It's a must-have in the Southern kitchen and is the base for a number of hearty dishes. These delectable offerings showcase ground beef in updated ways.

Ground Beef Recipes: Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy
Credit: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Cook's Notes
These recipes were tested with ground round, which we think has the best lean-to-fat ratio and delivers the greatest value. Economical family-size packs of ground round are a smart way to trim your food budget. When these 3- to 4-lb. beauties are on sale, grab a pack or two, portion the meat into 1-lb. servings, and freeze for future use.

Freeze recipe-size portions of uncooked ground beef in zip-top plastic freezer bags or plastic freezer containers for up to four months. Be sure to label, including the amount and date.

"Fancy Ground Beef" is from the April 2008 issue of Southern Living.