So I have grassfed ground beef from Trader Joe's. I have many organic lemons from the Santa Monica farmer's market and a memory of how delicious something called carne apache is.
Many years ago, when I was 10 or 11, my uncle made a ceviche that uses ground beef.
The ground beef was cooked enzymatically, via the lemon juice. It was served with diced jalapenos, onions, tomato, cilantro, and avocado.
What do you think about this if I make it with grassfed beef?
I know I probably would not want to do this with industrial ground beef, what about from a good source?
I wouldn't do it with commercial ground beef. Any pathogens whatsoever on the surface of the beef would be ground into the meat as a whole at the processor.
It sounds pretty awesome though, like a cross between carpaccio and ceviche. I'd just use a solid piece of beef and chop it up myself.
Firstly, ceviche is usually made with finely diced meat (most commonly fish); ground meat is usually used for steak tartare. With ceviche, the citric acid causes the proteins in raw meat to become denatured; however, this does not kill most pathogens that could be present in the meat. With steak tartare, horseradish is usually present; it does have some antibacterial properties (one of the reasons sushi is eaten with wasabi), but there is no guarantee that it will kill all harmful bacteria.
I therefore wouldn't eat commercial beef raw, and especially not ready mince (bacteria in red meat are present on the surface, so ground meat could contain pathogens distributed throughout). The reason health & safety recommendations advise against eating raw meat because large-scale farms have a higher risk of infection, and mechanised processing of the meat increases the risk of contamination of the surface.
I don't know about Trader Joe's and what kind of conditions the cattle they source their meat from is raised under (they don't have the info on their website). Of course, grassfed cattle conditions will be better than those in CAFO farms, but its still a large company and I doubt they source from small, organic farms, so there is still a risk, and I think its best to be safe than sorry.
I know Peggy from theprimalparent.com gets her meat from US Wellness Meats and eats it mainly raw; restaurants usually use 'sashimi grade' meat. So, bottom line is that the beef you're eating raw must either be 'sashimi-grade' (though I wouldn't recommend it because it's been treated/processed and you cannot vouch for it being grassfed or organic) or from a farmer/butcher you trust, and the smaller, the better.
And if you are going to eat beef raw, always buy whole pieces rather than mince; you can also trim the exterior which is exposed to oxygen and which would harbor the bacteria. You could also sear the surface of the meat for a few seconds in a very hot pan and then trim the cooked part off.
lots of Paleo love
There are a number of raw beef recipes in Nourishing Traditions. They recommend freezing meat for two weeks to kill anything lurking in the meat. (You can do carpaccio, something akin to ceviche, steak tartare, etc.) I've made a couple of the recipes with meat from our CSA. I needed to adjust some seasonings, but the recipes were pretty good.
Edited to add: I totally missed the part about it being from TJ's. (I saw 'grass-fed' and assumed local farm, which I shouldn't do.) I'm not sure I'd risk it with the TJ's meat, but if you find some meat from a local farm the NT recipes are good!
I looked up the recipe on Google and despite the crazy translation (by Bing) it looks good enough to try. I will probably try it when I get some great beef.
After all, we eat raw beef carpaccio and this is cooked with lime just like ceviche is.
I've been watching an all-day nutrition seminar Mat Lalonde did in January and his preferred diet is raw meat and cooked vegetables. But he knows the source of his meat and is not worried about pathogens. So definitely do beef ceviche if you are happy with the source (sorry, I love Trader Joe's, but that's not something I'd trust).