Difficult meat recipes / Complicated Recipes

Difficult meat recipes

[Doodle: Robyn Lee]

Why do I (or don't I) brown ground meat before making meat sauce or chili?

My question concerns cooking ground meat in things such as chili and casseroles. Most recipes call for browning the meat before adding it to the dish. I know that the Maillard reaction creates more flavor, but is there any other reason for this step? Does cooking the meat before mixing it with the sauce/other ingredients make the texture of the final dish "better" by pre-tightening the meat structure?

You know what happens when you throw too much ground meat in a pot, right? At first, it'll give you a few brief moments of glorious sizzle. You can actually* hear proteins breaking down and recombining in that gloriously complex series of chemical processes known as the Maillard reaction. But the euphoria is short lived.

20100122-best-chili-meat.jpg* Not actually.

The sizzle slowly quiets, getting softer and softer, until eventually its replaced entirely by a wet, spluttering. *pft pphhth pbpb phtttfp*. Steam starts coming up from your pot as liquid begins to erupt through the top surface of the meat in little bubbles, like a lazy volcano.

As it continues, your meat begins to turn from pink to gray, and you start asking, "Where did I go wrong?"

The answer is simple: You didn't go wrong. Don't worry about it.

Ok, well the real answer is a little more complicated than that. So let's take a closer to look.

Browning Basics

The Maillard reaction (or the browning reaction) takes place best at temperatures above 300°F or so. On the other hand, water boils at around 212°F, and it's a self-regulating deal. So long as there is water remaining, the majority of the energy you put into a piece of meat (via a hot pan) will be used to evaporate that water, leaving little energy to help those browning reactions take place.

What this means is that a piece of meat—and I mean any piece of meat, whether it's a giant steak or a tiny bit of ground beef—will not start to brown significantly until most of its surface moisture has been driven off.

You might also like
Crockpot Recipes | Crockpot Meals Over 500 + Recipes
Crockpot Recipes | Crockpot Meals Over 500 + Recipes
RAW VEGAN MAIN COURSE MEAL
RAW VEGAN MAIN COURSE MEAL
Hi Country Hi-Country Snack Foods Domestic Meat and WILD GAME 14.23 oz. Sweet Teriyaki Home Jerky Spice Kit
Sports (Hi Country)
  • Everything you need to successfully make your own jerky at home.
  • Use that WILD GAME in the freezer with our tasty spice mixes for jerky, sausage, and roasts.

MasterChef Australia grand finalists Emelia Jackson, Laura Cassai and Brent ..  — NEWS.com.au
Without a recipe .. MasterChef contestant Kira Westwick unveils her croquembouche. Source: Channel 10. Each of the three contestants had a bit of the recipe, but none of them had it all.

Olli Salumeria Olli Salumeria Wild Boar Applewood Smoked Salame with Sangiovese Wine, 6 oz
Grocery (Olli Salumeria)
  • Pack of 1, 6 ounces each
  • Product of USA
  • Particles of mahogany-red meat, dark flecks (these are spices) and white fats.
  • A healthy salame has a pleasantly chewy texture, but shouldn t be hard or difficult to chew.
Olli Salumeria Olli Salumeria Tartufo Truffle Salame with Sangiovese Wine, 5 oz
Grocery (Olli Salumeria)
  • Pack of 1, 5 ounces each
  • Product of USA
  • Particles of mahogany-red meat, dark flecks (these are spices) and white fats.
  • A healthy salame has a pleasantly chewy texture, but shouldn t be hard or difficult to chew.
Olli Salumeria Olli Salumeria Organic Hot Chorizo with Spicy Smoked Paprica, 4.5 oz
Grocery (Olli Salumeria)
  • Pack of 1, 4.5 ounces each
  • Product of USA
  • Particles of mahogany-red meat, dark flecks (these are spices) and white fats.
  • A healthy salame has a pleasantly chewy texture, but shouldn t be hard or difficult to chew.
Olli Salumeria Olli Salumeria Organic Molisana Garlic and Pepper Salame, 4.5 oz
Grocery (Olli Salumeria)
  • Pack of 1, 4.5 ounces each
  • Product of USA
  • Particles of mahogany-red meat, dark flecks (these are spices) and white fats.
  • A healthy salame has a pleasantly chewy texture, but shouldn t be hard or difficult to chew.
Related Posts