There’s Wheat in This Meat!

Camille G. West, Salt Lake City, “There’s Wheat in This Meat!,” Ensign, Sept. 1990, 69

Beef was expensive the year my parents were in charge of feeding a large group and their families at a big dinner. So Mom and Dad bought ten pounds of hamburger and, following a Mexican tradition, added cracked wheat to the meat to make it go further. They were able to feed seventy-five people as many tacos as they could eat.

You can use the same method they did in almost any dish that contains hamburger. Not only is the mixture economical, it also contains less cholesterol than plain hamburger and tastes good.

To extend hamburger, crack whole grains of wheat in a wheat grinder or blender just as you would for cracked-wheat cereal. (You can also use bulgur—boiled cracked wheat that has been dried.) Cook the hamburger and drain the fat. For each pound of hamburger, add two cups of water and one-half cup of uncooked cracked wheat. Stir and simmer at least thirty minutes. Add seasonings.

The wheat will absorb water, the meat’s flavor, and any seasonings; the wheat-meat mixture has a texture similar to that of regular meat filling, and it can be refrigerated for later use. Because the wheat kernels will continue to swell, you may need to add additional water before reheating.