Beef: it's what for dinner. And if you really like the taste of it, it can be what you season the rest of your dinner with, too.
My favorite food hacks are the ones that not only make cooking easier or cooler, but more flavorful as well. That's why I was pretty excited when I discovered this hack: beef salt. If you're a beef lover, that may sound great, but I assure you, it tastes even better than it sounds. Plus, it's incredibly easy and demonstrates that there's another trick up salt's sleeve.
I'm still experimenting with adding beef salt to dishes, but so far it has really elevated everything I've tried it on, from snacks like popcorn to other meats such as chicken. The folks at Ideas in Food, on the other hand, developed the recipe so that they could incorporate seared beef flavor into steak tartare. Genius!
Sauté a few ounces of ground beef in a pan with olive oil. You'll want to use a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula to break up the beef into small pieces, and you want to stir it moderately (the key is to stir the beef enough to keep it from sticking to the pan, but not so much that you keep it from truly frying).
The goal in sautéing the beef is to really crisp it up, so cook it for a few minutes longer than you normally would (it will look like it's burnt, but keep going). When the ground beef begins to turn dark brown and crispy, like excellently cooked bacon, then your beef is done.
Next, pour off the fat from the pan (always save your meat fat!), and empty the ground beef onto a paper towel. Within a few minutes, the beef should be completely dry and crisp.
Now comes the fun part: put the little chunks of crispy beef into a bowl, and crush them until they're a sandy texture. I used a mortar and pestle, but you can get creative here and find any way to crush the crunchy bits. Sandwiching the beef between two sheets of paper towels and using a rolling pin or wine bottle on them would also work.
Now all you need is to mix your beefy goodness with salt, and you'll have a divine condiment. There's no exact ratio here, as it depends on how beefy you want your salt, but I found that a near 1:1 ratio was perfect.
With fun food hacks like this, one thing leads to another. Safe to say I'll soon have to try this same technique... but with bacon.
Salt is a natural preservative and antibacterial, so you could probably store your beef salt for at least a month if refrigerated. If you're very cautious, you can freeze it and then defrost small amounts to use as needed.
Love making hamburgers? Here's how to keep ground meat from sticking to your hands. Did you know there's an even better way to freeze meat so it doesn't lose flavor after defrosting? If you're caught in a time crunch, then it's good to know how and why you should cook steak when it's still frozen. And if you're in the mood for some comfort food, check out our guide to breading and frying meat to perfection.