Cook & Enjoy Like It Was Ground Beef
by Nita Holstine
While I am updating all pages of the newsletter, I will update this page since it is handy.
We discovered an easy choice for our favorite crock pot stew. Using the ground turkey, I can either use the granulated Chicken or Beef Flavoring. We like to have the meat separate from the stew so flavor both the same. Use the directions on the jar according to the amount of water added. Taste the soup (with no meat) and add the salt and seasonings you would like. To one pound of ground turkey, I add 1 teaspoon of granulated (or Wyler's Shakers) and stir in well, cook about 15 minutes until completely done. When I start, I add about half a cup of water but this is to keep meat from sticking to pan as it has no fat. Add salt and garlic salt to taste (but only after meat is thoroughly cooked.)
Most recipes and meal mixes now days call for using either ground turkey or ground beef but to me, I can taste the “turkey taste.” We pay about 75¢ a pound for ground turkey at the grocery store and that savings is well work finding ways to enjoy using it instead of beef! It’s not just a matter of money saved, turkey meat is much easier to digest. Watch out for brand names with “white” in the name that would imply the product was white meat. Read the fine print to see if it’s not just the usual dark meat, which is fine by me!
The main precaution for handling any turkey product is the same
for chicken, and packages are always labeled with instructions. Be
careful to wash up afterwards and not reuse any utensil that is
contaminated. Note the time the meat is started to cook and plan to keep
it on medium high heat with the lid on and make sure it cooks a minimum
of 15 minutes. A meat thermometer is a wise investment. You are
confident that the patties have reached 160° and you never
have any worry that someone will find the inside of their patty to be
The worst possible effect is where your guest gets sick and ends up in
the hospital. Get the meat thermometer!
The worst possible effect is where your guest gets sick and ends up in the hospital. Get the meat thermometer!
My secret ingredient is instant powdered beef bullion. Wyler's® makes what they call Shakers and it is what gave me the idea to add just enough beef flavor. Simple as that! There is no other brand on our grocery shelves. It changes the taste and smell to what I am used to when I use ground beef. Everyone has their own favorites when it comes to the added spices we use for different recipes.
When preparing hamburgers, I will thaw the 1-pound tube in the bowl that I will use to mix all the ingredients together. If you can plan meals ahead, set the frozen meat into the refrigerator two days ahead. You never intend to let the meat get too warm when you are thawing it but you could forget, it gets too warm and you don't know it's bad until you get sick. I use an egg that is beaten first in the bowl while the meat sets in the sink for a minute. Use a knife to slice down the meat tube and dump the meat into the bowl of beaten egg. Make sure the knife and bowl are not used again; set them aside to be washed. Add about 2 teaspoons full of the powdered beef bullion to the meat mix. Include the following if they are spices you enjoy: 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon Accent (this is MSG, do NOT use this if anyone who is allergic will be eating!), dried or fresh onions (Wyler’s® Shakers carries a variety that comes with the onions!) and mix well. This will make 3 really big patties or 4 smaller ones. I keep the cold water running slow so that I can rinse my hands between patties. This keeps the meat from sticking to your hands and makes clean up easier when you don't have to smear the meat onto the water handles. Make sure you cook it long and well done! I like to start the meat first, cover and cook on medium while I am preparing the french fries and lettuce, tomatoes, pickles. These patties also go well plain or with barbecue sauce or gravy along with a pasta or potato dish and your favorite beans! Combine what your family enjoys and have a very inexpensive meal.
Spaghetti is also at it’s best with the ground turkey.
When using a boxed mix, it says to first brown the meat in a
skillet. While cooking, I
crumble the meat and add 2 teaspoons of the instant powdered beef bullion stirring well
as the meat cooks. The meat directions say to drain off the fat.
What I see with ground turkey is water; when I cook uncovered on medium for
about 5 minutes extra, it all boils off and is ready for me to add the sauce
mix and water (or bottled sauce) or of course, your own favorite spice
recipe. Our house likes mushrooms so they are sautéed early with the
ground meat as it is browning. We also like black olives, which can be
added later as they only need to be heated. Always start the meat to cook first in the meal preparation and
notice the time. Make sure it has been cooking in a covered pan at a
medium to high temperature for at least 15 minutes. Never allow any
hungry warriors to hurry the process. Buy the meat thermometer and let
them help watch the temp rise and let you know when it is done.
Never allow any hungry warriors to hurry the process. Buy the meat thermometer and let them help watch the temp rise and let you know when it is done.
Ground turkey makes an excellent meat loaf unless you just really hate such a thing! I always use 2 pounds of ground turkey to make a loaf and I first add two eggs to the mixing bowl as mentioned for the patty recipe and then add the ground meat. Next would be 4 teaspoons of powdered beef bullion or French Onion Soup mixes can be used instead. The soup mixes come with lots of spices and onions and some with mushrooms. I start by using 1 large can of tomatoes; using all the juice and dice the tomatoes, place in a small saucepan. Add the soup mix or beef bullion and simmer on low for 5 minutes. This will hydrate all the dried onions and mushrooms or add your own fresh, canned or dried and simmer. If you are using fresh onions, garlic, peppers, allow about 15 minutes of cooking time.
When cooled completely, add
to the ground turkey mix. Some people like to add oatmeal but I prefer
to have the juices that are standing after the loaf is cooked. Include
the spices that you prefer: ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper,
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, ½ cup sliced green or yellow
peppers but only if everyone likes peppers!
Cook in your favorite loaf pan, 5” x 9”, at 400° for 1
½ to 2 hours. Place the loaf pan on a cookie sheet to catch any spills.
Drain the juices by covering the meat with a plate and pour liquid
into separate pan. Remove the meat loaf from pan with wide spatula onto platter
or large plate. Check your meat
thermometer or slice
through middle to check for doneness; meat should no longer be even
pink, or have any pink color juices. If you are not sure, put back into
the oven and cook for 15 to 30 minutes longer.
Some ovens cook slower than others and turkey MUST be cooked
thoroughly. A meat thermometer is a wise investment and the only sure way
of knowing when your loaf is done. I take the juice that boils around the meat loaf and pour it into
a small saucepan. Add beef broth or bullion and water to make 1 cup of
liquid. Spoon in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or flour to cooling juice.
When stirred smooth, heat on low until thickened. This cooked gravy can
be tasted to see if you want to add any salt, but NEVER taste any mix
with turkey that is not thoroughly cooked.