We are a family of carnivores. We love meat! I’ll never forget the look on the face of a meat salesman who came to my door when I told him we don’t eat beef. We were living in the middle of cattle country and any meat that is processed and sold in that area is Angus. He shook his head and said that’s crazy because everybody eats Angus beef. Well, we don’t because it's not what's for dinner at our house. This post is not about the evils of meat, but rather a reason why we don't eat a certain kind. If we could, we would still be enjoying it.
Beef: It's Not What's for Dinner
My husband can’t eat Angus and since it has become such a widely used beef, I stopped buying all beef for fear of it being mixed with another breed of meat. Red meat is a high purine food and for some reason, all it takes is one bite of Angus beef to trigger a gout flare up for my husband.
How we found out about the Angus being a trigger food, we experimented with foods trying to find what triggered the flare-ups. (At that time, our local stores labeled meat that was Angus.) In the end beef was the culprit, and the Angus elevated the flare-ups.
The last time I bought any beef was in 2014 and that year my husband had several flare-ups. I spread those frozen containers throughout the year and each time he was on crutches for at least a week at a time. That is how we knew the meat was Angus beef.
Not being able to eat beef has caused me to look a little further into the ingredient list on packages of foods. Pepperoni, certain brands of turkey/chicken hot dogs, and canned meats all contain either beef or beef broth. It pays to read the ingredients on items because you never know what’s in there. Never assume a product labeled as turkey or chicken is only that; we learned this quickly.
Many of my recipes call for beef or beef broth and those have had to be tweaked to not include it. Ground meat is always ground turkey or ground venison. Any needed broth, I use chicken broth or vegetable broth depending on the recipe.
The recipes I share here on the blog, are recipes I cook without beef or beef broth. Some of them I notate it in the post while others I do not. While my palate has grown accustomed to the chicken broth exchange, I do know beef broth will take the flavors up a notch, that is why I list beef broth in the ingredients.
Any smart cook knows you don’t have to play by the rules when it comes to cooking for one’s family and their needs.
So what kind of meat does this carnivorous family eat? We eat chicken, pork, turkey, and venison.
Saving Money by Not Buying Beef
For recipes that call for ground meat, I use ground turkey. If there’s ground venison in the freezer, I use that instead. My brother and his wife are the ones who got me to using ground turkey in place of ground beef years ago. They told me you couldn’t even tell a difference once it was cooked. At that time, we were finding ways to tighten the belt on our budget and when I researched the cost difference between the meats; I was surprised that the turkey was cheaper. And the taste, you couldn’t tell a difference.
As I mentioned before, the last time I bought beef was in 2014. At that time, I couldn’t pass up on the deal I was getting in buying beef rather than turkey because it was cheaper. But on the downside, my husband missed days of work because of trying to save money. It’s not worth saving money and compromising my husband’s health and ability to live a normal life. When I buy ground meat, I buy ground turkey in bulk because it does save money.
I’ve seen a couple of recipes lately that normally call for a form of beef that is using boneless chicken breast instead. My husband even tried one of those dishes while at a restaurant and liked it so much, he’s asked me to try to come up with my own version. When I do, I’ll be sure to share it with you.
I have to include a secret here… when my husband is not around; I enjoy a Wendy’s single with cheese now and then. I don’t deprive myself of foods, but I don’t tempt him either.
My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Nothing fancy shmancy for him, because of this cooking for him is easy. And best of all, we really don’t miss the beef.
Some of our favorite “beefy” meals I’ve shared are: