Just sharing today this news story (below) about Cargill’s ground turkey recall and the salmonella outbreak from the recalled meat. The recall doesn’t seem to affect us here in the West but it’s always a good reminder to be careful about cooking with ground meats. I was darkly amused by the advice in another related article not to worry because if you’re cooking the meat for a long, long time the whole tainted thing is not an issue. Great. Reminds me of Medieval use of salt to cover hide a multitude of sins and decay. I do use ground turkey for a Bolognese meat sauce and that does cook for several hours, turkey chili would too, but I buy ground turkey from a butcher counter these days.
Ever since we had an unpleasant bout with food poisoning from some ground beef a couple of years back, I have stopped buying it pre-ground, even from the quality counters. Instead I buy chuck stew meat from a all-pastured meat producer and grind it in the food processor. Here a good option is Marin Sun Farms, which is widely available. (Here’s a link to where you can find it in stores in the Bay Area: http://www.marinsunfarms.com/places-to-buy/retail-outlets-and-restaurants/) It makes really good hamburgers as long as you grind it enough so there aren’t a few big chunks that might put you off if you hit one as you eat the burger. It’s still a good idea to cook to medium, but if you really like it medium rare you’ll feel better if you know you took the extra step of grinding it yourself. At first I thought the extra step was a pain because I hate cleaning up food processors, but now that I am used to it – and we don’t eat it that often – it is no big deal at all. Whenever I try to urge myself to take the step back to do a food prep task myself rather than to buy it pre-done, I think about “Uncrustables” sitting in my grocer’s freezer. I was just shocked and amazed when I first learned about this product, a box of frozen, round peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts removed – hence the name. I love it that progress has brought us the PB&J that can be handy in your freezer – because the ingredients are just so hard to store and throw together at the last minute!