I don’t know if you know this, but good seafood is hard to find here in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Which is a total bummer on account of the fact that I love dishes like New England Clam chowder. The good news is we have beef. And I’m fairly resourceful, creative even, in the kitchen and can improvise with the best of them.
Enter – Sandhills Ground Beef Chowder.
While it may not have that delish clam flavor I love, it is delicious and just as hearty as clam chowder. It totes satisfies the craving when clams are hard to find, which is always.
Don’t forget the rules of food safety! Here is the short list:
- Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
- Never thaw meat on the counter – instead thaw in the refrigerator, microwave or cool water bath.
- Always wash cutting boards and plates after having been in contact with raw meat.
- Always cook to appropriate internal temperatures. Safe internal temperatures vary based on cut. Ground beef must reach a safe and savory 160 degrees, while steak is safe at 145 degrees.
1 pound ground beef
3 strips bacon, chopped
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon ganules
1/4 teaspoon thyme
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
Pepper to taste
Heat a medium to large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef, break it up into small pieces, and brown for 8-10 minutes or until the ground beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium to large sauce pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it reaches your desired level of crispiness. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside to drain on paper towels , reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
In the same sauce pan with the bacon drippings, stir in 1 cup of water, potatoes, onion, bouillon, and thyme. Bring it all to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally. With the back of a fork, or a potato masher, give the potatoes a slight smash.
Whisk together the milk and flour until smooth and pour it gradually into the potato mixture. Simmer and stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the ground beef and pepper. Bring everything back to a boil and cook 1-2 minutes until everything is heated through.
Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon. Enjoy!