Last Updated on January 25, 2023 by Shari Mason
Mexican cuisine is known for its rich and flavorful dishes, many of which feature ground beef as a key ingredient.
From tacos to burritos, ground beef is a staple in Mexican cooking, and it’s important to have the right preparation method to achieve the perfect taste and texture.
Let’s explore how Mexican restaurants make their ground beef, including the ingredients, techniques, and equipment used to create the perfect ground beef for Mexican dishes.
How Do Mexican Restaurants Prepare Their Ground Beef?
Mexican restaurants combine ingredients, techniques, and equipment to prepare their ground beef.
- Ingredients: The ingredients typically used in Mexican ground beef include beef (usually chuck or round), onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin , oregano, salt, and pepper. Some restaurants may also add other ingredients, such as tomato paste or diced tomatoes, to add more flavor and moisture to the beef.
- Techniques: Mexican restaurants use a combination of techniques to prepare their ground beef. The beef is usually first sautéed with onions and garlic to add flavor and soften the meat. Then, the beef is browned to give it a nice crust and a deeper flavor. After that, the beef is simmered with the spices and other ingredients until it is fully cooked and the flavors melded together.
- Equipment: The equipment used to prepare ground beef in a Mexican restaurant includes a large skillet or a heavy-bottomed pot, a wooden spoon or spatula, and a heat source such as a gas stove or electric range. Some restaurants may also use a meat grinder to grind the beef on-site.
In general, the ground beef prepared by Mexican restaurants is often made fresh daily, with high-quality beef and flavorful ingredients, which results in a delicious taste and texture.
It’s also worth noting that Mexican restaurants usually use high-fat beef, resulting in more juicy and tender ground beef, which is ideal for many Mexican dishes.
Homemade Ground Beef vs Store-Bought Ground Beef
- Taste: Homemade ground beef is often made with high-quality, fresh beef and can be seasoned to taste with your own desired blend of spices and seasonings. As a result, it typically has a more pronounced beef flavor and a fresher taste than store-bought ground beef, which can have a more processed taste.
- Texture: Homemade ground beef is usually ground with a meat grinder or food processor, resulting in a coarser texture that can be more satisfying to eat. On the other hand, store-bought ground beef is often ground multiple times, resulting in a smoother texture, but it can also lose some of its juiciness.
- Fat Content: Homemade ground beef can be made with the desired fat content, while store-bought ground beef may have a higher or lower fat content than desired. This can affect the texture and taste of the final dish, in addition to the nutritional values.
In general, homemade ground beef will have a more pronounced beef flavor, a fresher taste, and a coarser texture than store-bought ground beef.
“My favorite comfort food would have be braised beef. You know, beef, slow-cooked in a Dutch oven or in a slow cooker until it falls apart with simple mushrooms, some onions and lots of fresh thyme and garlic.”– Tyler Florence, Chef
However, it will require more time, effort, and ingredients and may not be as convenient as store-bought ground beef.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference and how much time and resources you have available to you.
Tips For Making The Perfect Ground Beef For Mexican Dishes
- Use high-quality beef: Use beef chuck or round, high-fat cuts that give you more flavorful and juicy ground beef.
- Use the right ratio of lean to fat: 80/20 lean to fat is ideal for most Mexican dishes as it results in juicy and flavorful ground beef.
- Add aromatics: Sauté onions and garlic in a pan before adding the ground beef. This will add a depth of flavor to the final dish.
- Season well: Use good-quality chili powder, cumin, oregano , and salt and pepper. These spices will give ground beef a delicious flavor and aroma.
- Brown the beef: Browning it in a pan before adding it to the dish will help develop a deeper flavor and a nice crust.
- Simmer: Allow the beef to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes to meld the flavors together. This will also help to tenderize the beef.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning: Before serving, taste the ground beef and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Use the right equipment: Use a large skillet or a heavy-bottomed pot, a wooden spoon or spatula, and a heat source such as a gas stove or electric range.
Why does Mexican ground beef taste different?
Mexican ground beef tastes different because it is typically made with different ingredients and techniques than other types of ground beef.
How do you get ground beef fine?
One way to get ground beef fine is by using a food processor. The blades of a food processor can be used to grind the beef to a fine consistency.
Cut the beef into small cubes and process it in small batches. Pulse it a few times until you reach the desired consistency.
Ground beef is a versatile ingredient used in various Mexican dishes. Whether you’re making tacos, burritos, or any other Mexican dish, ground beef is a key ingredient that can make or break a dish.
By understanding the right ingredients, techniques, equipment, and tips, you can make ground beef just as delicious as you would find in a restaurant.
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