How to season ground beef

Seasoning is a never-ending topic. Thankfully we live in a world where globalization has helped us get access to tons of foodstuff that we would otherwise not be able to source even 50 years ago. Now you can find in your local grocery store spices, and seasonings made and packed on the other side of the world. So you can season your recipe by combining the spices found in the tropical forests of India, Indonesia, and South America quite easily. Seasoning is also a favorite among food lovers, as it is the seasoning that really sets the difference between two different recipes. Today we can’t even imagine food without any seasoning, and the days of just the salt and pepper seasoning are long gone. That’s why we picked up the topic of seasoning ground beef for you.

ground beef
Ground beef

Why season ground beef?

Ground beef is a favorite snack and a top menu item, used in a variety of recipes from home burger patties to anything that can use ground beef bits. While seasoning, all the herbs and spices have their own distinct flavor, and the crucial bit is to correctly manage the right ratios. Even with a basic seasoning of salt, fresh ground pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, you can have a final product that can be easily used in soups, enchiladas, chillis, tacos, and more. To do this, just mix the ground beef and these spices in a large skillet and brown the ground beef. However, this is a very basic one though it can still deliver an exceptional taste and flavor.

Ground beef is cheap and extremely versatile in the kitchen and so can be used in a variety of easy recipes. The easy basic seasoning described above is enough for the ground beef alone. However, a little more seasoning can enable it to be the right fit in many sauces, tacos, and other easy dinner recipes.

The basic Ground beef seasoning

Though basic, this seasoning will take care of all your seasoning needs. 

Cooking Details

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 325Kcal

Ingredients

  • Ground beef – 1 pound
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic Clove minced – 1/2
  • Chopped white onion – 1/4 cup
  • Ground cumin – 1 tsp
  • Kosher salt – 1 tsp

Instructions

  1. Add the Olive oil to the base of a heavy-duty skillet and place it over medium heat. Oil is to only lightly grease the bottom so that the meat does not stick and tear when you try to flip it on its other side.
  2. Once the oil starts bubbling, the skillet is ready for cooking. Now add all the ground beef to the skillet and layer it on the entire base of the skillet. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up all the pieces of the meat into an even layer.
  3. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and all the dry seasonings in the skillet and stir the contents. Ensure the contents cook evenly and are also mixed thoroughly with the meat.
  4. Stir every 2 minutes to ensure all the contents are evenly cooked. As the meat cooks, it changes from a pink color to brown. This is an indication that the meat has been cooked. Pink is also an indication that some part of the meat is still raw. Stir well and expose the uncooked meat to the heat. Repeat this and cook and stir until 14 – 15 minutes or until all the ground beef is completely browned.
  5. The browned beef is now ready, and you can use it in stroganoff, pasta, lasagne, chili, tacos, and any other recipe.

Details of the Nutrition

Serving: 3oz | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 649mg | Potassium: 325mg | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2.6mg

Ground Beef with Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

You can use the following recipe for seasoning the taco.

Ingredients

  • ground beef – 1 pound
  • dried minced onion – 2 teaspoons
  • chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • salt – 1 teaspoon
  • water – ½ cup
  • brown sugar – ½ teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch – will help bind the meat together.
  • cayenne pepper – ¼ teaspoon
  • garlic powder – ½ teaspoon
  • dried oregano – ¼ teaspoon
  • ground cumin – ½ teaspoon
  • red pepper flakes – ½ teaspoon

Instructions 

  • Mix all the ingredients together, which are cumin, minced onion, oregano, cayenne pepper, chili powder, dried minced garlic, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, and salt, in a mixing bowl.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat it lightly with oil. Empty the ground beef into the hot skillet and crumble all the pieces and ensure there are no lumps.
  • Let this mixture cook till the beef is completely browned. Stir as necessary. This will take 10 to 11 minutes. If there is grease in the skillet, collect it and drain it away.
  • Pour the seasoning mixture into the skillet and add water over the beef. Mix the beef and the spices well. Stir well to combine and cook together.
  • Bring the contents to a simmer. Let it simmer and cook until the moisture is absorbed into the meat. This will take about 4 – 6 minutes. It’s now ready to serve.

We have seen two seasoning variations where we have used basic as well as advanced seasonings. Both taste wonderful. However, the uses will change with the range of spices used.

Seasoning ground beef – Special Tips

  • Garlic and onion can be replaced by their powders which makes for easy and quicker cooking. They have the same taste profile and are easier to store. Therefore, we prefer using the powder versions for seasoning, whereas you can use the chopped onions and garlic when they are a part of the recipe.
  • Once you have found the right combination for you, you can mix them all together in a box, give it a nice mix so that all of them are mixed together, and use this seasoning box next time you want to season ground beef. This way, you do not have to search and mix all the individual spices every single time.
  • Seasoned ground beef is also good for making ahead, storing, and keeping it ready for when you want to cook at the last minute. If you are storing it, ensure you store it with all the fat because when you reheat it before preparation, it will be all dry and crumbly. Drain the fat just before when you are going to use it in the recipe.

Herbs and spices

As a bonus, we decided to add a few details of some herbs and spices, in case you want to experiment and add more of them to your seasoning.

  • Bay Leaves: Add one small bay leaf for every pound of meat you are cooking. They are to be used in the broth or while browning the beef. They are not edible and so remove them at the end of the cooking.
  • Mustard: Mustard is an easy flavor and packs a lot of punch with just a little. You can also use it as a dry powder along with other seasonings.
  • Oregano: Oregano gives the recipe a little bit of that Italian taste and blends exceptionally well with beef. Use it when you are preparing an Italian recipe.
  • Rosemary: A classic herb, it can be used in any form of cooking like roasting, broth, or browning. Add in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary when you are cooking to notice the difference.
  • Basil: Basil tastes exotic in almost anything, especially Italian. You can use it with other herbs and spices used in Italian seasonings like thyme, rosemary, and oregano for the best effect.
  • Thyme: Thyme is versatile and goes well with a combination of herbs that include sage, parsley, and garlic. Try this the next time you season the beef.
  • Sage: Sage is versatile with beef, chicken, and turkey and adds a special touch of deliciousness to the recipe.
  • Tarragon: Tarragon has an anise (black licorice) flavor, and you must use it to replicate that flavor in your recipe.
  • Cayenne pepper: If you love spicy, smoky heat, then this spice is for you. Use this to enhance the “heat level” of the recipe, and you can use it with black pepper or as a replacement for black pepper.
  • Indian flavor: It’s simple to add an Indian flavor to the seasoning than you think. Just toss in some curry powder, chili powder, and cumin, and voila, you have an exotic Indian seasoning. You can also use them separately to achieve a different taste profile. Cumin and curry powder are strong spice mixes that can overwhelm your taste and senses if you are not used to Indian spices. Therefore, you must use them sparingly, but they will still taste great nevertheless.
  • Parsley and Cilantro: These can be used not just to add some presentation in the form of a garnish and color to the recipe but also to add a nice flavor.

There, we just added a few more exotic herbs and spices to your list to keep you going and experiment a bit.

season ground beef
Photo by @p3_bbq

Summary

Seasoning is heaven. It can make the difference between something extremely delicious and something that is just ok. Also, the number of spices does matter. Add a lot, and the entire browned ground beef will smell and taste just spices and will be uneatable. Seasoning is used to enhance the taste and flavor of the meat and just that, nothing more. Being quite strong in flavor, they are always used in smaller quantities. Therefore, stick to the quantities used and even if you want to experiment, add it in moderation and do a search online to understand the quantity to be used. Overall, I think this is a good start to your seasoning journey. I hope you found the information in the article useful, and do check out our website for more such tips and delicious recipes. Happy cooking!

Jillian Noon

Hi, I am Jillian Noon, the owner of this beautiful cooking blog. I create this blog to share my passion for cooking and other kitchen & food tips. I hope you will enjoy it!

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