Where do we start?! Beef is such a versatile meat and there is so much we can do with it in the kitchen to serve up the most delicious meals. It has become one of the staple proteins around the world, which means every country and every culture has their own unique ways of preparing and cooking this most delicious meat. From a tong slappin’ barbecued American Tomahawk steak to a rich and moist Moroccan Tagine, beef is used to fulfill so many of our culinary desires…well except for when it comes to dessert.
So, what are some of your favourite ingredients that you think pair well with beef? To be honest, we think pretty much everything can go well with beef, but we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites. Bon appétit!
Let’s start with the simple steak. Seasoned and cooked to perfection, a good steak doesn’t need much to accompany it, but if you like to add a bit of extra flavour, then here are some good ones.
1. Ground horseradish
Native to certain parts of Europe and Asia, horseradish is a root vegetable with an intense flavour. It is more popular as a condiment in the United Kingdom as it is here in Australia, so it can be hard to find in some shops. We would also recommend avoiding horseradish cream as ground horseradish is a far superior product. Similar to mustard and wasabi, it packs a short but intense punch. But if you put just the right amount on each mouthful of steak, it opens up a range of wonderfully tangy flavours that really enhances the meat.
2. Wholegrain mustard
More common in Australia than horseradish, this condiment is much easier to find in supermarkets and is probably in most household pantries. Its vinegar base gives it a lovely tang, and the texture of the soft whole grains of mustard give an oddly satisfying popping sensation in your mouth.
Sliced button mushrooms, pan-fried with garlic and plenty of butter makes a delicious addition to a good steak. Once the mushrooms are nice and soft and blending well with the butter, they add a real soft earthiness to any steak. They can also be something of a saviour if the steak is a bit tough or if you’ve overcooked it, as the softness gives the illusion of a more tender meat. Add chillies or your favourite hot sauce to the mushroom mix if you like a bit of spice.
There are so many ways that minced beef can be turned into a delicious dish. For this section, rather than pairing mince with individual condiments, we will instead focus on groups of flavours to create certain styles of dish.
Pretty much any Mexican dish can be made from a minced beef base. Any combination of the following ingredients will turn your minced beef into an excellent base for a range of Mexican dishes:
– Ground cumin
– Ground smoky paprika
– Garam masala
– Chillies (fresh, dried, ground or a combination)
– Salt and pepper
You can experiment with ratios and add other things like cinnamon, nutmeg and brown…