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Old 11-19-2007, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Last night I had some hamburger thawed for tacos and changed my mind at the last minute, so I started cooking the burger in some EVOO with some s & p. I added some onions, carrots, paprika, a little worcestershire (sp?), some Italian seasoning, some fresh sliced mushrooms and some fresh green beans. I added more s & p as I was adding the other stuff. I didn't have any beef broth, so I shook some bullion (I know I spelled this one wrong) granules on top of everything and added some water. I let things steam/cook away with the lid on and then added some flour to thicken after a while. I put the mixture on some mashed potatos and it was pretty tasty, but it was missing something....
That flavor that adds a richness to the food that has you going back for more rather than putting it in a container for tomorrow's lunch. That flavor that pulls everything together and has you wishing you can exactly duplicate this next time.

Is there some ingredient/spice that does this? Some basic pantry item that would change this concoction from good to great? I've got half a mind to heat up the leftovers with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a little milk to see if that gives me what I think I'm missing.
I was about to suggest curry powder, but you already have Italian seasoning added to the mix. I would use incorporate the cooked gb mixture into just about any dish. i.e.

Pot Pie

Pasta dish - add white sauce and make something similar to Pastitsio (layers of pasta/white sauce/cheese/beef)

Potato lasagna - layers of thinly-sliced potatoes, gb, cheese & tomato sauce

Tacos - top w sour cream, salsa, sliced avocados etc.

Stuffing for manicotti - add cheese - top w sauce of choice

Lasagna - mushrooms/white sauce, add veggies of choice (zukes, more carrots, shrooms, tomatoes)

Pizza

Calzone
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Tomato paste.... hmmmm.....
Does it turn anything red or tomato tasting? I like tomatos and red "gravy" in their places; spagetti sauce, chili, meatball subs, but have never been a fan of anything done cacciatore (sp?) or of tomato paste on meatloaf.
Does it cook down or something where it's not really noticeable?
All depends how much you add. How soupy is this dish? See to me, your description of the dish is similar to a spag bog sauce or meatballs. I always add tomato paste or tomato sauce (ketchup) to hamburgers. You don't need much to give it some richness, but you would need to do it to suit your tastes. Because you are using the paste, a little goes far and doesn't have the same all over effect that a can of tomatoes would have, and yet the tomatoes don't give the richness of the paste! I like the flavour of tomatoes with red meat dishes but don't care for it as a sauce over fish or chicken.

You could try instead a dollop of oyster sauce in the mix instead of tomato. Gives an unexpected depth without turning it Asian. Or Kecap Manis. Or some balsamic vinegar.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:03 AM   #13
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I love sour cream and always have some one hand. I started with a pound of burger, how much sour cream would you add? Towards the end?
i would probably go with 8 oz right as it's finishing up. It should create a creamy sauce to tie everything together...
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:27 AM   #14
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Thanks for the great suggestions on adding "depth" to the flavor. That's the word I was searching for. It had a good flavor, it just lacked depth.

And thanks for the easy to follow instructions on turning it into something different. I don't think I'll have have the conviction to stuff manicotti, but now I'll know how
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:18 PM   #15
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I dont know about Lemon Pepper, too much salt for me. My wife laughs at my no tell ingredient. Its straight lemon and or lime juice. It gives a little something to every dish. I even put it in my spaghetti sauce.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:11 PM   #16
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I would have added a splash of whipping cream of half and half, then grated some nutmeg into it. That would have given it more body and a je ne sais quoi that would have left people wondering why it was so delicious.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:18 PM   #17
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So hard to tell without doing a taste test, I think I will have to come over and eat a couple first.... ;)
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Last night I had some hamburger thawed for tacos and changed my mind at the last minute, so I started cooking the burger in some EVOO with some s & p. I added some onions, carrots, paprika, a little worcestershire (sp?), some Italian seasoning, some fresh sliced mushrooms and some fresh green beans. I added more s & p as I was adding the other stuff. I didn't have any beef broth, so I shook some bullion (I know I spelled this one wrong) granules on top of everything and added some water. I let things steam/cook away with the lid on and then added some flour to thicken after a while. I put the mixture on some mashed potatos and it was pretty tasty, but it was missing something....
That flavor that adds a richness to the food that has you going back for more rather than putting it in a container for tomorrow's lunch. That flavor that pulls everything together and has you wishing you can exactly duplicate this next time

Is there some ingredient/spice that does this? Some basic pantry item that would change this concoction from good to great? I've got half a mind to heat up the leftovers with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a little milk to see if that gives me what I think I'm missing.
Hi Pacanis,
I suspect that using one ingredient designed to be cooked by frying/grilling or BBQ`d and then cooking in a sauce lies at the heart of the problem. Placing the hamburger in a sauce may cause all the flavours in the hamburger to leach out of (leave) the meat into the sauce so you would get something which is a bit of "something and nothing (!) insipid meat and insipid sauce.

The vegetables, sautéed in OO/EVOO and then made up into a sauce with the addition of a bouillon thickened with flour could (and dare I say should) have been a sufficiently flavoursome sauce to be served with the hamburgers and mash provided the hamburgers had been cooked by grilling/frying cooking in a ridged pan etc. Now, it may be that you used too much water/bouillon flour in the sauce. I would have made the sauce seperately, cooked the `burgers and served with the mash.

An alternative would have been to divide the `bugers into two/three (depends upon the size of the `burgers, and shape into small balls and cook in one pan (gently sautéeing so that they are sizzling at all times and browning gently so that they cook through), make the sauce in another, combine at the last moment and serve with pasta (spaghetti or fettucine).

Finally, you say you sprinkled bouillon granules on top and added water. Perhaps you added too few granules and too much water which would leave the final mix somewhat insipid. When using bouillon it is perhaps best to make up a quantity with water - say 125mls/1/4 pint at a time and add. Remember that as you add bouillon and as it reduces as a sauce cooks it becomes more intensive in terms of salt, so season the dish just before serving.

Finally, finally, if I was to add one item to the dish you made it would be freshly grated nutmeg to the sauce but as with all cooking YOU MUST CHECK seasoning as you go! - this is what teaspoons were invented for. I have 2 dozen in my kitchen and regularly use half a dozen as I`m cooking.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:07 PM   #19
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It sure doesn't hurt Archiduc
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:49 PM   #20
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my first thought was to add salt and fat for flavor, so i woulda sauteed some lardons of bacon or diced salume, and mixed them in.
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