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Old 04-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #21
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I think I get what you're asking, Soma. The Taco John's here has meat textured like you describe. I read that they soak the ground beef in water for 2 to 3 hours before cooking it in shortening, and keep mashing it with a fork.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #22
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taxlady, I guess the texture I'm looking for is more like cooked porridge.

Andy, I think you're wrong.....if I brown the meat first, it gets hard and crunchy on the outside, and sometimes bits of it stay in clumps which are a bit larger than I'd like, unless I keep smashing them to bits, which I don't want to do.
Yes, if you brown the meat, it gets harder and crusty. However, if you then add it to you r tomato sauce and simmer it for two hours, it won't be hard and crusty any more.

The texture of raw ground meat in tomato sauce may be different but I don't classify cooked ground meat as firm and crusty after cooking.

I keep breaking up the clumps until they are uniformly small because that's the was I like them in my sauce.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #23
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...The texture of raw ground meat in tomato sauce may be different but I don't classify cooked ground meat as firm and crusty after cooking.

I keep breaking up the clumps until they are uniformly small because that's the was I like them in my sauce.
Exactly. It's only going to get firm and crusty if you aren't turning it enough or you let it cook too long.

The idea is to brown the meat until it is no longer red and it releases it's juices so you can strain the juice off. But I don't know of any ground meat that breaks apart on its own.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #24
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If you brown the meat a little bit and then add liquid, it will break up easily. If you want the meat browner, you can brown it some more when the liquid has evaporated.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:14 PM   #25
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Having worked at Taco John's - they don't soak the meat in water...The ground beef (20 lb) is placed in a pressure cooker with 4 gallons of water and a 5 lb bag of "spices". It is then sealed and cooked for a prearranged amount of time, I forget that number. When it's done the water has been absorbed by the "spices" and then this is mashed together with a giant potato masher to 1. break up the meat and 2. get it mixed to the proper consistency...much like toothpaste. The first ingredient in the "spices" is Textured Vegetable Proteins.

Now this was over 30 years ago, but it is what I did first thing in the morning before I sat down and did the bookkeeping and bank deposit.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:14 PM   #26
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I think important thing is not to overcook the meat, then it will be soft.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:38 PM   #27
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Having worked at Taco John's - they don't soak the meat in water...The ground beef (20 lb) is placed in a pressure cooker with 4 gallons of water and a 5 lb bag of "spices". It is then sealed and cooked for a prearranged amount of time, I forget that number. When it's done the water has been absorbed by the "spices" and then this is mashed together with a giant potato masher to 1. break up the meat and 2. get it mixed to the proper consistency...much like toothpaste. The first ingredient in the "spices" is Textured Vegetable Proteins.

Now this was over 30 years ago, but it is what I did first thing in the morning before I sat down and did the bookkeeping and bank deposit.
What a nifty method. I might do this next time I make tacos just to see how it comes out.
Do you have to do much mixing before you start cooking the meat, or can you literally simply put the three ingredients into the PC and let the PC do the work? (then mash when done)
I'll bet you could make spaghetti sauce similarly.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:51 PM   #28
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What a nifty method. I might do this next time I make tacos just to see how it comes out.
Do you have to do much mixing before you start cooking the meat, or can you literally simply put the three ingredients into the PC and let the PC do the work? (then mash when done)
I'll bet you could make spaghetti sauce similarly.
You just put it all in. I would reduce the water a lot if you are not needing it to rehydrate the TVP.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:59 PM   #29
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Yes, I was just going to use the normal amount of water as if I was making it stovetop.
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