Let’s talk about browning ground beef. I had someone tell me they hated ground beef because of the texture and flavor. But they like hamburgers…a lot.
I then assumed it was because of the way they were browning their ground beef. Often folks just put it in a pan, break it up, and heat it through until it is completely cooked. Then add it to whatever they are making: tacos, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc.
This can leave you with gummy, flavorless pebbles in your meal. Instead, let’s use the Maillard Reaction to create better ground beef. (See a good explanation here)
To make a flavorful ground beef with good texture, start with the raw meat.
Season it with salt, pepper and whatever spices you’ll be using in the meal – Italian spices, Chili spices, taco seasonings, etc. and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Mix it into the beef well.
Next, spread the mixture into the skillet – flatten it like you’re making a very large hamburger and turn on the heat. Medium-high.
Important – leave it alone! Let it cook on one side until it has a deep crust on it – reduced to medium heat if it looks like it might burn. You want it browned, not burned.
Once it’s completely browned with a nice crust, turn it over. I usually break it into three to four pieces to flip easily. Now repeat the browning process. Once it is fully browned on both sides, use a spatula or a metal pastry cutter to create larger crumbles of meat. These will be full of flavor and a good texture to complement any sauce or seasoning.
I wanted to make Crisp to celebrate Autumn. I went with Blueberry Crisp (recipe here) because I was enjoying slicing and eating my apples. I’ll pick up some Macintosh if I can find them for crisp next week.