No longer do you have to fight the wooden spoon or spatula to get perfectly crumbled pieces of ground meat when you use this handy trick. Put down the spoon and reach for the potato masher!
Taco Tuesdays are a real thing whether you stuff ’em with ground beef, sautéed veggies, seafood or dessert (fyi… ice cream tacos rock!) but for me I always kind of secretly hated making the meat filled ones as I never could get those perfect little pieces. I was the one that had inconsisent chunks of meat. A few perfect uniform pieces with about 486 mamouth chunks thrown in. Mine certainly didn’t look picture worthy even though the flavor was spot on.
So I figured while I was in Mexico last month I’d ask the authorities. While I was with a few chefs I said “So I have an embarrassing question to ask as I can’t figure something out in Mexican cooking. How do you get your cooked meats for tacos so perfectly uniform? I make it and it’s tough and I’ll go from boulders to pebbles in meat size!”
Into the kitchen we went where they just so happened were cooking up ground beef. And lo and behold one of the helpers were mashing up the ground meat as it cooked. There are a few tricks he said that were a must when it came to making the meat:
- Make sure the meat is not cold. Let the meat come to room temp.
- Cook it low and slow. You do not want to brown the meat but rather just slow cook it so you don’t make the outside of the meat hard.
- For every pound of meat add about a 1/4 cup of water to help keep the meat tender.
- As you cook use the potato masher to stir and break up the pieces. If pieces get on top of the masher either tap the masher on the side of the pot or use the wooden spoon to scrape it up.
- When it’s done, drain off the fat and any liquid.
- Voila! Perfectly crumbled ground beef!
So when I got home I had to try this and folks, it works! This is the only way I’ll make my taco meat filling from now on. Sure it’s a little time comsuming but it’s so worth it.
Now depending on the pot I use, will depend on which masher I’ll use. But I personally recommend the following:
For Stainless Steel Surfaces:
KUKPO Stainless Steel Potato Masher
For Non-Stick Surfaces:
Professional, Fine Grid Mashing Plate For Non-Stick Cookware by Moskus Gear