Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Whole Wheat Wednesday - Wheat Meat Ground Beef
Last Wednesday we talked about making the basic wheat meat recipe. We have mixed up the dough and washed it and it is now sitting in a bowl of clean water. We have now decided to use this gluten to make Ground beef, one of many different possibilities.
I want to mention here that if you plan on making wheat meat on a regular basis or having the tools and supplies to do it, there are a few things you need to include in your preparedness plan. First of all, you need a good food grinder. A wheat grinder grinds too small, but you can invest in a good non-electric food grinder, such as a hand-crank type. These can be found at places like Lehmans Non-Electric, Smithfield Implement and possibly some hardware stores. These are also useful for grinding pepper and onions and other vegetables in canning. I use mine mostly for grinding raisins to make raisin filled cookies or for grinding vegetables for relishes.
Also because you need a filler or binder to hold the ground meat together in making patties or meat loaf or meat balls, the recipes usually call for eggs. It’s a good idea to have powdered eggs in your storage or unflavored gelatin. This is a good way to use your flax seed if you are storing it.
Spices and flavorings are also important ingredients. If you have followed me for any time at all, you know I am a big supporter of beef bouillon for cooking; to my way of thinking, one of the most important flavorings you can store along with other flavors of bouillon.
Ground Beef is probably the most universally and conveniently used form of beef so it just might be the most popular way to use wheat meat.
There are two main ways to use ground beef; as an addition to casseroles as fillings and anywhere you would normally add fried, crumbled ground beef. Also it can be used in recipes where raw hamburger would be shaped and formed into meatballs, meat loaf or hamburger patties.
To make cooked, crumbled “ground beef”, take the raw, washed gluten and form it into balls the size of an orange. Place them on greased cookie sheets and bake in a 350º oven for 45 minutes until firm and leathery. The tough leathery texture helps to give the meaty texture when it is ground.
Remove from the oven and let it cool. Tear into pieces and put through a food or meat grinder. When ground, it has the appearance of ground beef. A food processor may be used, but the texture will not be quite the same. This is where your food grinder will come in handy.
Ground Beef Wheat Meat
2½ c. moderately packed ground gluten
2 T. beef soup base (depending on brand you use)
2 T. white flour
2 large eggs
2 T. vegetable oil
¼ t. garlic powder
¼ c. finely minced onion OR 2½ T. dehydrated onion flakes
Mix all ingredients together I a large bowl and press onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 300º Oven for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are set. Cool and tear into small bits to resemble cooked hamburger. Add to soups, stews, and casseroles, etc., just before serving. If you allow it to cook in a dish as you would regular beef, too much liquid is absorbed and the texture is lost.
To become proficient at making wheat meat only requires a little practice. The more you practice, the easier it will be to figure out the texture and seasonings you want to use. Pretty soon, you will be able to adapt it to most of your favorite recipes, with good success.
To begin with, choose a recipe where you can disguise the meat such as sloppy Joes, enchiladas or a casserole containing ground beef with noodles, rice or other fillers. This helps to disguise the beef a bit in case your first attempts don’t “look” like meat. The most important thing is to not tell your family or those you are feeding what the meat is. If you do, you can bet they will pick it apart and no one will like it. Here is a recipe for you to try:
Wheat Meat Sloppy Joes
2 c. wheat meat Ground Beef
¾ c. onion, chopped
¼ t. pepper
Salt to taste
1 T. vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1 ½ c. tomato sauce or homemade ketchup
1 T. mustard
6 Homemade Hamburger buns
In a large skillet, heat together all the ingredients except the wheat meat ground beef. Simmer, uncovered for one minute. Stir in the wheat meat and serve immediately over the hamburger buns which have been split and toasted. Y: 6 servings.