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Ground Beef Winners ... New 30-Minute Favorites

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Greek-Style Beef & Cheese Ravioli
Southwest Beef & Chile Pizza
Taco Beef Nuggets & Tejano Sauce

(Family Features) - Ground beef really is a winner! It's perfect for family meals, beloved both by kids and adults alike. What's not to love? Ground beef tastes great, it's convenient, versatile, easy to prepare and quick cooking!

We'll always enjoy the time-honored classics - burgers and chili, meatloaf and meatballs - but these recipes from the National Beef Cook-Off® take ground beef to the next level. They showcase just a hint of the variety of innovative dishes that make ground beef a winner time and time again.

Contemporary pizza, pasta, wraps and nuggets accented with favorite ethnic ingredients are ready in 30 minutes - just waiting to become your new family favorites.

Great Ground Beef - Purchase to Plate 

  • Label Logic - Check the label to determine the lean-to-fat ratio. Choices can range from 70% lean (30% fat) to 95% lean (5% fat), so there's one for every budget, every recipe. Labels might also indicate the primal cut of beef that was ground - chuck, round or sirloin.
     
  • Visually Inspect - Look for ground beef with a bright, cherry-red color. Vacuum-packaged ground beef or the interior of packaged ground beef can appear purplish, but when exposed to air, it will turn bright red. Purchase by the "sell by" date on the package.

  • Safe Storage - Refrigerate or freeze ground beef as soon as possible after purchase. Refrigerate it in its original transparent packaging and use within 1 or 2 days or freeze in its original packaging up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, up to 4 months, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or place in a food-safe plastic freezer bag. Always defrost in the refrigerator.

  • Cook Properly - Always cook ground beef thoroughly to 160°F (medium doneness) as determined by an instant-read thermometer or until it is no longer pink and the juices show no pink color. Do not eat undercooked ground beef.

  • Store Promptly - Refrigerate leftovers, covered, immediately after eating, up to 4 days.

For more beef recipes and information:

  • For Beef Cook-Off information, visit www.beefcookoff.org.
  • To receive additional ground beef recipes, send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope to NCBA, Dept. FC-FFGB, P.O. Box 670, Bloomingdale, IL 60108-0670. (One per envelope.)

Greek-Style Beef & Cheese Ravioli

Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese ravioli
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preparation
    1. Cook ravioli according to package directions; drain.
    2. Meanwhile brown ground beef in deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings.
    3. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ravioli; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and olives; cook just until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Preparation and Cooking Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Southwest Beef & Chile Pizza

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (16 ounces) thick prebaked pizza crust (12-inch diameter)
  • 1 cup prepared mild thick and chunky salsa
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained well
  • 2 small plum tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup thin red onion slivers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 450°F. Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; season with salt.
    2. Place pizza crust on ungreased pizza pan or large baking sheet. Spread salsa evenly on crust; sprinkle with half of cheese. Top evenly with beef, chilies, tomatoes and onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    3. Bake in 450°F oven 11 to 13 minutes, or until topping is hot and cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro; cut into 8 wedges. Serve immediately.

Preparation and Cooking Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Taco Beef Nuggets & Tejano Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced mild green chilies, drained
  • 16 cubes Co-Jack cheese (1/2-inch)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups crushed nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips
Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons prepared thick taco sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 400°F. Combine ground beef, taco seasoning and green chilies in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Divide beef mixture into 16 portions; shape each portion around a cheese cube, completely covering cheese.
    2. Beat egg white with water in shallow dish until blended. Place chips in second shallow dish. Dip each meatball into egg white mixture, then into chips to coat completely. Press each meatball with palm into a flattened nugget shape, generously coating both sides of nugget with chips.
    3. Spray large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place nuggets in baking pan; spray tops generously with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in 400°F oven 15 to 20 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until no longer pink and juices show no pink color.
    4. Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients in small microwave-safe dish. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until warm. Serve nuggets with sauce.

Preparation and Cooking Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

SOURCE: Cattlemen's Beef Board and American National CattleWomen, Inc.


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