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Any good ingredients to compliment "ground beef?"

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

I am big into making Mexican food, and using ground beef.  I was just thinking about what I could add to my ground beef to make it better.


I usually use sauce packets from a couple companies that flavor the ground beef greatly, but I was curious about what raw ingredients I could use.

I was thinking of adding some of the sweet onions I bought today... I also bought scallions, but I don't think they are good for cooking?

I am going to add sweet onions to a cheese sauce I'm making, so I'm not sure if it would be too much with the ground beef?

Thoughts?

Any other ingredients that would compliment it nicely?

I wonder if the sauce will overpower it though....

post #2 of 11

All onions get sweet once cooked, so there really isn't any reason to cook sweet onions rather than regular onions... if the sweet onions are more expensive, I would personally keep them for raw applications like salads or salsas. 

 

 

What is your goal here? Are you making ground beef for tacos? Or is it something else? 

 

Scallions I usually like to use raw or grilled, but they can be sweated as well... depends on the application. 

 

So how will that ground beef be used with the cheese sauce exactly?

post #3 of 11
I'm not sure what you're making so I don't know how to help.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #4 of 11

As a general rule, fresh versions of the stuff found in the packets is better.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 11

Those packets are just nothing but sodium, sodium, and more sodium.

 

There are loads of options, what are you shooting for?

~If you are what you eat, I am cheap, fast, and easy.

Reply

~If you are what you eat, I am cheap, fast, and easy.

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post #6 of 11

Without really knowing what you are looking to accomplish it is rather hard to point in the right direction. Ground beef can be a blank canvas and you can go so many ways with it.

 

In regards to seasoning packets.  While I am not opposed to seasoning blends, those packets are not the best.  Rather, look to spice shops that sell their own blends. It will be a fresher product and higher quality with a lot less salt and more spices and herbs.  If you don't have a good source for spices near you then try Penzey's Spices online.  I love most of their stuff.

 

If  you want to take your seasoned ground beef, for Mexican foods, to the next level, get rid of the packets and buy yourself some good quality chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano and granulated garlic (or better yet use fresh garlic).  This way you can adjust the flavors to suit yourself, adjusting the heat level, the amount of cumin, etc.  I would also consider picking up at least some ground chipotle powder, and maybe a couple of other ground chilis (which is different from chili powder which usually has other things in it also like cumin).  This way you can play with the flavors of specific types of chilis and find the flavors and heat levels that you really like.

post #7 of 11
Do you like Mexican cuisine or Tex-Mex. food?
Two very different definitions.

Try this http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/picadillo-107178

Picadillo is a humble filling made with simple ingredients.
Use it on or in anything you like.

If you like it pick up a copy of their cookbook and try out the puffy taco shell.
Pico filled puffys are my idea of Heaven lol.
Their Mexican rice recipe is also good ( do not sub for the chicken cube as it is key IMO)

mimi
post #8 of 11

Something you might enjoy that I feel is a huge benefit to my chili, is reconstituted ancho chili peppers. They add a really intense, deep earthy and smokey flavor as well as really great color. Ancho chiles are poblano peppers that have been dried. Usually you can find them in your grocer if they carry any other dried chiles. If not try to find a Mexican market in your area. Once you de-seed them you can just barely cover them with boiling water and let them steep. Once they are soft, puree them in a blender or food processor (I use my immersion blender). Even if you love the seasoning packs, this would be something to push it over the edge.

post #9 of 11
What is not mentioned in above recipe is reduce most of the water.
This makes the meat soft and pleasant on the palate.
The addition of diced potato will thicken the mixture as they cook.

mimi
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post
 

All onions get sweet once cooked, so there really isn't any reason to cook sweet onions rather than regular onions... if the sweet onions are more expensive, I would personally keep them for raw applications like salads or salsas. 

 

 

What is your goal here? Are you making ground beef for tacos? Or is it something else? 

 

Scallions I usually like to use raw or grilled, but they can be sweated as well... depends on the application. 

 

So how will that ground beef be used with the cheese sauce exactly?


Thanks for the tip, I will check prices.  IS there a reason I would use one over the other?  I had no idea what onions to pick out, so I've been going with the sweet ones.

I'm making all sorts of things, and trying to experiment!

The first time the scallions seemed to work well, the second time I added WAAAAAYYYYY too much, and the 3rd time I added very little, but it still seemed to overpower the "pico de gallo" I was making.  It was making me sick tbh, so I think I will get rid of them, I don't think they are a necessity.

How does grilling them work?  Similar to regular onions?

The cheese sauce just goes on top, I could technically mix the 2 together at any point.

I feel like I should start adding ingredients to the ground beef instead of these sauce packets!

Thank you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

I'm not sure what you're making so I don't know how to help.


All sorts of stuff, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc.  Any advice is appreciated, thank you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

As a general rule, fresh versions of the stuff found in the packets is better.

 

mjb.


Yeah, that's what I'm aiming for!!  Thank you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 808JONO202 View Post
 

Those packets are just nothing but sodium, sodium, and more sodium.

 

There are loads of options, what are you shooting for?


I don't know, just trying to experiment.  I'm making all sorts of stuff, so any advice is appreciated.

Thanks for the info on these packets.  I ahve been noticing lately they seem a big "strong" (possibly added too much to the ground beef), and it's 390mg of sodium per 2 tbps....  

This is what I hope to eliminate by doing it with "real ingredients"

thank you :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
 

Without really knowing what you are looking to accomplish it is rather hard to point in the right direction. Ground beef can be a blank canvas and you can go so many ways with it.

 

In regards to seasoning packets.  While I am not opposed to seasoning blends, those packets are not the best.  Rather, look to spice shops that sell their own blends. It will be a fresher product and higher quality with a lot less salt and more spices and herbs.  If you don't have a good source for spices near you then try Penzey's Spices online.  I love most of their stuff.

 

If  you want to take your seasoned ground beef, for Mexican foods, to the next level, get rid of the packets and buy yourself some good quality chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano and granulated garlic (or better yet use fresh garlic).  This way you can adjust the flavors to suit yourself, adjusting the heat level, the amount of cumin, etc.  I would also consider picking up at least some ground chipotle powder, and maybe a couple of other ground chilis (which is different from chili powder which usually has other things in it also like cumin).  This way you can play with the flavors of specific types of chilis and find the flavors and heat levels that you really like.


Thanks, that's what I'm trying to get rid of with this thread, by using real ingredients! :)

Thanks for the tip on this store, I will check it out... Do you have anything you recommend?

Thanks, I will look into all of these ingredients, I'm assuming fresh over powders?  Would I buy my own chilli, or the powder for that is okay?

Are there certain chili to pick out?  Does cumin come fresh?

Yeah I need to do more tasting during cooking instead of dump and go!

I'm still learning though, but I want to try harder to be healthier and create high quality food as well!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

Do you like Mexican cuisine or Tex-Mex. food?
Two very different definitions.

Try this http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/picadillo-107178

Picadillo is a humble filling made with simple ingredients.
Use it on or in anything you like.

If you like it pick up a copy of their cookbook and try out the puffy taco shell.
Pico filled puffys are my idea of Heaven lol.
Their Mexican rice recipe is also good ( do not sub for the chicken cube as it is key IMO)

mimi


Not too sure what "tex-mex" is, I'm assuming some boxed food or something?  I like authentic Mexican, but I also do love taco bell :P (don't really eat it though), but more authentic is best, imo.  I love all sorts of foreign foods!

Thanks I'll look into this.

ooh puff taco!  I was deep frying some soft shelled tacos and they were great!  Nice and crunchy!  I used veggie oil, so not too sure if that's good or not.

I'll check it out!  Do you think the book would be at Barnes and Noble?  I have one near me I'll go check it out.

Thanks for the help!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastshores View Post
 

Something you might enjoy that I feel is a huge benefit to my chili, is reconstituted ancho chili peppers. They add a really intense, deep earthy and smokey flavor as well as really great color. Ancho chiles are poblano peppers that have been dried. Usually you can find them in your grocer if they carry any other dried chiles. If not try to find a Mexican market in your area. Once you de-seed them you can just barely cover them with boiling water and let them steep. Once they are soft, puree them in a blender or food processor (I use my immersion blender). Even if you love the seasoning packs, this would be something to push it over the edge.


Thanks!  So put then in something like a pan with a little water?  What is "steep" like a steep incline, so not flat?

I enjoy the packages, but want to do without them, especially with all of the comments about how they aren't good... :)

Thank you

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

What is not mentioned in above recipe is reduce most of the water.
This makes the meat soft and pleasant on the palate.
The addition of diced potato will thicken the mixture as they cook.

mimi


I usually dump out the water,  when I'm cooking so i can flush all crap out, and refill with a little tap water to keep from burning or w/e.

Thanks for the tip!

post #11 of 11
When you mention the need for different seasonings and uses for ground meat for your Mexican dishes my mind immediately goes to TexMex .
Yeah you can get it from a box as well as the seasoning packages you have been using.

Altho if you want to experience the real deal you need to know what it is you are looking for http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/what-is-tex-mex-food-difference-between-tex-mex-and-mexican

The above is a tongue in cheek description......just for fun .

mimi
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