from running errands. You don't have to start these in the morning before you go anywhere, but if you want to use a marinade, it's nice to have the day for the flavors to absorb.
- Stir Fry - The key to a quick dinner prep with this idea is to have the beef cut small enough to not take a whole lot longer than the vegetables. You can certainly add a sauce if you want, but I like the simple flavors of the ingredients in a bit of olive oil and a little low sodium soy sauce.
- Stew - Use whatever you have on hand as a penny-pinching strategy or implement your favorite family recipe. I've done this with both browned lean ground beef or steak tips. Personally, I like a tomato based broth for my beef soups and stews, but do whatever works best for you.
- Stroganoff - This can also be done with either chopped beef pieces or ground beef. Some people may not consider this a penny-pinching idea due to the use of sour cream in the recipe. However, if you want to do something a little more elaborate for dinner without dishing out major bucks, this may be a moderate solution that fits your situation.
- Steak and Cheese Quesadillas - Tortillas, cheese, left over steak pieces and salsa. Doesn't get much easier than this. Just a tip with quesadillas: If flipping the entire round version sends you into dimensions of ticked off you never knew existed before, try only filling half of a single tortilla and folding the other half over the top. This way you only have half the size to flip and one of the sides is closed, making it easier not to spill the contents all through the frying pan.
- Sloppy Joes - You pretty much need ground beef for these. Not the fanciest dinner idea in town, but certainly fun to eat with some veggie sticks or a salad side dish.
- Pizza Topping - Whether you want to go with the traditional hamburger pizza, or try steak pieces with BBQ sauce, this is a great way to stretch beef into a fun meal.
- Spaghetti Sauce - Again, the ground version of the beef will be necessary here. Try making a large batch and freezing it into meal sized portions suitable for the number of people in your family. That way, you can dump some in the crock pot once a week and have dinner nearly ready when you get home. Just boil the pasta!
- French Dip Sandwiches - These are the kind you see on the menu of a lot of family style restaurants. Basically, it's a warm toasted sliced beef sandwich with a side of French onion soup to dip into. Try a cheesesteak version or one of these sandwich ideas for extra variety.
I hope these help get you started and save you some money this week. If you try some of these ideas at home or have some favorite recipes for some of these menu items, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
Photo by Adactio